- The Washington Times - Sunday, December 15, 2013

The Washington Times has unveiled a temporary test site for its new Web design that will allow its readers to test-drive many of The Times’ new digital features and offer feedback before the official launch of the site later this month.

The new design aims to make it easier for the millions of Times readers to consume, share, customize and engage its award-winning news and opinion content on whatever device they want.

The new site was built in partnership with tech industry leaders Celerity and Blue Text and uses what is known as “responsive design” to reshape content to the optimum experience for the screen size of each device. Thus it creates a different experience for readers depending on whether they are on a desktop, laptop, tablet or cellphone.

The Beta site can be accessed by clicking here. It is still under construction and may have minor bugs, so readers are asked to be patient as they help identify any issues they see. The content is also static and won’t change as often as the operational website.

The goal of the Beta is to give readers a sneak peek of the new design and empower them to give feedback directly to the Web development team.

There are two ways for readers to offer their insights on the new design. A feedback button scrolls down the right side of each Web page. Simply click on that to generate a feedback form that will go directly to the Web design team.

You also can send an email by clicking here.

The unveiling of the Web Beta comes one day after The Times on Saturday released its first screen shots and its first user guide to the site to help its readers prepare for the changes they will begin to see later in December.

The new design simplifies navigation and enhances the visual and social media experiences of readers, making it easier for them to find like-minded news consumers, share their favorite stories with friends and family, and customize what news and opinion they see when they come to the site.

Nearly every page has new and customizable features, such as weather and stock widgets, special news alerts, and new tools for social media sharing and commenting. A new free registration system will allow readers to customize the type of content that shows up on pages as well, and a persistent feedback widget will allow readers to send feedback whenever they want.

The site is expected to launch officially before Christmas.

The Washington Times’ website has seen steady growth since an earlier overhaul in 2009 and now attracts more than 12 million readers and more than 30 million page views each month.

Click here to see the first screenshots of the new website, or here for the early user guide.



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