A new design for a new decade

In honor of Salon's 10th birthday, we're treating our readers to a new look. A letter from editor in chief Joan Walsh.

Published October 5, 2005 7:00PM (EDT)

It's hard to believe, but Salon celebrates its 10th anniversary next month. Today you'll notice we're moving forward with a new look for a new decade. We've cleaned up our design not just for the sake of updating, but to make it easier to locate new articles, find older pieces you missed, and to make room for some great new features to come. We hope you agree it's a big improvement and a fitting way to kick off our next 10 years. Please send your feedback and suggestions for improvements to redesign@salon.com. We take what you think very seriously and want to fix any problems you notice as soon as we can.

Salon hasn't had a makeover since mid-2000. This time around, we've unveiled our changes gradually -- one observant subscriber recently wrote me asking if we were "under construction." The answer was yes. We started our redesign with the Daou Report in June, and then spruced up War Room in August, emphasizing easy navigation and a wider story column for readability. Around the same time we began rolling out new automated "directory" pages in place of certain section home pages, so we can make sure that they're always up to date.

Today you'll notice even more changes -- and check back with us frequently, because we'll be rolling out more very soon. For a long time we've wanted to "unwrap" Salon, to make clear how much we have to offer every day. We know you read us for different reasons. To political junkies, we're a politics magazine; to many book lovers we're still the heavily literary publication we began as 10 years ago. You may love our news coverage and never even notice all the culture stories we provide daily, or vice versa. So we've redesigned our home page to make more content available at the top of the screen. This gives us a new way to introduce ourselves to you every day.

Our frequently updated blogs now have a place of their own, in Blog Box. Every day, you'll find links to War Room, the Daou Report and Audiofile, plus their latest headlines. You may still find them up top in one of our cover boxes, but we wanted to give them a standing location where you could find them reliably, any time of day. We'll be adding several new editorial blogs, including a video blog, in the weeks to come.

Plus, all our recent feature stories are now available in reverse chronological order, below the Blog Box, so you can make sure you don't miss anything new. And every section of Salon has its own automated home page, including Sports, where King Kaufman has set the standard in smart opinionated coverage for years. We'll be adding new features and art, but for now we wanted to make sure they're a functional guide to everything we're publishing in our key content areas.

Finally, you'll see new, cleaner article pages, where you can also find other stories on related topics and new ways to contact Salon. Even with all this change, though, we hope you see continuity -- the design still leaves plenty of room for wonderful art, as well as uncluttered white space, which to me has always connoted Salon's commitment to giving readers time to think and ponder and even dream. The continuity in our design is no surprise -- we brought back founding designer Mignon Khargie for the redesign, and she and our longtime art director Bob Watts have made sure that what's best about Salon is still visible in our pages.

We'll be rolling out other new features in the days and weeks to come. One that I want to mention in advance is a new function that lets you add comments to our blogs, as well as automatically post letters to the editor. We know we have the best audience in journalism; we want to be able to showcase more of you on the site. We'll also be fixing our search function as well as adding new editorial features in the next month, along with new benefits for Premium subscribers, which we'll announce as they become available. Please bear with us if a few features and parts of the site aren't updated immediately. After 10 years, we've got a lot of content out there in different forms, and we can't change all of it at once; some of it we actually can't change at all.

Finally, the official rollout of our redesign also marks the beginning of our anniversary season. (We turn 10 in mid-November.) Over the next month, we'll be remembering our best content from the last 10 years, but we want to involve you, our readers, in telling us what that is. So please send your nominations for Salon's best stories, as well as your birthday wishes and ideas for changes or innovations you'd like to see over our next 10 years, to anniversary@salon.com.

Best wishes,

Joan Walsh
Editor in chief

By Salon Staff

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