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TMCNet:  OPINION: Quietly moving to build a better reading experience [Times Record News, Wichita Falls, Texas :: ]

[July 20, 2014]

OPINION: Quietly moving to build a better reading experience [Times Record News, Wichita Falls, Texas :: ]

(Wichita Falls Times Record News (TX) Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) July 20--For the past few months, the Times Record News has been undergoing a major renovation.

And you wouldn't have heard a single jackhammer.

On Tuesday, we'll unveil all of our hard work, a transformation I feel you'll enjoy from the minute you walk into our digital front door.

The renovation to our website, timesrecordnews.com, will improve your overall experience with our digital news, while at the same time match the ever-changing habits and preferences of readers on smartphones, tablets and desktop computers.


We're changing because your preferences have changed. An increasing number of you access our digital content through your smartphones and tablets rather than your desktop computers, a favorite platform when online news took off.

Our digital content management system will transition from a design focused mainly for desktop users toward what's called "responsive design," a high-tech way of describing content matched perfectly with your smartphone and tablet. The website will look pretty great on your desktop computer, as well.

Our dedication to covering the news in your neighborhoods will not change, only how we present the news. Our journalists have become increasingly skilled in giving their stories more digital accessories, such as videos, graphics, galleries and social media.

There may be an adjustment period as we work through the new process, but hopefully these will be internal hiccups of little impact on your world. Please let us know, however, if you do experience anything hindering your news reading experience.

You'll notice significant changes right away, such as links to content readers find most popular. Mobile users, for the first time, will be able to comment on stories, a function that until now was limited to desktop readers.

You'll have easier access to our videos, photographs, social media interactions and quick links to our most popular content. Instead of searching the site for, say, your daily crossword puzzle, you'll find the door to that feature under a header marked, "Helpful Links." That's where you'll find obituaries, one of our most-read items, and the Matter of Record, just to name a few.

The weather, definitely a topic of interest for our region, will be at the top of the page, top of mind, in a display linking the 12-day forecast and alerts.

You'll find North Texas events with one click or touch of the screen.

As an editor who started here three decades ago, when hot glue and proportion wheels designed the news, I'm continually excited about how we present our content. As a news junkie who reads news on multiple platforms, I'm continually impressed with the skills of our online designers who walk in step with or ahead of the changes. If you have questions or want to give us some feedback, please feel free to contact us on Facebook or on Twitter @timesrecordnews. You can also email me directly, watsond@timesrecordnews.com.

Thank you for reading the Times Record News whenever and on whatever device you prefer.

___ (c)2014 the Times Record News (Wichita Fallas, Texas) Visit the Times Record News (Wichita Fallas, Texas) at www.timesrecordnews.com Distributed by MCT Information Services

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