WT Business Beat

By Nick Wakeman

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Nick Wakeman

Our new look

By now, I’m sure you’ve noticed that we’ve launched a refreshed look for the Washington Technology website. We believe you'll find it cleaner and easier to use.

Websites tend to suffer from something similar to mission creep. You need an extra button so you add it. A box for X, Y, or Z is needed so you add it. Priorities shift as well, so something else gets added.

Things that get added tend to not get removed even when they no longer serve a needed function.

For example, at one time a top priority was to get people to sign up for our daily newsletter, so we had a button for that. Then our business model shifted to a paid membership. A new button was needed for folks to sign up. Another button was added so people could manage their membership.

Then a couple years ago we launched the Project 38 podcast. You guessed it: another button was added for that.

Things got cluttered, so cleaning things up was a major goal. Instead of two rows of navigation at the top of the page with I believe 15 different items, we are now down to a single row with seven choices that have drop down menus.

One complaint I had long had about our website is that we didn’t have a way to easily keep important stories at the top of the news well. We have now have spot for a single lead story and three other important stories.

We want to be able to keep these stories at the top for more than just a single news cycle instead of getting pushed down the news well. That means something like Guidehouse’s acquisition of Dovel Technologies announced this week will stay at the top instead of getting pushed down by other items.

We do have some kinks to work out, such as sizing art and photos so we can add more color and interest to the page. That will get fixed quickly.

The launch has little to do with our recent acquisition by GovExec. The refresh has been in the works for a while. But we did want to get it out before it got lost as we dive into other back office and infrastructure integration tasks.

There are some other features I’d like to add, but I’m going to be more intentional this time around to avoid that mission creep. I don’t want us to be cluttered up all over again by this time next year. I'm sure our new owners will have some ideas as well.

But for now I'm very satisfied with this cleaner look. Let me know if you have any questions.

Posted by Nick Wakeman on Sep 09, 2021 at 11:44 AM

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