Designing websites, The Pony Express

As an Editor-in-Chief overseeing the online division of The Pony Express, I had a definite drive to switch up our SNO site. Our current design was great, but basic in my opinion. The columns were randomly ordered, the bright red was unfitting, and overall, it felt cluttered.

In understanding our site was in need of a serious revamp, I collaborated with my fellow online Editor-in-Chief, Megan Karnuth, to draft up an idea for a cleaner masthead, minimalist design, and a trade-out of bright red to a more mature wine red.

Designing a SNO site was a matter of explorative learning, since I had only had story editing knowledge prior to taking on this project. Nevertheless, as a leader, a good trait to have is an individual-troubleshooting intuition. You make a mistake? You trace your trail back to point A. You accidentally delete something? You slam the command-Z keys. You discover something? Teach your fellow leaders.

So there you have it, the brand-new Pony Express. In the beginning of designing a SNO site I quickly realized my ability to learn fast and retain knowledge was a different process for me than that of my fellow editor. Therefore I resumed responsibility in discovering all the bells and whistles of SNO so I could then therefore pass my knowledge on to her, and help her fix her mistakes on the site. Further mentoring between her and I has become a strength of our partnership in being able to have a similar understanding of SNO- for the training of future Editor-in-Chiefs.

From an organizational standpoint, we approached moving the categories around by rank of importance to staff, asking around was an efficient tool in finding what categories students usually looked to first, so those were either ranked first, or displayed more stories. We opted for our broadcast to move to the top of the page as well, since it nationally ranked this year- therefore it is an important strength of our paper.

As to how I train my staff and successors, see Training.


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