While I joined my son yesterday on a college campus visit (yes, he's that old, meaning yes, I'm that old), our gang at Scripps Interactive Newspapers Group rolled out the second site in our latest cycle of user experience upgrades: redding.com, site of the Redding Record-Searchlight in northern California.

As with Site 1, courierpress.com of Evansville, Ind., redding.com demonstrates Scripps' latest thinking about news Web sites, in form and function:

  • Flexibility to showcase news of the day.
  • Emphasis on imagery. People wonder why we put dark backgrounds on some site components, and the answer is: to let photos pop more. It's the same logic by which TV makers surround the image area with a large, black frame.
  • Improving communication and the sense of community among site participants, well beyond just story comments.
  • Keeping and refining what was good about the old framework, including clean visuals, search optimization, streamlined administration and more.

The Redding site team explained the changes to site patrons, and opened up for comments that cover the good and bad of it. Your feedback is welcome there or here.