I have not shared much here about my new role leading Cordillera Interactive. I have wanted to, but had very little time to share stories of our rapid progress on this blog.

This week, we have something I'll pause to shout about.

Back in spring, we started a project to update the designs and underlying HTML/CSS architectures of our TV station.com sites. We named the project Operation Tune-Up.

Starting yesterday, we moved Operation Tune-Up out of the lab and onto its first site: KRTV.com in Great Falls, Montana. We still face a couple more days of inevitable debugging and clean-up work. But you can see the effects of Tune-Up on the KRTV.com home page, story pages and most index pages.

Thanks to Joey Martin, CI's senior director of operations, and his folks nationwide (with a special hat-tip to Neil Wagner in Billings, who also provided the terrific graphic design) for a successful launch!

We wanted big improvements in three key elements of the site user experience, and we think we got 'em:

  • Site pages, especially the home page, load much faster. That, alone, justifies the project.
  • Site content is easier to find.
  • Stories are easier to read.

KTVQ.com in Billings is on deck for Tune-Up, and we'll start that launch process as soon as we winnow down the clean-up list for Great Falls. All Cordillera station.com sites get their own Tune-Ups before the end of the year.

Would I invest our limited resources in a Web tune-up if I felt the Web were dead? Maybe not, but I don't think it matters. My objectives in any interactive redesign project roll up into two main principles:

  1. A redesign should make the next redesign faster and easier to execute. At some point, the pace of user interface innovation on the mainstream/consumer Web may begin to slow, but for now, the end of one design project still seems to signal the beginning of the next. So we have to cut the time and resource requirements to keep up.
  2. A redesign should make it easier to collect, store and distribute all kinds of content assets using today's, and tomorrow's, communications forms. Get it from anywhere, anyone, anytime. Put it anywhere, with anyone, anytime. Seems simple, really isn't, but we should push to make it simpler with every project.

If we succeed at both of those, and the Web does die, we're still OK — ready for smartphones, tablets, car-dash systems, home media centers or virtual carrier pigeons. Whatever we learn along the way, we can and should share with our paying customers — advertising clients.

Hope you like the new KRTV.com!