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Reuters website unveils bold new look to mixed reception

Reuters unveiled a bold new design for its main online presence on Friday - and drew a loud raspberry from many visitors.

For, the future is now, said David Schlesinger, editor-in-chief. “We want this to be the world’s best website covering business and finance news, analysis, and opinion. Full stop.”

In addition to a bolder logo – a red background replaces the washed-out grey look - the new website presents a less-cluttered home page and a slimmed-down toolbar offering a choice of News & Markets, Sectors & Industry and Analysis & Opinion, with a long list of topic sections under each.  The site looks leaner, cleaner, brighter and more inviting.

“This site is for you; we want it to be your ticket to a wealth of news, information, and analysis presented in a cutting-edge format, including text, video, pictures, graphics, user interaction, and personalization features (try the new toolbar at the bottom of every page),” Schlesinger said.

But many respondents to Schlesinger’s message damned the facelift and some said they would be looking elsewhere for their news.

Schlesinger responded: “Wow - it’s great to read the passion of some of these comments, even when they hate what we’re doing! I feel really gratified that people take Reuters so seriously and are moved to write when we make changes.

“To those who love the new site – thanks, and we promise to continue to make it better and easier to use. And from the editorial side, we promise to continue to improve the multimedia content to make this a compelling experience.

“To those who hate the new site – thanks to you, too. I understand that your views are motivated by your loyalty to the old design and for how it served you. I can simply promise you that we’ll work to make this new design live up to its potential. I would urge you to experience with what we’ve got – I personally find the pop out market displays and the pop down menus, all filled with information, to be pretty exciting and useful.”

Alisa Bowen, Thomson Reuters’ head of consumer publishing, said: “We’ve only been in consumer publishing for the past six years, and the old version of the site reflected that. The new site reflects all the assets that were brought together with Thomson’s acquisition of Reuters in the spring of ‘08. We regard this as more than just a facelift.”

Redesigned websites in the UK, India, Japan and China as well as 13 additional local language markets will follow next year. ■