Announcing the New A Responsive News Experience

Ben Eckerson, Former Senior Digital Strategist

Article Category: #News & Culture

Posted on

As a long-time North Carolina resident, I know there is no news source that is trusted more in the Raleigh-Durham area than WRAL-TV and It is the primary local news outlet for a large and diverse demographic, including the majority of our Durham office. When WRAL approached us with the opportunity to redesign, we saw a chance to help improve a site experience that many of us use daily for our local news and weather updates.

A Trusted Source for High Quality Content

For decades, most local news organizations have failed to make good on the web’s promise for expanding the reach of local news coverage, frequently just recycling television content on outdated web pages. Not so with WRAL. We knew that was already providing the most trusted and current local news content, including weather, politics, and sports––the site gets over 175 million visits per year. As far as media markets go, very few local media outlets can boast such wide adoption and demand. 

Today's news - redesigned

New Challenges in Responsive Design

While Senior User Experience Designers Jason Toth and Todd Moy had worked to address and solve many complex challenges for a variety of clients, they had never worked with a client to create a site experience that so heavily relied on advertising to generate revenue. In this case there were new and specific design considerations to address, and a need to meet both advertisers’ interests as well as the users’.

WRAL had a specific goal of creating a responsive news site, but there were clear challenges in migrating its varied content into a design that would realize that goal. Senior Designer Mark Steinruck worked closely with Jason and Todd to begin the design for the site in a modular, flexible, dynamic, and systematic fashion––providing with the necessary foundational system design to last well into the future.

Whiteboard sketching of story modules

True Team Collaboration

With legacy content and advertising placement considerations, the challenges on this project were not solely those of the UX and Design Team, but shared with our Front-End Development team. Front-End Developers Nate Hunzaker and Chris Manning worked closely with the team as a whole to provide technical solutions for complicated problems. They took design theory and made it a reality by building a responsive framework for displaying ads, promotions, and news stories. 

Prototyping review with the team

This is just a glimpse into what was one of the proudest projects of my career. Working with both a driven and discerning client, and a dedicated and innovative Viget team, I felt fortunate to play a small part in the development of the next iteration of a site I use every day. 

For more insight into our process, check out the full story here. Today, we’re thrilled to celebrate our collaboration with WRAL and present the new

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