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Jun 24, 2008

Preview: CNET's new, improved look

Ed: Impressive effort in less than 6 months. Tough management task to coordinate multiple strategy, technical, and content obstacles.

June 23, 2008 2:39 PM PDT

Preview: CNET's new, improved look

The new CNET home page includes a carousel highlighting several stories across News, Reviews, and Downloads, as well as an integrated video player for CNET TV content. Click on the image for a full view.

After more than a dozen years of bringing you our content surrounded by yellow and green, CNET is getting a new look. As you can see above, the carnival of colors is being replaced by a cleaner look that pivots off our content and our updated red CNET logo.

Our designers and engineers have been at work on this site revamp for many months, incorporating feedback based on the activities of millions of users and scores of alpha testers in our labs. Now we are entering the first phase of our beta release. A small percent of random visitors to CNET.com will be presented with the new look on the home and Reviews pages. Revised CNET News and Downloads sites will be in beta test in a few weeks.

Why redesign the CNET site?

Web sites are in a state of continuous evolution, and over the years, CNET has undergone several minor facelifts. We decided it was time for a more substantial change that did a better job of presenting our content to 17 million monthly visitors (Nielsen/NetRatings, May 2008).

CNET started out in 1992 as c/net, meaning Computer Network, a 24-hour cable network about computers and technology with original online content. CNET online launched in June 1995 and quickly became a huge success. Over the years, we stuck with the neon yellow legacy from the TV days as the Internet grew to encompass all forms of media.

CNET design through the ages.

We had two key goals with this CNET revamp--make the site easier to use and speed it up. Simplicity is the major theme of this design, and that includes the new "pipeless" CNET logo, a more consistent site structure and a streamlined color palette.

The back-end infrastructure has also been reengineered. We have a new API that is helping to deliver pages 40 to 50 percent faster, and makes it easier for our partners, such as Yahoo and Univision, to work with our content.

All together, the new look, as in the Reviews page below, provides a much improved framework for exposing our content, which is the ultimate purpose of the design...

CNET's New 'Pipeless' Logo

imageCNET (NSDQ: CNET), in the process of being bought by CBS (NYSE: CBS), has launched a new logo for the company, without its vertical pipe, and has also redesigned its main CNET.com site. Besides the spiffier logo and the updated look, part of the redesign also includes "re-engineering the back-end infrastructure with a new API that is helping to deliver pages 40 to 50 percent faster," according to CNET News.com Editor in chief Dan Farber...

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