C &EN has a new look. We have just debuted the first major redesign of our website, cen.acs.org, in several years. It took months of research and hard work. We started the process about a year ago with a massive back-end architecture revamp, and then at the end of 2017 we moved to building a new front end. We love the result and we hope you love it too. As I have mentioned in previous editorials, we are committed to continually evolve and improve on what a news organization like C&EN can be.
You can get a good sense of what’s new by going to cen.acs.org and looking around the site, but I wanted to highlight some of the most important changes.
We have put the reader at the center of our decision-making and did extensive user testing to ensure we were getting it right at each stage of the process. We are delivering a site that is fresh, modern, and easy to use, where the focus is on the stories and what is happening right now in the chemical sciences.
Given that almost half our traffic comes from mobile devices, we have made sure the site works well on your phone. The site is responsive, so regardless of the device you use to access our content, stories should display nicely with plenty of space for reading the story. You’ll also notice that pages load faster, so you won’t be waiting for content to come through.
The organization of the content on the site is completely different: Rather than driven by how the print magazine is organized, the website is now structured around topics such as energy, education, and sustainability. We understand that when people search for information on cen.acs.org, it is less likely they’ll search for Editorial, Features, or Concentrates and more likely they’ll search for catalysis, green chemistry, or drug discovery. This philosophy has guided the decisions we have made for the new navigation.
Saying that, we know how important the print magazine is to you, so we will continue to aggregate the content from each issue in one location so that even on the web, you can access the curated list of weekly must-read articles and enjoy a finite reading experience.
We also hope you’ll notice the increased incorporation of video, photos, and artwork, which is intended to create a more visually rich and valuable reading experience. We have also made social-sharing tools more discoverable to encourage you to share our most compelling reads with friends and colleagues.
Advertising on the site is also more integrated and beautiful. In particular, we have made sponsored content from advertisers more attractive and easier to find while still retaining the labels that distinguish it from our journalism.
Check it out and tell us what you think. As always, we’d love to hear from you: what works, what doesn’t, what we could do better. Overall, we are proud of what we have achieved and believe we have better aligned the look, feel, and organization of content across our web and print products.
It doesn’t stop there: We’ll be making additional improvements in the days and weeks ahead, including rolling out a more powerful search engine, ways to find collections of Periodic Graphics and many of our other most popular features, and new ways for you to personalize your C&EN experience.
I’d like to thank everyone at C&EN who contributed to this project, in particular, Amanda Yarnell, Tchad Blair, Rob Bryson, and Jessica Morrison. I’d also like to acknowledge our colleagues from IT and others across ACS who helped make this project a reality.
I’d also like to thank you, our readers, for your continued support. If we have done our jobs, we will continue to be your go-to news outlet in the chemical sciences.
Views expressed on this page are those of the author and not necessarily those of ACS.