The Sunday Tribune’s website has gotten a much-needed overhaul having had one of the worst web-presences in Ireland for some time now.
The new site features RSS feeds, comments, an archive dating back to 2000 and a breaking news service (not sure if this is in-house or taken from an existing news/wire service) – all of these things are great to finally see on the Tribune’s site, even if they are now the norm in an online news environment.
The actual design is extremely reminiscent of the relatively new Irish Independent / Sunday Independent site, although I’m informed that their design team had no hand in the Tribune’s new site even if though there is a business connection there.
As you can see the tabs across the top, the placement of the search box and the general layout of the articles and info-box features are very similar to those on Independent.ie. As a matter of fact some of the images used, such as the speech bubble symbol for comments and the ‘Advanced Search’ button on both sites are identical.
Overall the site looks like it’s really a work in progress and there are a few problems that need to be ironed out, even of the most basic variety. For example, it may just be a rendering or browser issue on this end but it appears as though the www.tribune.ie / Sunday Tribune logo is not even properly centred, which seems odd for a professional design.
As a matter of personal preference I’m not so sure if I like the way the feature boxes on the front page change every few seconds no matter what – why not give the reader the option to scroll left or right or up and down through them at their own pace?
That said it’s great to see this badly needed redesign go live and it’s great to see The Sunday Tribune move forward in terms of its online service in general – all we need are a few blogs now (not like they don’t have the bloggers on staff already).
So now the ball is in the court of TCH and The [Irish] Sunday Times. The former has a very outdated website for it’s Irish Examiner and Sunday Business Post titles and the latter doesn’t even have an Irish website… everyone else has caught onto the trend, when are this lot going to catch up?