The Clare Echo Website Redesign

In 2022, after careful consideration, the Clare Echo came to the conclusion that their website was in need of a much-deserved overhaul. With this in mind, I decided to take charge of the project and began researching, designing and developing the website to include several new and exciting features that would not only cater to the existing customer base but also attract a new audience.

The Clare Echo

The Clare Echo is a member of Free Media Ireland, a network of free newspaper publishers committed to supporting local journalism and delivering engaging content through their online and print platforms

Why a Redesign?

Redesigning and revamping the website clareecho.ie was a great idea for several reasons.

Firstly, giving the website a fresh and updated look, it becomes more visually appealing, engaging, and aligned with current design trends. A visually appealing website can captivate users’ attention and encourage them to explore further, increasing the chances of repeat visits.

Problem

The user experience of a website can often be plagued by various issues that hinder its effectiveness. One common problem is a lack of intuitive navigation, where users struggle to find the information they need or get lost in a maze of complex menus.

This can lead to frustration and high bounce rates as visitors abandon the site in search of a more user-friendly alternative. Additionally, slow loading times and a non-responsive design can negatively impact the user experience, particularly on mobile devices. These technical shortcomings create barriers for users, preventing them from fully engaging with the website’s content and services.

Another issue we had was that there are fewer advertising spaces across the website.

Overall, a poor user experience and limited opportunities to create revenue online. This can undermine the website’s effectiveness, diminish its credibility, and result in missed opportunities for user engagement and advertisement.

User Research

User research is a vital component when developing a local news website that aims to engage and satisfy its audience.

By conducting user research, we gained valuable insights into the needs, preferences, and behaviors of their target users. Through methods such as surveys, interviews, and usability testing, we gathered information about what content readers find most compelling, the features they desire, and the overall user experience they seek.

This research helped inform the design and layout of the website, ensuring that it is intuitive, visually appealing, and easy to navigate. By understanding the local community’s interests, concerns, and information consumption patterns, the news website can provide relevant and timely news stories, feature topics of interest, and promote civic engagement.

By prioritizing user research, we successfully catered to the target audience, providing a valuable resource that informs, engages, and connects the community it serves.

Mockup Process

The Solution

Revamping the user experience of a website is the key to addressing these problems and ensuring a more seamless and satisfying interaction for visitors. An effective solution involves implementing intuitive navigation and user-friendly interfaces.

By simplifying menu structures, incorporating clear labels, and providing prominent search functionality, users can easily find the information they seek, enhancing their overall satisfaction. Additionally, optimizing the website’s performance and responsiveness is crucial. Through techniques like image optimization, cache management, and responsive design, the website can load faster and provide a consistent experience across devices.

This promotes accessibility and engagement, allowing users to seamlessly interact with the website’s content and services. Furthermore, conducting user testing and gathering feedback can help identify pain points and areas for improvement, enabling continuous refinement of the user experience.

By prioritising the needs and preferences of the target audience, a revamped user experience created a positive impression, increase user engagement, and ultimately drive the desired outcomes for the website.