Mirror and Telegraph redesigns

The new Mirror website is a dramatic improvement. But then again, all previous Mirror websites have been terrible – particularly the last one, launched just 18 months ago.
As Martin Stabe notes, the site’s homepage takes an unfamiliar building-blocks approach… which, in this case, I really find myself warming to. It suits the kind of picture-heavy, celebrity-led material within. Dig a little deeper, and frankly it’s fairly average – but for the Mirror, as I say, that’s a big step forward.
Meanwhile, I can’t quite make my mind up about the Telegraph’s new design, being rolled out gradually this week, section by section. It’s very nice – structurally and visually; and fixes some of the things I didn’t like before. But it feels very – can’t think of a better word – conservative. There’s no hint of a ‘2.0’ feel to it whatsoever: no rounded corners, no colour gradients, no Javascript effects, no glossy icons. No homepage space for the ‘community’ or multimedia stuff. There are ‘sharing’ links, and links to related blog content, but it’s all downplayed.
You could argue that this is all good. It’s in keeping with the more conservative brand demographic. It’s classic rather than fashionable. But it’s, well, a bit retro. And with everyone rushing to be more ‘2.0’ than their rivals, that feels just a bit odd.

The Mirror should be ashamed

Maguire blog misses HainI’m sitting here at 6pm on a huge day in politics. A political heavyweight has unexpectedly resigned, freeing up two seats at the Cabinet table. We’ve got all the usual fun and games of the ensuing reshuffle – who’s up, who’s down, who’s been snubbed – and widespread speculation about a merger of several government departments, with an impact on the Ministry of Defence. It’s Gordon Brown’s first resignation, and there’s a good argument to say this is the blogosphere’s first scalp. It doesn’t really get any bigger.
Over at the Mirror’s ‘Kevin Maguire & Friends‘ blog? Nothing all day. Not a peep, from Kevin or indeed his friends. My advice to the Mirror: kill the site now. If you can’t make it work today, you never will. Shameful.