Today, Forum Communications Company revealed a redesigned Lake County News-Chronicle site complete with a new user interface and added features to improve the experience of our readers.

Based on feedback obtained through user studies conducted by a third-party firm, Forum developers, product managers and user experience professionals identified high-priority features to deliver a variety of new functionality, including: simplified navigation, a latest and trending news content block and an overall improved user interface.

The first step in the process was obtaining feedback through user studies from the company’s most valuable audience -- its readers.

“Our readers are at the heart of everything we do, so it’s important for us to make decisions based on what our users are telling us,” says Steph Schroeder, chief digital marketing officer at Forum Communications. “These studies helped us identify the most desired features from our users and then implement those into this refreshed version of the site.”

Considering readers’ responses and analytical data, new features were identified as priorities.

“We made the homepage even better for finding interesting and important news for our readers,” said Emil Hatlelid, a user experience and interface designer at Forum Communications.

After identifying top priorities, developers and product owners began work to implement the updates to the News-Chronicle.

“At the center of all of our products -- print and digital alike -- is content,” Schroeder said. “The new features and functionality we’ve added will allow our readers to more easily discover the content they want to read, when they want to read it.”

The features added today aim to meet readers’ everyday needs, including finding content they love, discovering trending articles and accessing featured video content more easily.

Although these site features have been released today, this collaborative effort among the newsroom, Forum technology staff and its readers is ongoing.

“We will never stop updating our news websites,” Hatlelid said. “Not every update will be this big, but we won’t ever stop improving how we deliver news.”

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