The Liverpool Daily Post and Liverpool Echo have unveiled new-look websites today, in the first stage of a major overhaul of the websites of Trinity Mirror’s regional titles.
The sites have enhanced coverage with breaking news, video and audio content, extended blogging forums and user-generated content.
Users can also comment on key stories and air their views in improved forums, while the video, audio and photo galleries have been enhanced with a dedicated area of the site.
Following on from the Liverpool upgrades, the websites for Trinity Mirror titles the Journal, the Evening Chronicle and the Evening Gazette in the North East will be relaunched in the coming months. They will be followed by South Wales, North Wales, Huddersfield and the Scottish titles.
The group says that extensive user-testing has ensured the revamped versions will be more user-friendly and intuitive to use, with the nine-month development process guided primarily by users.
In addition to the testing and research behind the new-look sites, online product and web design experts have worked closely with editors, advertising directors and national ad sales teams on the new site designs.
David Black, Trinity Mirror’s director of regional digital media, said: “We are now well on our way to achieving our goal of publishing the leading sites in our local markets, complementing the strength of our market-leading print titles.
“The significant upgrade to our sites will further improve our online proposition and gives us a tremendous platform to grow our online reach and revenues locally.”
In conjunction with the new site designs, an extensive training programme was launched to improve journalists’ multimedia skills and to give them an opportunity to contribute content ideas.
The training includes a series of week-long video journalism courses and a series of one-day multimedia workshops.
More than 70 journalists in the group’s North West region attended the workshops, which will now be rolled out across the regional division.
Neil Benson, editorial director, regionals, said: “Our multimedia activity has come a long way in the past 12 months.
“But it is not just about redesigning our sites. Ensuring our journalists are up to speed with these developments is integral to our strategy, and this is why we have put in place a comprehensive multimedia training programme.”
Across the division Trinity Mirror is pioneering a ‘Multimedia Champions’ scheme led by head of multimedia Mike Hill.
The scheme will share best practice across the group and to feed in new ideas and initiatives.