We're working on some changes here at Alaska Dispatch News, and we want to hear from you.
In 2014, Alaska Dispatch and the Anchorage Daily News combined into Alaska Dispatch News. At a time when many news organizations were shrinking, we expanded coverage and Alaska-based commentary. We continue working on making our journalism better, smarter, deeper and more relevant.
This is happening as the media environment everywhere, including Alaska, continues to change -- and change rapidly. More than half our online readers are now on their phones or tablets. Most online readers don't start out on our homepage these days; they're finding our articles, videos and other content through social media, through web searches, through links from other articles or sites.
At the moment, we're deep into a redesign of our site. It's the first big change at adn.com since we combined the two sites in the summer of 2014. We'll be introducing new mobile and tablet apps, and we're in the process of adopting a new package of publishing tools. We're making under-the-hood changes that should make adn.com faster to load, along with design changes to make our site fresher and easier to use.
We want your help.
As we work on the redesign, we want to hear from you. What do you like about our site now? How do you use it? Is it easy to find what you're looking for and to navigate around the site? Can you find interesting content you're not necessarily looking for? How easy is it to search our site? What frustrates you about it? What features would you like to see added? How can we make your experience on your phone or tablet better? How can we improve your experience with our advertisers?
I hear from readers all the time. One of the things I hear pretty often is that our content sometimes churns so quickly, especially on weekdays, that people miss important stories or have trouble finding articles they're interested in. We're working on fixing that. Something else I hear pretty often is that there's no easy way to tell when articles have been updated. We're working on that.
Then there are the story comments. I've heard from many readers since I wrote in January about how we are rethinking comments. I'm determined to continue giving readers the opportunity to comment on articles. We also want to improve the overall civility. Like many sites, we've struggled with spam attacks and general nastiness. I think it's safe to say things have improved the past couple of months, and I want to thank everyone who has contributed to that. But we have been spending a lot of time monitoring comments. We'll be making structural changes soon aimed at making the space more civil, and hopefully, more useful. Look for more on that over the next couple weeks.
Thanks for reading.
David Hulen is editor of Alaska Dispatch News