When you came to this article or our homepage today, you may have thought to yourself, “Something’s different.” You’re right! Welcome to the newest version of GTM.
We hope the changes speak for themselves. Good design shouldn’t need an explanation. However, if you’d like to peek behind the curtain at the wizard (Surprise! It’s just us), then read on.
First, a little history…
Greentech Media launched as a website in 2007.
If you recognize this design, thanks for being a loyal reader!
Our mission -- bringing high-quality news and analysis to the business-to-business greentech industry -- meant making sure that quality content was our number-one priority. The website has always been our vehicle to bring our product to you, our audience, so our layout decisions have always been based on how best to accomplish that.
In 2009, we underwent our first major relaunch.
The beloved Greenlight blog was rolled into all of Greentech Media articles in 2009.
This time, we also changed the mechanics of our backend CMS, aka the engine that makes the website run. Again, focusing on content was top of mind, as we added multimedia, social media, and better commenting procedures, and changed our navigation to align with what we were seeing as trends in the industry: solar, smart grid, and enterprise energy solutions (we have since updated this channel to cover energy efficiency).
Another major redesign happened in February 2012, which was the version of the site you saw yesterday.
Before we launched that iteration, we did a lot of research. We looked at digital content sites outside the cleantech space that we admired. We surveyed our readers on their priorities and goals when reading our site. We used online tools like heatmaps and analytics to see what people were looking at and what they ignored. We talked internally about our business goals.
We also examined things we didn’t want to do: we don’t create listicles with gifs for clicks. We don’t make slideshows just so that we can report higher pageviews. We consider growth and audience hugely important, but not at the expense of our core coverage areas and quality journalism. Every digital media publisher faces choices about what they value most. As much as we value the current gold standard of online journalism -- pageviews and unique visitors -- we also value our impact on the greentech industry. We value the conversations that take place on our site, the deals made at our conferences, the research and competitive intelligence we produce, and the authority that our editors have.
How do you measure that as a website? Journalism expert Greg Linch suggests that there is no formula for this, that websites “could also account for actions taken by governments, nonprofits, community groups, registered voters...and others.” So in addition to conversions and bounce rates, we measure our website’s success with congressional committees and editorial awards.
So back to today’s relaunch
Over the past year and a half, we continued to add items to our site to keep up with requests from our internal team, from readers, and of course, from advertisers. Not only do we serve you, the readers, but as a business, we also look for ways to give clients opportunities to reach and engage our audience.
Sometimes you have to put on Band-Aids to keep up with demand, so we did. We made little fixes here, updated a module there. Those small changes began to add up, and that meant a non-optimal experience for our readers. So we refocused on our original goals of making our content the most important part of our site, and on ways to make it even easier for you to read. Here it is.
Redesigns can be tough, and there are unexpected surprises when you launch.
Whoops! We're fixing that!
We hope that we made your experience a little bit better today, and we promise to continue to do so in the future. Let us know what you think in the comments below!