A discussion – one that would be followed by us giving excuses – that we would have every other week with readers is the one on mobile. Specifically, how our website was a mess on mobile devices. It was so bad people stopped altogether reading on mobile devices. I realise it now but subconsciously, even I didn’t use my phone to read Techzim. It was the annoying task of panning and zooming. It wasn’t just readers, advertisers hated it when their ads – our source of livelihood – didn’t show on mobile.
But we put this off for a long time. 2 years at least! The reason is that once you have an audience the size of Techzim’s and if that audience is passionate about their industry like our readers are, it’s a scary thought to want to change their site. We knew a change would rub and good number of them the wrong way so it was easier to not do anything about it and just give excuses about the unresponsiveness.
Starting this week, we switched on the first iteration of the new Techzim. One that’s focused on giving a great mobile experience. Great on design but, more importantly, also great on speed.
The key change though is to do with the reading habits that have changed a lot since 2 years ago. Most readers just want to read the intro of a story and understand the whole article from those few lines. We’re not fighting this. You will notice now you can read a summary of an article via the main page and understand the story without clicking through to the 500 word version. Hell, you can comment without reading the whole story! Haven’t we all been tweeting and commenting on Facebook based only on the headline anyway?
Reading the long version is an option for the passionate. We’ve only begun with these changes. More will be changed today, tomorrow and beyond. And everything will be informed by how readers consume, how they contribute content, and how we think all that can work better more and more.
If you’re viewing this site on a mobile phone, you’re probably happy we finally redesigned it. But if like me you work from a desk all day, you’re not so happy. You prefer the good old. Fair.
We can’t promise you this desktop version will fit the description of brilliant design or that it will please you individually. We can promise however that we will continue working hard to surface brilliantly relevant and useful local tech content to you, even individually! This is the first iteration and we feel excited about being able to do that on the most personal of the devices you have. We’re excited about the fresh things we have done so far and we’re even more excited about those to come!