The revamped New Zealand Herald website is now live and while there are a few missing links and content on some pages aren't displaying corrently in my Firefox browser, I'm impressed with the over-all new design.

In particular, I'm happy the Herald has broken out science from the Technology section I write for, and the new layout allows them to present more technology news and opinion on the page at one time.

The Herald site has until now been optimised for low resolution screens which means at its default setting, it's only taken up two-thirds of the screen on higher-resolution screens and subsequently has looked pretty ugly. Now it fills the screen quite nicely. RSS feeds are available for each section and there are prompts everywhere telling people to click on multimedia content. It's clear, video is going to play a much more important part of the Herald's coverage.

What has to be noted is the similarities in look of the new site to Fairfax's Sydney Morning Herald which had a nice revamp earlier in the year (see below).

But also check out the new Stuff website, which brings together the Herald's New Zealand rival papers, notably the Dominion Post, The Press and the Sunday Star Times. The site looks almost identical to the Herald and SMH sites. Some newspaper website designers have been reading from the same book.

The real changes to the Herald site will come next year when they get their online communities activities going and move into blogging and podcasting. The online news portal battle has stepped up a notch!

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