New York Times,
Every now and again, media companies and tech industries give their products a face-lift. And in the latest round, these updates and redesigns seemed to be aimed at the consumer. This is a screen capture of the New York Times' new website format.

Every now and again, media companies and tech industries give their products a face-lift.

And in the latest round, these updates and redesigns seemed to be for the consumer.

On Wednesday, The New York Times unveiled its latest website redesign, which now includes a categories list on the top left — similar to the one used by Deseret News.

There’s also a new swipe feature, which is like USA Today’s website, where users can swipe between stories for easy access to more content.

“We’ve streamlined our article pages and created a more responsive interface with faster load times,” The New York Times said on its redesign. “So navigating between stories is easier and finding more content that appeals to you is just a click, swipe or tap away.”

The New York Times’ redesign also includes larger photos, a bar at the top that shows similar stories and a new ticker for breaking news across all pages.

A history of the Times’ redesigns throughout the years can be seen on its redesign launch page. Major redesigns were launched in 2001, 2004, 2007, 2012 and now in 2014.

But it's not the only news organization to change its designs. At the 2014 Consumer Electronics Show, Yahoo News announced a news summary app, called Yahoo News Digest, which will highlight certain content to users, BBC News reported.

“The News Digest app claims to present readers with ‘all the stories you need to know about’ and brings up a graphic saying ‘Done’ when they have been read,” BBC reported.

Mark Mulligan, editor of the Media Industry Blog, told BBC news that there is a need for this kind of app.

"There's a huge amount of information of varying quality being created, and people require a way to steer through all the news — it's a tyranny of choice," he told BBC. "The idea of cutting through the clutter and being a trusted curator that can offer quality bite-sized chunks of information definitely addresses a need.”

But Bob Eggington, who once worked for BBC, said the strategy presented by Yahoo is flawed.

"What Yahoo is saying is: 'We will try to tell you the things we know about that we think are of interest to you' — and both of those statements are highly imperfect,” Eggington said.

And then there’s Apple. The computer company didn’t redesign a new app or website but rather its entire computer model, the International Business Times reported. And, again, it’s meant to help users.

"Featuring an excellent cylindrical design, the new Mac Pro will satisfy most users. The device sets a standard on its own,” wrote Precious Silva for IB Times. “The device is no bigger than a football. Slightly dented at the top similar to a jet engine, it is as compact as it comes. Under the hood, it is just as impressive. Users particular of their computing speed will find the device an excellent choice.”

Yahoo News posted a video and images of the new Mac Pro design, which is rounder than earlier models. The new piece of hardware has even led to some clever nicknames.

“Ask people what they think this futuristic-looking object is, and you’ll hear a lot of ‘ashtray,’ ‘vase,’ ‘trash can’ and ‘espresso machine,’” Yahoo news reported. “Occasionally: ‘the love child of Darth Vader and R2-D2.’ ”


Twitter: @hscribner