Michigan papers are reporting that Cereal City USA in Battle Creek is closing for good, effective immediately for failing to draw enough visitors or make enough money for the foundation’s board to justify keeping it open. While we should give the exclusive to the hometown Battle Creek Enquirer, the Detroit Free Press has radically redesigned its web site so we’ll link over to their article Cereal City attraction in Battle Creek shuts doors and do that whole birds/stone thing.
I’m guessing that the new Freep.com design isn’t going to make many long-time users happy. For starters, they have moved their popular stories (a feature I know I always enjoyed) down below their advertorial content on the right. The reasons are obvious, but it’s less than convenient if you’re just looking for the day’s top stories. They have added a nice photo zoom feature and also seem to be doing some “social ranking” with their popular stories feature (which tells me that the leaked photos of the new Chevy Camaro are trouncing Rochelle Riley’s latest column). They have given their comments much more prominent play and have also added advertising in the body of the story.
I was tempted to go on to their home page, but it seems as if For my amusement only has that pretty well taken care of. What do you think about their redesign?
In the interests of the actual news, the Battle Creek Enquirer has a much more in-depth article on Cereal City’s closing and another one on potential uses for the 40,000+ square foot Cereal City building.
My initial reaction is that I am not a fan. Granted, it will take some getting used to since I am used to seeing the old format, but there is just something about it that isn’t visually-pleasing to me. It does look more clean to the eye, but the thing I think I don’t like is that is doesn’t really look like a newspaper in terms of layout. Given the falling stats of newspaper readership, though, perhaps the non-traditional design was done purposely.