Welcome to The Wire! We’re thrilled to unveil our new look, a new domain, and a new name. Over the last few months we’ve rethought every part of our site — our home page, article page, navigation bar, and standing features — to better fit our mission to be your most trusted source in the social news era.
After all, news has always been social. But these days all stages of the news process — its gathering, its selection, and its distribution — are being disrupted by technology. It’s not just where news breaks that’s changing, it’s also who breaks it. The number of people who are participating in all three of those stages has expanded with each new media platform — from cable television to the web to social media. The rise of social networks has created a publishing platform where professionals, self-declared experts, and everyday citizens serve as individual news networks — sometimes accurate and many times not. The problem for readers is how to keep up and whom to trust.
That’s where The Wire comes in. Amid the chaos of the current news ecosystem, the editors and writers here are constantly monitoring the social conversation and looking for ways to participate in those discussions. The Wire is a real-time filter of ideas and information, helping readers absorb the stories, voices, and opinions that really matter — and understand the context, quickly. But primarily what guided us in this redesign was you — our readers, and what you've been telling us about how you want to experience The Wire.
The change to the site I’m most excited about is our fully responsive design that allows for a seamless experience no matter the device — desktop, tablet, or phone. If you’re reading this on a desktop, go ahead and try shrinking your browser window and you’ll see the whole page adjust to fit — or better yet, grab a phone or tablet and you’ll see a beautiful presentation. These days nearly 40 percent of our audience is using a mobile device, so it was important that our new design gave mobile readers a full Wire experience, not a hobbled mobile-only version, optimized for whatever device they were using.
The Wire, like every website, gets a lot of visits from people who come to our articles through side doors like social and search. So we wanted to make sure that we served those who are just discovering us as well as our loyal readers. Instead of the familiar and static subject verticals, we took a cue from our Quartz neighbors’ Obsessions, and adopted a story-based navigation that will show even first-time readers the most important stories we’re covering most right now. But we also wanted to provide tools for our “power users,” who know what they’re looking for and just want to find it fast. Under the ribbon at the right of the nav bar is a number of ways to get around the site: channels like Politics and Entertainment, our recurring features, an authors list, and of course good old search.
We also used the idea of serving both newcomers and devoted readers in rethinking our home page (and the rest of the site’s landing pages). At the top, we have a new marquee, which like the news we cover, is dynamic and allows our editors to tell you right away what we think matters now. But because we want The Wire to catch you up quickly on the news of the day, right underneath we have our most recent stories and several ways to view them.
For comparison, this was our old look.
Since we now publish around 50 stories a day, and rising, one of our other goals was to show you more of those stories more quickly. So, on our home page (and landing pages and even the bottom of article pages) we now have a three-column grid. But you have other view options: If you’d prefer a more familiar list of headlines, you can choose that with the button on the left of the page. You can also choose which stories you'd like to see. By default, you will see all of the stories we’ve published in reverse chronology, but you can reorder the grid or list by what’s getting the most clicks right now or take a look at which of our stories are getting the most attention on social networks with the Popular and Trending options.
Lastly, you'll notice that we've adopted a new name, or rather dropped one word from our old one. Launched in 2009, The Atlantic Wire began as an opinion aggregator under the nurturing wing of The Atlantic. We took the integrity and editorial ideals of the parent site as a model: digital savvy deeply rooted in journalistic tradition. And now, with 6 million unique monthly visitors and a strong sense of our distinctive editorial mission, The Wire is ready to step out on our own — while still remaining part of The Atlantic family.
We hope you enjoy the result — and tell us what you think. (You can start by using one of our new share tools or the comments below.)