Wired Magazine has been working on a back and front end site overhaul since the print and online versions of the brand were reunited last year by Condé Naste. Deeper integration with Reddit, which was acquired in October 2006, is also expected.
We expect at least part of the new design and functionality to be released later this week, and have obtained rather fuzzy screen shots of how it might look.
The first image is the new home page for Wired. The focus is clearly on better story placement on the page (Wired currently simply lists stories in reverse chronological order), with more and bigger images. There are also only two ad units on this page: a stereo ad surrounding the Wired logo and a larger unit at the bottom right (the current Wired home page has four ad units).
The top ad unit is unique in that it breaks the ad up into two pieces and puts the Wired logo in between. The New York Times also publishes these “stereo” ad units, although the ads are clearly broken out from the logo. In the screen shot below it all kind of mashes together – this should drive CPMs they can charge way up.
The biggest change, however, is the navigation and search bar, which is located in the middle of the page instead of at the top. This allows the eyes to fall immediately to the top story.
The second screen shot is an article layout. The biggest change here is the long headline and better use of images with the story. There are again only two ad units on the page.
This is almost certainly the work of Wired’s creative director, Scott Dadich, who just completed an overhaul of the print magazine. He’s known for his heavy and creative use of images to fill out the visual appeal of a story.
Current Wired home page: