Our website is changing

5:55 pm on 14 July 2016

Next week this website is going to change. Why? We asked and you told us it needed to. This quote from a reader summed it up rather colourfully: "Your website's a bit shit, sorry. It's just not very easily navigated."

A screenshot of the new rnz.co.nz homepage design.

A preview of the new homepage design, aimed - among other things - at making the site easier and faster to navigate. Photo: RNZ

We recently had more than 3000 responses to a survey we ran asking what people liked and disliked about rnz.co.nz.

Many were effusive about the journalism and story-telling (whether written, visual or audio): "Because it's the only place that reports real news"; "to read unbiased news and breaking news"; "You are the NPR of Aotearoa"; "Quick, reliable news without anything about the Bachelor NZ".

We don't want to change this.

But many were also left frustrated by how difficult we made it to find things they liked: "Sometimes the site is quite hard to navigate (with things being locked up in particular shows, etc.)"; Doesn't seem conducive to browsing"; "even if you know what you're looking for it's often an exercise in futility"; "the inbuilt search function is useless". Ouch.

While the truth may sting it also helps focus the mind on solutions that will work for our audience. In re-designing rnz.co.nz we want to make it easier for you to find what you're looking for, faster.

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Photo: RNZ

In the future, for example, if you love science you will able to go to one page where all our science story-telling will find a home. It will be the same for music, life and society and arts and culture, among others.

If it's a specific programme you're after, you'll find it on our newly designed programme pages. These will get a new lease of life, with a much clearer structure and easier ways to discover the best and most popular stories and articles from your favourite shows.

A lot of effort has gone into improving the audio playlist and player, and a new home for all RNZ's series and podcasts will make it easier to find great stuff to listen to.

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Photo: RNZ

We've been beavering away to make searching our site easier, clearer and more accurate and you can expect a number of changes now and in the weeks following.

The biggest thing you will notice immediately is how the site looks. Thanks to the work of our in-house team and design partner Springload, the site will have a very elegant new face.

We're hoping you will like it, maybe even love it a little.

Above all, we want to keep improving rnz.co.nz and all our digital products - and we know this will be a continuous process. Let us know what you think by emailing us at webproject@radionz.co.nz or getting in touch on Twitter or Facebook.

Thanks so much for reading, listening and watching.

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Photo: RNZ