The new look centers on a “container” format that groups different categories of content into a series of horizontal sections that cross the entire page. That allows the user to scroll various topics vertically, beginning with top headlines, followed by highlights, sports, opinion, and so on.
The user can choose to hide a particular category if they have no interest in it, making the scrolling navigation more efficient.
The container structure extends to individual articles, giving editors more flexibility about what content appears where, and how different types of content are arranged, including articles, videos, live blogs, interactive features and photo galleries. The site’s video player and photo galleries are also getting a new layout.
Finally, the new design is also intended to make navigation easier and more consistent with a single directory bar across the site. The mobile-friendly makeover comes as The Guardian gets about half its online traffic via mobile devices.
The new ad placement will take advantage of the new format by introducing cross-screen ads under the heading of each new section and across other natural break points, so readers can be exposed to multiple ads from a single advertiser as they scroll down the page. The new ad format will go live on November 3rd with Nissan Leaf as the debut sponsor.
Carter Brokaw, Guardian U.S. executive vice president for commercial, noted that advertisers can use the new cross-page ad messages in sequence, to convey a series of messages as part of a larger, high-impact message reinforced at each break point: “You could have a sequence where as the visitor scrolls down the page, the first message is around awareness, the second around the specific features of the product, and the third the call to action.”