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Questions and answers: All about the new Deseret News website

A photo of the new Deseret News website shown on a MacBook Pro.

Welcome to the new online home of the Deseret News. At a glance, you’ve already noticed many of the changes we’ve made to the look of the site. But the changes we’ve made go deeper so we’ll be able to create a better experience for you, from first click to last comment. Here’s how these changes will enhance your overall experience with our content online.

Overall, what’s new on the Deseret News website?

In addition to a new overall design, including a new logo, the web address is now simply Deseret.com. (Shorter’s better, right?) We’re still serious about news and we want to provide strong online offerings with a more thoughtful digital-first approach.

What makes this website better than the old one?

The new site delivers content to you faster, with a better mobile experience. It also integrates better with emerging news platforms such as Google News, Apple News and more.

We know you get to choose what news sources you read and where to read them; we want to make sure we appear everywhere you might choose to read news.

What’s the same?

The Deseret News will continue to deliver great reporting, context and commentary on the news of the day and the complexities of changes in our home state of Utah, the nation and the world.

Has the Deseret News app changed, too?

Yes. Our highly rated iOS and Android apps have been rebuilt from the ground up. The apps now load much faster and incorporate a much-requested feature: you can bookmark articles to read or return to later. More improvements are slated for our app in the coming weeks and months.

Why did the Deseret News decide to change its website?

In a nutshell, we needed better under-the-hood systems and went looking for the best options. The decision to upgrade our back-end systems — the software our journalists use to write their stories and operate our homepage and section pages — presented us with an opportunity to improve how stories are presented and your overall reader experience.

What’s new on the Deseret News comment boards?

Some of our most loyal readers are also our most frequent commenters and readers of comments. We’re grateful that their passion for news and community brings them to our pages often, where we strive to facilitate a forum for civil dialogue.

Improvements to our comment system include:

  • Threaded comments, meaning that you can (finally) reply directly to another person’s comment.
  • A higher maximum character count of up to 2,000 per comment.
  • No limit to the number of comments a person can post on a single story — as long as the comments are civil and constructive.
  • Instant posting for comments that meet minimum requirements for tone and civility; moderators will still review all comments, paying special attention to those that are flagged by our system or other readers.
  • The ability for moderators to ban, temporarily or permanently, users who do not follow our revised community guidelines.

Among the many other new features, my favorite is the addition of a “Respect” button. Instead of just liking a comment you agree with, you can choose to respect a comment that is well-articulated, even if you may not agree with its substance. Studies from the University of Texas have shown that this feature alone encourages more thoughtful dialogue.

What can you tell us about the new Deseret News logo?

Hey, thanks for asking.

When the first edition of the Deseret News was printed on a wrought-iron hand press on June 15, 1850, it heralded an era of ongoing emigration, growth and excitement in the valleys of the fledgling Deseret Territory. In the ensuing 169 years, as the time of delivery, size of the printed paper and methods of publishing have all evolved, the name of the Deseret News has undergone several changes, too: Deseret Evening News, Deseret Morning News, The Deseret News and Deseret News, among others.

First edition of the Deseret News from June 15, 1850.
First edition of the Deseret News from June 15, 1850.

The new Deseret News logo embodies our respect for the past and our ambition to lean into the future. The first Deseret News logo, or nameplate, was forged from a Didot-inspired typeface, which is typified by a combination of thick and thin strokes. The letters in the new nameplate, similarly inspired by the Didot typeface, are connected; the fluid motion of the letters signifies to us the speed at which news travels in our increasingly digital society.

The new Deseret News logo.
The new Deseret News logo, introduced online on August 13, 2019.

We’ve also brought back another element from the original nameplate: a period at the end of the name. The period was a mainstay in the Deseret News nameplate for its first 100 years. Indeed, most newspapers in the United States used the period in their nameplates in the 1800s and well into the 1900s. The New York Times used one until 1967 — and The Wall Street Journal is among the newspapers still using one today.

For now, we’re not changing the nameplate we use in the daily newspaper. That will retain the current Deseret News logo, which dates back to the 1990s.

How can I share my feedback about the new Deseret News website?

Despite all the work we’ve done, we know we haven’t gotten everything right. We’d love to hear what you like and what you think we still need to improve. Please leave a comment (using our new comments system) below or send us an email.

New frontiers

Thank you for choosing to make the Deseret News part of your media diet. We know changes to websites can be hard to adjust to, but we think the tradeoffs in terms of speed and a better mobile experience for you will be worth it.

We look forward to continuing our efforts to pioneer territory on Deseret.com through great reporting and context on the news of the day and how it affects our lives, our state and the world.