Welcome to the New Columbus Underground!
Note: Our messageboard is taking a bit longer than expected to import and will be back online shortly! The import is also slowing the server down, so expect some slower-than-normal load times today.
Hello there! Notice anything different about us today?
That’s right, we’ve relaunched with a brand new site that has a new look and some cool new features! We’re very excited to unveil what the new CU has to offer, and even more excited for additional new features that will continue to be added throughout 2014 and beyond. We encourage you to explore the new site in full, but here’s a quick summary of the biggest new features that you’ll find today:
The New Look
The most obvious change is the new logo, new brand and new look. It’s been five years since our last refresh, and we wanted to move forward with a clean and simple logo that will be easily recognizable and identifiable. The “CU” nickname has become very commonly used by our readers, so our new brand was built by our friends at Origo Branding to create an iconic new symbol that represents our independent and fun-yet-professional voice.
Is the new homepage of CU busy? Heck yes it is, and so are we in bringing you the latest breaking news, weekly features and other unique content that you’ve come to expect from CU over the past 13 years. Our redesigned magazine-style homepage is laid out to provide you with portals into the diverse topics that we cover, from downtown development to the latest restaurant reviews, to live music coverage, to local artist profiles and much, much more. Once you dive in to an individual story or discussion, you’ll find a streamlined page format that gets straight to the point: delivering content and sparking engaging conversations.
The biggest driver to this latest update of CU was the need to have a responsive design. Our sleek new responsive design was built to address that need, and allows CU to scale to fit any browser size or device, including tablets and phones. With over 40% of our 2 million annual unique visitors using CU from tablets and mobile devices, it’s high time we made the shift to provide an optimal and unified experience for all types of visitors. The responsive design applies across our news articles, event calendar, and messageboard content, making everything easier to use for everyone.
New Event Calendar
One of our favorite new features that you’ll find launching on CU today is our new event calendar system. You’ll notice immediately that it’s much more robust and feature-rich than our prior event listings that were tied to our messageboard system. Events can be sorted and searched by categories and tags, and are ordered by default in chronological order, so you can easily find things to do today, tomorrow or during the upcoming weekend. You can also export calendar listings to iCal or Google Calendar for easy reminders on upcoming events. Our event system is also still user-driven, which means anyone can log in and publish event listings for free to share them with our readers.
Over the coming weeks you’ll start to notice more types of content on Columbus Underground as we continue to expand into new topics that our readers tell us are important and interesting to them. This includes more lifestyle content, more political and civic news coverage, more opinion columns from community voices, and a few other surprises that will roll out soon.
Give us some feedback!
While we’ve spent months testing and refining our new site in a development environment, we know that it’s practically impossible to squish every bug and fix every glitch in advance. So if you notice anything acting funky, let us know! Send us your errors or issues via email to [email protected].
This project wouldn’t have been possible by our friends and partners at Origo Branding, a talented creative firm located right around the corner from the CU offices in Downtown Columbus. Our collaboration with Alessandro, Tommaso, Jed, Sarah, Diana and the rest of their team allowed us to mix our own vision with their fresh ideas to create a new experience for CU readers that will best serve our needs as a growing independent local business, as well as the needs of our audience, our advertisers, and supporters. So thanks again to everyone involved in this project, as we couldn’t have done it without you!
And again, welcome to the new CU! We’re excited to continue to share Our City Online with you!