–From Karla Vallance:

Ran across this from a year ago, actually, but I still think it holds true — was written about what was then the NYTimes upcoming redesign:

One basic issue is how newspapers should handle the new readers that blogs and other sources direct to their sites. The New York Times on the Web, for example, is about to embark on a site-wide redesign, driven partially by the new ways people reach online news.

“We haven’t redesigned the site in more than three years,” says Leonard Apcar, the site’s editor in chief. “In that time there have been a lot of changes in the way people come to The New York Times on the Web. For instance, a good percentage of our readers are not seeing the homepage; they are coming in because of search engines or RSS feeds, any number of avenues ? our own e-mails, other links. They’re coming in to an article page. Once they get to an article page, we need to redesign how else you engage the site and travel through it.”

Most newspaper Web sites are currently designed to reflect the paper itself, with sections for national news, metro, sports, business, and the like, each with its own front page. “Section fronts are very much a newspaper paradigm,” says Doug Feaver, the soon-to-retire executive editor of washingtonpost.com, and he argues that it’s not a very effective way of organizing the site. Washingtonpost.com isn’t looking at a total redesign, but they’re planning smaller navigational and appearance changes, he says, acknowledging that things like “search-engine preparation” and “a good link off the home page” are important to moving traffic through the site.