Content Redesign

This is kind of late but you will have to excuse me, I have a lot of catching up to do. By now many of you have already seen the new and formed your impressions of it. I decided to make this my first post because I keep getting emails for them about their redesign (probably apart of an ongoing campaign). My first impression…I like it. It is completely different from their previous site and there is less of a disconnect between their printed publication and their web publication. Although it is about 100% better then their previous site visually there is still so much clutter on the page. The use of 4 columns is…well…distracting, I am not sure where to look, the content that is there feels overwhelming and now I want to leave for fear I won’t be able to find what I need. Overall, I think the design is good, it could be cleaner but I think that it is a huge improvement. My only gripe is the layout and the presentation of content, presenting their internal promotions (right) embedded in the content to free up more space and decreasing the number of columns. What do you think is this Black Web 2.0?



Markus says:

BE has come a long way, but I believe there’s more that needs to be done. The first thing is cleaner urls. As you all know the most important aspect of Web 2.0 is sharing (content, comments, etc..). One of the best ways to share content is through search engines optimization and that can be easily acquired through cleaner urls. The next thing I would like to see is the ability to easily embed video from the Media Center into other web pages. What better way to get your information out than through allowing other sites to share it. And lastly I believe it would help to open up their RSS a bit. Currently all I get from BE RSS is the title. They’ve gotta give users more than that.


I also forgot to mention, I first came across your site last week, when I noticed your linked to me. I’m so happy you’re doing this. I’ve wanted to do something like this for a long time, but either I often don’t have the time, or because I’ve worked with some of the companies — it might not be ethical for me to discuss. But then again, who knows — when I see something that works or doesn’t work — I feel the need to discuss.

I started a post about your site last week that I haven’t yet published. Expect it soon though.


angela says:

Hi Lynne,

First I would like to thank you for posting! You and I are on the same page totally regarding the design aesthetics and social media integration of African-American sites, this is the main reason why I decided to start this blog. Although there is a long way to go I am so excited about the latest batch of black websites to under go redesigns.

I actually read your blog religiously so I am familiar with your post, I am a little late with my site so there is a lot of ground for me to cover to catch-up but I will be positing regarding As far as the top 3 sites being less Web 2.0 then BlackEnterprise, I agree! BET has some nice features like the OnBlast video player but currently that is completely disjointed from their homepage design. I am not sure if they are currently going through a redesign and this new look of the OnBlast video player aligns with that but there is definitely a disconnect. Other then Social Bookmarking, Blogs, and Forums I don’t think BlackVoices even comes close to integrating Web 2.0. I am disappointed that they send users to their forums to comment on articles versus allowing comments directly on article pages similar to what has done. I was actually quite impressed with AllHipHop’s redesign and think they did an excellent job. I also like how Illseed has a presence on MySpace and users can comment directly to his posts.


I think this new site makes huge improvements over what they used to have and is a move closer to Web 2.0 than many other African-American sites. As a Web 2.0 enthusiast I’m often dismayed by the lack of Web 2.0 design aesthetics and social media integration that African-American sites are using. But recently I posted about how BE,, and Essence are moving closer to that than any other African-American site. 3 of the top African-American sites are Allhiphop, BET, and BlackVoices, and I strongly believe that what BlackEnterprise is doing is much more conjoined and Web 2.0 than any of those type sites.

angela says:

1) Great use of user interactivity such as: ability to comment on article pages, email to a friend, DIGG integrate.
Agree, point taken.
2) Great upsell of media center housing related multimedia content. Agree, point taken.
3) Clean and easy to use top navigational structure. Disagree. Clean yes, easy to use not so much, accessing parts of the navigation even when the browser is maximized is difficult for the user because of the horizontal navigation. Just for an example, hover over Small Business or BE Lists, say you would like to click one of the links farthest away from Small Business or BE Lists, because the sub navigation list is so long users can easily hover over another active area and trigger that cause you to back track and start over. This happened to me more then once on this site and in general this is why I don’t really like to use dropdown menus. Trying to get to BE 100’s under BE Lists from the main nav a user has to cross over Career, Wealth, and Small Business just to get to that link in the subnav.
I do, however, agree that the below the fold things begin to go downhill design-wise.
Yes, totally agree, that tends to happen on many sites.
Thank you for posting!

Bianca Prade says:

BE’s new website is BlackWeb 2.0 and here’s why…

1) Great use of user interactivity such as: ability to comment on article pages, email to a friend, DIGG integrate.
2) Great upsell of media center housing related multimedia content.
3) Clean and easy to use top navigational structure.

I do, however, agree that the below the fold things begin to go downhill design-wise.

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