afaqs! news bureau
Digital adopts a tiled look

The redesign comes almost after four years of the portal's much criticised minimalist homepage look adopted in 2009. has launched its latest avatar featuring a new homepage that sports a tiled interface. The redesign comes almost after four years of the portal's much criticised minimalist homepage look that it adopted in 2009.

According to the company, the new Rediff homepage is an assortment of content and services using the contemporary grid layout that is visually rich. Each unit of the grid features the latest information, photographs and videos, giving it a more interactive and image-friendly appearance.

Featuring 30 headlines, the new homepage offers a wide assortment of relevant news items from across sections like news and politics, business, movies, get ahead, cricket and sports. Rediff's e-commerce platform also gets a large footprint on the homepage. adopts a tiled look adopts a tiled look
Speaking to afaqs!, Ajit Balakrishnan, chairman and CEO, says that the company had opened the new home page to all its users on April 29. "All of last week, we exposed it to a random sample of 10 per cent of our users to test various elements in it. The Indian internet user base is quickly moving to consume our services on various types of mobile devices, whether at home or on the go. As a result, this transition required us to take a fresh and innovative view of how our users are likely to interact with our portal. Our new tiled interface is a step towards making it easy for a rapidly growing segment of users who access our website from tablet like touch screen devices," says Balakrishnan.

According to Balakrishnan, the company has swung from a minimalist look to a visual-dominated one keeping in mind the swing of users from the PC to visually rich tablets and smartphones. "The way our designers have used visuals is not merely to illustrate a story but often to tell the story itself like a headline," he adds.

The company states this new design is based on user feedback and provides a seamless experience on personal computers and laptops as well as touchscreen handheld devices like tablets and smartphones.

Though Balakrishnan didn't specify any changes in advertising rates for the Rediff homepage, if experts are to be believed, Rediff's financial performance has been affected because of its decision to remove all advertisements from its home page in 2009.

Although it had affected revenue in the short term, the firm expected that the uncluttered home page would result in an improvement in customer experience and, hence, an increase in the number of unique users on its website. It, thus, increased spends on brand building activities. Balakrishnan did not reveal whether the company plans to launch a media campaign to highlight the new homepage.

The portal has recently been in bad news regarding activist Kavita Krishnan facing abuses directed at her during a chat organised and moderated by the website. The abuses were directed in the form of comments on the website.

Speaking about new measures taken for restricting such comments to appear online, Balakrishnan states that learning from this, the company is now implementing a two-factor authentication system that will prevent this type of misuse of the freedom and anonymity of the internet.

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