More than 60 per cent of the 790
respondents to last week’s caycompass.com online poll either like or love the
redesign of the Cayman Free Press website,
which was launched 19 January.
The new website got baptism under
fire, explained Cayman Free Press IT
Systems and Web Manager Bronwyn Robbins.
“It was launched last Tuesday
amidst the chaos caused by the earthquake that sent tremors through Grand Cayman,” she said. “In the first week, we had some
36,930 unique visitors and averaged 18,000 visitors per day. Our most read
story told about Cayman’s earthquake experience and was viewed more than 25,000
For the most part, the new website
is a hit with readers. Almost a third of the respondents to the online poll
(253 people or 32 per cent) said they loved it.
“Finally, a professional Cayman Islands website,” said one person. “Thank you!”
“Looks great! It was long overdue for a
facelift. Great work.” said another respondent.
“I really do like the website,” said another
person. “It’s a fresh change and looks very professional.”
Ms Robbins said part of goal of the
website redesign was to give it a refreshed look and feel and a modern layout.
“We spent many months on development,
which included gathering reader and staff suggestions on improving the site,”
she said. “Our development is ongoing and has included a usability study
conducted by an independent firm in the United States, whose customers
include MSN, CNNMoney.com and 20th Century Fox.”
Not all of the poll respondents
loved the new website, but another large segment – 223 people or 28.23 per cent
– said they liked it.
“I certainly like it a lot better
than the previous one, which I really did not like at all,” said one person.
“It’s a definite improvement,” said
“It looks more like a newspaper,”
said someone else.
“I like it and will love it; I’m
just not used to it yet,” said another person.
Another 143 people (18.1 per cent)
thought the new website was “okay”.
“It’s too cluttered,” said one
“It’s not as easy to find what I
want,” said someone else. “The old website had things very plainly labelled.”
“Redo this poll in a month or so to
see if opinion changes,” said another person. “On the whole, it seems neither
better or worse. Which is something at least. Many website redesigns are
downgrades in my experience.”
“The new one is good, but I liked
the old one,” said another respondent.
Ms Robbins acknowledged that the
new website would take getting used to for some people and that not everyone
would be pleased.
“But we tried to base the redesign
on what the majority of people wanted,” she said.
One hundred seventy-one people
(21.65 per cent) said they did not like the new website.
“I prefer the old one,” said one
person. “This one is too complicated.”
“The old one was a lot easier to
read and appealing,” said someone else. “It was more eye-catching and colourful
and not as formally structured.”
“Where is the currency converter?” asked someone.
“I can’t find Sudoku,” said someone
Ms Robbins admitted there were some
hiccups in launching the redesign, such as making the Sudoko puzzle downloadable
and putting the handy currency converter on the site. She said some things had already been
corrected while other things would be corrected soon.
Reader feedback has played a key
role in improving the site since its launch, Ms Robbins said.
“We’ve increased the font size of
the front page based on the feedback we’ve received,” she said.
A number of readers have also asked
about having the classified ads on line.
“The company knows that is
something readers want,” said Ms Robbins. “It is coming.”
One thing that became apparent in
the poll results was that there are a large number of people overseas who visit
the Cayman Free Press website frequently.
“I love the new Compass website,”
said one person. “I live in the Bahamas
and I’ve been coming to Cayman every year since 1986. I am glad I can keep up with what is going on