Relaunch of woz.ch
Relaunch of woz.ch, the website of WOZ Die Wochenzeitung, a left-wing, cooperative weekly newspaper, with all articles, a shop, and much more.
Case descriptionRelaunch of woz.ch, the website of WOZ – Die Wochenzeitung, a Zurich-based self-organized left-wing cooperative newspaper. The website includes all the contents of the weekly newspaper of both current and past issues and presents the cooperative itself. Furthermore, the website contains a shop, small ads, and fundraising features. The UX of the subscription order was also important to us; we invested a lot of work in it, including external testing with a UX expert, which took place remotely due to the pandemic.
As a left-wing newspaper, WOZ Die Wochenzeitung stands for equal rights and a strong do-it-yourself attitude based on deeply rooted collectivism. Those values were key to our project: Accessibility for the visually impaired as a main goal helped us to get a clear design and code. DIY carried us through the complex process of rebuilding the means of production (CMS) and the means of publication according to state-of-the-art UX. All the code was developed in-house by our IT team.
Case goals and resultsTwo main goals were decisive factors for the relaunch of the website: lifting its structure to the latest Drupal version and its design to the current state of user experience. In the lifetime of the past website, media consumption has shifted to mobile devices, which was taken into account with a mobile-first design approach. The goal of the new front page was to provide an inviting, intriguing, and very varied overview of the contents of the current issue. In addition, by providing further content such as related articles and links, the user should be encouraged to stay longer on the page.
For our project, we had the privilege of using an external accessibility consultant - his expertise enabled us to think about the website in barrier-free terms right from the start. We pioneered this perspective as a swiss newspaper and have since been asked by other media how to approach such a process. As a supplier of information relevant to democracy, we thus increase the level of participation for people with visual impairments.
ChallengesOne of the challenges was text migration: As a newspaper, we heavily rely on our past journalistic work. We had to migrate several tens of thousands of articles from the old website – without letting the past structure get in our way when remodeling the design of the new website.
Privacy is very important to us. Therefore, we built the website with the least degree of third-party tracking possible and followed the privacy-by-design approach. We don’t collect personal data and selling our readers’ data is not part of our business model. That’s quite unusual for the media business overall.
The demand to enable an accessible design required restructuring and rearrangement of the standard structure of the code in many places. The website and its content had to be logically comprehensible to screen readers while maintaining the desired visual appearance.
Community contributionsThe website was coded entirely in-house. Our developers are maintaining around 10 Drupal modules, including «Tone», a module that provides a CSP-conform way of adding accent color on article content, and «Feeds XSLT Pipeline Parser», which allows the import from InDesign content directly. Also, they contributed various core patches to the Drupal codebase.
We are very happy to be part of the Drupal community and highly appreciate its openness in Switzerland and internationally. A major reason we were able to successfully rebuild our site is that countless individuals and agencies were kind enough to share their code and expertise.
We strive to minimize the resources needed to operate our website, both in the frontend and the backend. Our code base doesn't impose any special hosting requirements.