Exploring the possibilities: An update from Answers’ CEO.

After Answers.com made changes to its homepage, voices were raised, opinions were shared and feedback was heard. The following is a special blog post written by Bob Rosenschein, Founder and CEO of Answers Corp and all around answers-enthusiast:

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We value your feedback and critique of the new Answers.com design, so let me share some background with you.

Since 2005, we’ve been investing in crafting Answers.com® as the world’s best encyclodictionalmanacapedia™. We’ve licensed hundreds of editorial reference titles from top publishers, including Houghton-Mifflin, Oxford University Press, Gale, Britannica, McGraw-Hill, Columbia University, MarketWatch, AccuWeather, Wikipedia, and many others.

But we also wanted to add a personal touch. People sometimes want answers beyond reference entries, so in 2007 we added WikiAnswers.com™, which is a Q&A community based on the wiki concept: anyone can add to it, anyone can edit it. The result is a large and growing database of user-generated questions and answers. It is Answers.com’s sister site.

So here are a few thoughts on what we’re trying to accomplish with the new layout:

  • Overall. Connect reference Answers.com and WikiAnswers.com better. Make them visually more similar – yes – with bright colors and a blatant box to type in your queries. It also means more cross-links between them. We think users of both sites will be enriched if they know about the other.
  • Narrower right column. On Answers.com, we previously had a wide right column, showing several display advertisements in it. The new design has more white space and a narrower right column, with only one display ad. This serves users better by reserving more room for reference content.
  • Page navigation. You’ll notice Page Contents on the left hand side of every Answers.com topic page. The idea is to make it easy to see and jump to the various reference sources on each page, without having to scroll down.
  • Home page. What were we thinking when we took off Today’s Quote, Birthdays and Histories?! We heard you – and promptly put them back. You may have noticed that we removed an advertisement from our home page, and also put a list of our Reference Categories towards the bottom of the page.

This is a work in progress, so keep those cards, letters, and posts coming. We want your feedback.

3 thoughts on “Exploring the possibilities: An update from Answers’ CEO.”

  1. The new layout is more vital, hence more appealing but I am sorry to say it lacks the sophistication of the former, which is a downside, as answers.com is meant to be a “encyclodictionalmanacapedia” in the first place.

    What I will bring up next may sound insignificant, but it is indeed troubling for someone who had been using answers.com for more than 3 years: When I conduct a search and get to a new page, the cursor remains in the search box, therefore the pagedown button is inactive. It might do good to modify this so that pagedown works right away, without requiring an extra click on somewhere on the page.
    As a final word, I should say I adore answers.com. Label it an insincere remark if you will, but I can’t imagine a web experience without it.

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  2. Im happy with the new design, and pleased to see today in history and birthdays back (my old work’s coffee break game was to guess)….

    But please bring back word of the day!

    One suggestion would be a somewhat customisable homepage (think google) so that people could select what they wanted to be on their home page.

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  3. Thank you for sharing your thoughts and explaining the new advantages of the new Answers.com page. I love the new layout, but I miss the possibilities on the right to search through images (which I used very very often), news etc…When talking about news at the beginning of the Highlights the top news were published as well. Do you considering putting those back. It’s useful to read them at the beginning of the day as well.
    KEEP ON THE GOOD WORK!
    Alex

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