Weekly Wide Web

The Politics of a Redesign

I couldn't possibly pretend to understand what goes on behind the scenes at the Arizona Daily Star—I don't know that many people who work there, and I imagine the machinations at a paper that size are wildly different than the general simplicity of things around here—but someone should get a scolding over there for the recent redesign of their homepage.

I guess the new bluer color scheme is something, but they've somehow managed to make an already unfriendly website even worse.

The issue I've always had with the Star's site is that it can be difficult to actually find news stories you might be looking for. I generally read the Political Notebook on Sundays, but most weeks, I have to engage the site's search function to actually find it. With the new setup, the Star has managed to remove any context of what's filler and what's actually original content. Instead, there's a bar down the center with stories jammed together, and a carousel of highlighted articles with photos alongside, but it's just a mess of stuff that probably appears on every Lee Enterprises page: slideshows (few of which are related to Arizona), videos (Oprah's graduation advice!) and a bunch of ads.

If the Star is really going to go to a pay wall, the people in charge there should stop making it as difficult as possible to find news worth paying for.

The week on The Range

We tried to figure out whether we should read less, but better; patted ourselves on the back for winning Arizona Press Club awards; shared the Sierra Club's frustration with the Arizona Legislature; wondered if Ken Bennett might have something better to do than chase birther rumors; followed the back and forth between Luis Alberto Urrea and the Tucson Unified School District; watched the battle over voter databases within the Arizona Democratic Party; and discussed the highlights of the week's political events with Carolyn Cox and Jeff Rogers on Arizona Illustrated's Political Roundtable, with your host, Jim Nintzel.

We shrugged our shoulders as the La Salsa in Main Gate Square closed; enjoyed Mexico City Kitchen's food while puzzling over their use of the English language; drank beer and ate crepes at Dragoon Brewing; felt existential foodie angst over the local-food movement; and rallied behind one man and his quest to really have all he could eat.

We watched a video of one circle going in front of a glowing circle that was apparently an eclipse or something; watched James Bond do some Bond-like stuff in a trailer for Skyfall; tried to get you to DTMFA; talked to Ann Curless of legendary freestyle group Exposé; welcomed the Shondies back to town; made plans to catch the Tucson Padres while they're at home, and suggested you catch a FC Tucson game; let a reader have his/her moment in the sun with a recaptioned version of Random Shots; shared the story of medical-marijuana-user and New York Supreme Court Justice Gustin Reichbach; wished Taj Mahal a happy birthday and said goodbye to Chuck Brown; made our own scratch-off tickets; talked about Fifty Shades of Grey on KFMA; cursed our television as Dane Cook plans to assault our eyes on NBC; and tried to figure out why we enjoyed an article about Justin Bieber.

Comment of the week

"I have been to the Vail Steak House Cafe and Diner lots of times. The food is always good, and the owners and servers are always friendly. It is one of the few places I can take my entire family without breaking the bank."

TucsonWeekly.com commenter "AZ Mom" disagreed with last week's restaurant review ("Mediocre Meat," Chow, May 17).

Best of WWW

The clock is ticking for you to get your votes in for the Best of Tucson® and the first round of the Tucson Area Music Awards (aka TAMMIES), with the deadline for both right around the corner—on Wednesday, May 30, at 11:59 p.m. If you don't participate, you lose your right to complain about the results.

While it can be amusing to hear the grumbling of Tucsonans about which jewelry store is picked as the best, we actually welcome as much input as we can get in this process ... hopefully so both features actually reflect the crowd-think of the city in which we live. Get online before Thursday morning, and let us know the best before it's too late.

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