Welcome to your new, souped-up Crikey! We’ve made some changes around here – a lot of changes, actually. Don’t worry, our signature brand of smart, cheeky and hard-hitting journalism isn’t going anywhere. You’ll still find incisive, insightful analysis from politics editor Bernard Keane, an on-the-ground look at the craziness of the US election from correspondent-at-large Guy Rundle, the best media coverage in the business and of course tips, rumours, behind-the-scenes machinations, gossip and the occasional scurrilous accusation or two. But it’s all much easier to read, search, comment on, interact with and enjoy. And reading Crikey on your phone is the easiest it’s ever been, so go ahead: take us on with you on your commute, into that board meeting, even on the toilet. We won’t tell.
And as a special gift to you, we have made all of our content, which has always been locked up tightly behind our notoriously hard paywall, completely free for one whole week. Until Tuesday, April 26, absolutely everyone can explore and read 16 years of Crikey’s archives and up-to-the-minute hard-hitting news and analysis. Have a look around, explore our new site and comment on and share anything and everything that takes your fancy. When you’re sure you love it (and we know you will), you can subscribe here in just a few seconds. It’s only $15.90, and with a monthly subscription you can cancel anytime – though we know you’ll never want to. Or you can keep it free for three more weeks with a free trial subscription. We’ve made it super easy to take out a free trial to Crikey – no credit card necessary. Enjoy this once-in-a-decade opportunity to enjoy Crikey absolutely free for a week – but get in quickly, because our paywall comes back April 26. And when that happens, you’ll definitely want our unique journalism delivered straight to your inbox every single weekday.
— Cassidy Knowlton, Crikey Editor
Goodbye mobile switcher, hello responsive site
A note from product:
One of the reasons I joined Private Media was because of its beating heart, Crikey. Intuitively I knew there was work that needed to be done before we could even have the conversations about what we might want to do to the site. I still have the mobile wireframes I sketched in my second week here, but the opportunity to really start re-imagining Crikey didn’t come until we fully understood the depths of what we had inherited, and just how bespoke and built to specification Crikey was. The site had served our editorial team well, but from a product point of view, we were ready to re-conceive all the interdependent technological “bits and pieces” that would help Crikey achieve a clean, seamlessly functioning news media site with deep back content and a paywall model while still honouring Crikey’s attitude. We wanted to create a consistent, delightful user experience, and so this is the Crikey we built for you.
We’re using the words “souped-up” to describe the new Crikey because it is more efficient and powerful. But keep in mind we’re also in beta mode, which means all your feedback is a part of the process. Keep it coming over at [email protected].
The roadmap to the new Crikey was big and included a lot of back of house overhauls that will remain imperceptible to you, but that all now work together to enable the ease with which you will interact with Crikey from today onwards. The results of this work could not be more gratifying, primarily because Crikey will now respond beautifully to all your devices. You will be able to really read Crikey: devour Crikey on your morning commute, amused by the sardonic prose while simultaneously enamoured by the beautiful type and immersive experience. But maybe that’s just me. Quite frankly, you will be surprised you can now subscribe and sign in in fewer than 10 steps.
We had a lot of data and user feedback to work with, but none of this would have been possible without the right team, the all-too-human elements of tech; we needed the right combination of forces to tackle a couple of major items in preparation for an achievable roadmap to relaunch. A lot of this early back end work owes thanks to our in-house senior developer, Moogambigai Amudhabalan, who shared my frustrations with the long history of trying to unravel a series of bespoke code rather than building anything new of our own, and the enormous limitations of an ageing infrastructure. We wanted to approach old problems in new ways and try to take everything back to an essential base. The complexities of this project signified our biggest challenge yet. And we couldn’t have done it alone.
To our co-creators, we salute your shared belief in Crikey’s brand of journalism, and that we could radically change how we read and interact with this digitally native product. For our younger audiences, I know it might be hard for you to believe, but Crikey’s always been online only, it’s just that now it will be more in line with the way you find, use and share information.
We’re small as Crikey’s independence suggests, but this has been an experience in creating a network of relationships with similarly minded people who are smart and talented, and good at making things happen. This process has been trying, emotional even, and beyond exciting — a privilege.
We have very clearly had some beautification work done. Our co-creators at Studio Thick were so synchronised on this project — thank you in particular to Adam Morris, Ben Shaw, Damon O’Sullivan, Jacob Zinman-Jeanes, Kelsey Schwenk and Tom Bredin-Gray.
Jacob: your approach to design was such a great fit for this project, and your fidelity to the Crikey spirit was reflected so well in every response to brief.
Tom: your competence, calm and clean code is altogether wonderful to be around.
Ben: you’ve been a smart and upbeat producer, rare among those who need to keep the ship on track, on time and on budget.
Jacob explains why he chose to pair Alright Sans and Harriet Text:
An appropriate typeface will give us a look that is uniquely ownable and recognisable. Alright Sans is punchy, bold and cheeky. It ticks the Crikey boxes. It’s similar to the Crikey brand mark typeface, so it blends well with this existing aspect of the brand. Next to Alright Sans, Harriet Text (a serif typeface from the same foundry) pairs nicely. It’s not too classical, nor too bookish. It has a tall x-height (which ensures readability on screen and smaller sizes) and is custom hinted for screens, so it will read well on all screen sizes.
After we made the decision to move away from green as a core Crikey link and wayfinding colour, an appropriately named colour palette, French revolution, was introduced. You will now find a bold core palette of red, black and white, with a supporting secondary palette of blues and greys.
In a nod to our recent historical roots, we’ve maintained our Crikey logo, but you’ll notice it now stands alone without the tagline that was previously permanently attached to it. Given our history, we all know what Crikey stands for, we don’t need to constantly remind you — the journalism does that with each edition of the Insider.
To Amelia Ericksen and Jemma McMahon, our in-house designers: your work over the years has continuously enhanced all aspects of Crikey’s design, and your work extending the tone we set for this project is on point. In addition to being a pleasure to work with, thank you for challenging us.
For our long-term, loyal readers, you will feel as elated as we are with the serious reduction in load time, providing you with quicker-than-ever access. Read at your leisure, though — we’re not rushing you.
We extend our thanks to Ben May and his team at The Code Company for our server side migration, and the open heart surgery Ben performs every time he solves some of the bigger problem we’re having. Ben implicitly and explicitly understood that existing solutions were as convoluted as the requirements and the technology once available, full of loops and hacks and about a zillion more queries and requests than we now need to make things respond in a way that makes sense. Ben: though often bemused, you continued with your quick-mindedness, infinite patience and clever, clever approach — thank you.
Free trials and subscriptions
For our new readers, you will find it is now easier than ever to free trial us for 21 days, and you will simply need to confirm your email address — it’s one step to sign in when you do. Just look for one of these signs
Or take up your free trial here.
Making Crikey more readable meant extending the main content container to make it wider, which allows you to focus on what you’re here to do: read. This involved removing all of the clutter and distracting features that had been built in over the years that you won’t find a trace of in the new site. Instead, we’ve made way for nothing but your daily content, created by our Crikey crew and network of bloggers and contributors.
We know how much you value the discussion threads and debates you initiate or contribute to. Over the years, Crikey readers have contributed to approximately 3 million comments across the site, and that’s an important part of our legacy. Access to comments is facilitated by the jump to comments button, they’re nested and they live in a wider container. If you have a subscription, you can now engage in social conversations on and off site with total ease.
Navigation, wayfinding and sharing
You can now navigate and locate content through a compact, single navigation bar and hamburger menu. Just click to drop down for all available sections and other information on the left hand side. This allows you to find a section of interest directly, but also to discover other key sections when you’re deep reading across the site.
If you are logged in, you can now find all the elements of your membership contained in a simple drop down, under “Hello” (and think of Amelia when you do).
A lot of you have asked: where can I find previous editions of Crikey’s Insider on site? The most recent ten editions of Crikey Insider all live here.
Our homepage is made up of blocks, which gives our Crikey crew maximum flexibility to curate the homepage based on the news agenda of the day, which is refreshed daily.
And we’ve placed visual satire in that central spine of things we love and do well. You can also now share our visual satire immediately from the module on the homepage as well as directly from the newsletter and the article.
Features like inline related content on articles gives our team of writers a space to recommend related content, connecting you to other stories on the same area, and providing deeper context.
Some final thanks
To Moogambigai: there are no words for your sheer hard yakka and wicked sense of humour. You have been a constant from the earlier days of enhancements through to today.
Lastly, to Marni, former editor of Crikey, and Cass, current editor of Crikey, thank you for being fearless of the quagmire of knowns and known unknowns of this project and for your support as we blew things up.
We’re now ready to start designing and developing beyond the necessary and the obvious. We are excited to be rolling out editorial tools and frameworks for the ways we can tell stories in the ever changing journalism we do and are yet to to do.
Whether you’re a long-time subscriber or a first-time visitor, we hope the changes we’ve made bring you back often.
Again, we encourage your feedback on website issues, please tell us what you think directly over at: [email protected].
— Nadine Raydan, Head of Product
Are you an advertiser or potential commercial partner who loves our new site as much as we do? Email Jon Burfurd in our sales department to discuss how we can work together.