Gazette website wins North American awards
By: Stu Salkeld
| Posted: Saturday, Dec 21, 2013 06:00 am
St. Albert Gazette: www.stalbertgazette.com
Great West Newspapers:
The St. Albert Gazette website has won several awards from a North American media association.
The Local Media Association awarded the Gazette second place in the category of Best Overall Local News Site, third place in Best Layout and Design (desktop/mobile) and honourable mention in Best Community Website (all classes).
The Gazette’s website is only one of more than two dozen that are handled by the Great West Newspapers’ IT department. Multimedia creative strategist Dana Kanso said she and contractor Kara Noreika, who works out of Tampa, Fla., handle most of the work under the guidance of IT manager Barry Dutchak.
Noreika does a lot of code writing and a lot of the back-end work, while Kanso handles most of the more artistic design jobs, along with the day-to-day troubleshooting work.
Kanso said she was very excited to learn about the three awards.
“We were very happy, very proud and we felt accomplished because we’ve been working very hard,” she said Thursday.
Kanso said lots of factors go into an award-winning website, such as user experience, design functionality and feedback from users. She said the Gazette’s website has recently been improved.
“One of the biggest things was speed,” she said. “We’re proud to say (Great West sites) are the fastest news sites in Alberta.”
Great West CEO Duff Jamison was pleased.
“We have a great team of people at the Gazette and throughout Great West Newspapers. It's very rewarding to see our digital team honoured for its work on both our web and mobile offerings. Dana Kanso has led that group with her strong design skills and thorough knowledge of digital communications,” Jamison said.
Kanso said one of the main aims of the Gazette website is to keep users moving.
“We want everything to be, maximum, two clicks away,” she said.
Kanso said working on a busy website like the Gazette’s has plenty of positive parts.
“There’s a lot of good parts but what I enjoy is reaching people in many different types of media,” she said.
“I personally enjoy the creative part.”