The New on You Tube


3 of 5 stars
What’s this?

This is a completely genius promotional video for the coming relaunch of featuring the voice — and face! — of their marquee broadcaster Scott Simon experiencing the redesigned site for the first time. There’s nothing revolutionary in these three minutes and six seconds, but the simple, elegant use of their core storytelling strengths combined with the demonstrative power of the screencast format is just really, really smart. It’s a rare example of an ‘old media brand’ doing something genuinely surprising in a new medium.

  1. Hm. How long was Scott Simon host of Weekend Today on NBC? Probably therefore, a good choice to be on camera. And there’s always Michele Norris of All Things Considered, an on-camera correspondent for ABC News for a bunch of years. It’s as interesting for me to see the video people creatively fertilizing radio, along with newspaper reporters moving to TV and…well, you take your employment where you can, right?

  2. Snowflake Seven: Ack good catch. I picked up that link in Twitter from Vivian Schiller, NPR’s CEO (and a former colleague/boss at and she must have been using Facebook to share it, hence the added Facebook ornament at the top of the page and the misleading Facebook URL.

    I’ve gone ahead and replaced it with the straight-up YouTube link because, well, like everything Facebook does, this link-framing trick they use is incredibly annoying and a waste of everyone’s time.

    Facebook, you suck.

  3. NPR is the pinnical of news agencies. Everything they do, they do extremely well. This creative use of a video screencast is par for the course. I believe NPR is one of the very few “traditional” news agencies that is still doing well financially.

  4. Hi, Matthew. I’m one of two senior designers who worked on the redesign. The initial look and feel was done by an outside firm, but we changed a lot of the layout and interaction and made the form functional. Our in-house redesign team is about 25 people. Developers, designers, information architects, editorial producers.

    And that’s all I feel comfortable revealing until the official launch on Monday!

    Now, back to my QA list. We still have a lot to do before launch. 🙂

  5. Well done, NPR. I’m seeing the advantage of pulling the veil off before the formal relaunch: speaks of a trust in and respect for the user.

  6. The site is well-presented and the small movie is a small masterpiece in my opinion. It is thought as a live-showing amateur picture with chaotic movement but it works perfectly. It is obvious for me that some professional help was used here to show everything in such way. It is also an attempt to make the whole presentation more “teen”, if I can use such expression. In other words – to make this more eye-catchy, attractive and dynamic. Splendid job.

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