Some of the more eagle-eyed readers will have noticed a few subtle changes to the look of the Prolific North website over the past few days.

And we can confirm: we have indeed undergone our first website design upgrade since launching in January 2013.

The changes, implemented by our long-standing web agency OH Digital, are intended to improve both the reading and the usability experience for our readers.

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They’re also meant to reflect both the breadth of the site in terms of content and the way in which our readers are consuming it.

So editorial remains very much at the heart of what we do, and our new home page is now designed to facilitate a more straightforward reading experience, with a featured area at the top – replacing the carousel that was entirely generated chronologically – highlighting the day’s key or most interesting stories. This is similarly reflected on our responsive mobile site.

The stream of news below the featured area enables the reader to easily catch up with the latest content while also keeping abreast of the most significant or engaging recent stories by filtering the selection via the “most popular” or “most commented” tabs.

When viewing on desktop, the sidebar presents an overview of the rest of the content that is now such a part of the Prolific North offer: our jobs board, latest events, exclusive research reports, and features.

On the posts themselves, we have looked to make our imagery stronger, particularly to present a better platform for some of the superb creative often associated with stories.

A new “Read more” box allows readers to delve deeper into the background of a particular post, or a story closely associated with it.

Imagery forms a stronger part of the new site

Imagery forms a stronger part of the new site

We’ll continue to evolve the changes as necessary, but hope the improvements represent a change for the better for what is now the best-read and most engaged publication – on or offline – addressing the interests and needs of creative industries, marketing and media folk in the North of England.

The site is now read by over 56,000 unique visitors a month, with a Twitter community of over 33,000 (across three Twitter accounts) and over 19,300 newsletter subscribers.

This year has already seen the sell-out staging of the Prolific North Awards and the Northern Digital Awards, with the Northern Marketing Awards set to be another success next month.

And over 40 companies have already signed up for our inaugural exhibition, ProlificNorthLive, which is shaping up to be the largest ever single gathering of senior creative, media and marketing industries personnel outside London.