Fauquier Times



The Fauquier Times, a newspaper first published in 1817, is a leading source of local news through its print edition, digital edition, social media presence, and website. In 2016 the newspaper was purchased by new owners looking to promote the accessibility to local community journalism in Fauquier and Prince William County.

Pagination design implementation by Taylor Dabney and Chris Six

Website Redesign:


Create a modern and responsive website for community-based newspapers Fauquier Times and Prince William Times, that is easy to use on all devices, with a balance of content and advertisements. The website should alight with the newspaper's print edition and emphasize the digital edition, newsletters and donations.

Areas for Improvement:

Over time, the newspaper received consistent feedback about areas for improvement on its website, which aligned with my own findings during research. These areas included:

- Content balance: The website struggled to find a balance between its advertising space and news articles, in a way that would satisfy both advertisers and readers.

- Subscription: The process was confusing for users, especially for those wanting access to the digital edition.

- Site flow:  Navigation was not intuitive. Internal and external users had a difficult time finding information.

- Organization: The sections of the website were not clearly distinguished, making it difficult for users to find the news categories they are interested in.


I gathered user insights by conducting internal stakeholder interviews, which helped us identify top problem areas on the website mentioned above. This feedback helped me prioritize and address the most critical issues to improve user experience.

Key findings:


After conducting my analysis and user research, it became clear there was a need for a major overhaul in the navigation of the website. As I interviewed internal users, I found out that even they were having trouble locating forms and submitting events, which was contributing to the frustration our customers were calling in for support. The website was supposed to make the various processes more efficient for employees, and it was not doing its job. To fix this, I decided to separate the service and news categories into two distinct navigation bars. Additionally, I found that visitors need clear explanations of what they can do on the website, like understanding the different options for advertising or payment alternatives for subscribers. By improving the information architecture the website was finally able to function as it was meant to for the newspaper's customers and employees.

Key features needed:

  • Clear navigation to help users easily distinguish between news categories and services offered.
  • Clear calls to action that guide visitors to their desired actions.
  • Easier subscription process for subscribers.
  • Straightforward access to media kits and contact information for advertisers.
  • Improved advertising using DFP Google Ad Manager.

Benefits of these changes:

- More accurate reporting for advertisers through the implementation of DFP Google Ad Manager and a more effective layout.

- Users are able to locate relevant information that lines up with the reason for their visit.

- Employees are able to work more efficiently now that they spend less time answering customer questions.


After research, conducting interviews and analyzing the needs of users versus the needs of the newspaper I took to several blank pieces of paper and began to roughly sketch out how I felt the website could be more efficiently organized. It was really important for the redesign to be updated and on brand like the print publication. I then took my sketches and built a semi-functional prototype of the website using Adobe XD. I presented the prototype to the art department and the publisher where it was further refined and then approved.

We then handed off the design to TownNews. They came back with the first proof after a few weeks. I was extremely excited to see how close the build was to the prototype. During the few rounds of proof , I would screenshot the in-progress build of the website and provide draw over-notes for the developers to work from. Once we were happy with the websites appearance, we internally tested it and then launched the website. We noticed almost an immediate change as there were less phone calls, and users were staying on the website longer. The same design was applied to the sister publication Prince William Times a couple of months later.

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