A Note from the Publishers

A Note from the Publishers

by -
The Martha's Vineyard Times
— Photo by Steve Myrick

Peter-OberfestBarbara-OberfestVisitors to www.mvtimes.com will have noticed our redesign, launched last weekend, the first comprehensive overhaul of the site in three years. A redesign like this involves a lot of moving technical parts, and some of them didn’t work as well as we hoped. We apologize to viewers who experienced problems, but we’re putting the technical server problems, which bedeviled and frustrated all of us, behind. If you haven’t already checked us out we hope you’ll take a look, on PCs or mobile devices. Let us know what you think.

The redesigned site, at its core, intends to be a gateway to as many aspects of Vineyard life and interests as we’re able to capture. This means bringing you all of the news and reporting about Martha’s Vineyard that we’ve always incorporated, of course, but just as important is information about events, about business, about the entire range of community interests we all care about. We are just as eagerly making a home on our web site for your opinions, your writing, and your experiences. And, we want to make it easy for you to just plain get useful information — What’s playing at the movies? When is the dump open? Are the ferries running? Where can I find a wedding planner?

Organizing, designing, and making content for a large community website is something of a digital high wire act, needing to serve different and sometimes competitive strategic purposes. So, we’ve built a complicated chassis to sustain a very ambitious online meeting place for the community and its visitors. The entire Times web team — Rick Mello, Steve Myrick, Kelsey Perrett, Patrick Phillips, Eleni Roriz, and Jamie Stringfellow — has been exhaustive in organizing the best design and content ideas, a focus on user experience, with site navigation and functional attributes meant to be clear but not obtrusive. However high our standards, we don’t expect to hit every note perfectly, especially at launch, so we are eager to learn from you and your feedback. Send your thoughts and ideas to peter.oberfest@mvtimes.com.

– Peter and Barbara Oberfest, Publishers


  1. May I suggest there be an OPINION option on the pull- down menu for the editorials and letters? I don’t see how to access any letters to the editor or the At Large/Editorial column on my mobile. Thank you.

  2. This site looks worse than the old one. Sorry to be so frank but what was wrong with the old version. This looks cheap

  3. Unfortunately, as much as the old version of the website needed an update, this was two steps backwards. I am finding this website even more difficult to navigate than the former.

  4. keep making progress, thank you. As long as I can get the classifieds for jobs who cares about the rest ?

  5. The other version seemed more user-friendly. The 55+ is not a link, I cannot find the court reports…after looking through this edition I had to go out of the site altogether to get back to this article in order write this to you.

  6. It seems everyone responsible for software deployment –
    including web sites – thinks it’s necessary to constantly “improve”
    by changing layout, menus, “look & feel”, etc.. The navigation changes are a constant source
    of frustration… as soon as we figure out how to find stuff, it changes. I’ve been in and around the software industry for a long
    time. I fully understand the need to
    update graphics and keep a site fresh & contemporary. I DON’T at all understand why it has to be
    harder to find things. The prior version
    had easy to follow drop-down menus and lists of headlines that made scanning
    and finding a particular article straight-forward. Now I have to scroll through pages to get to
    anything. Even finding movie listings is
    harder (and yesterday’s run of “Nebraska” wasn’t even listed – I
    found that at the Gazette site). I
    realize you are unlikely to revert to the former interface because of my
    whining – but please consider how we feel when confronted with an entirely
    new interface. May I suggest that you engage
    some of us in the general public in a testing session before you deploy the
    next version?

    1. I agree. I don’t understand why “improvement” was needed. The old site was easy to use, drop-down menu for each interest etc. Now I have to scroll through pages and pages to see what is there and I don’t even know if I am interested in any of the articles but I have to look through it all to find out.
      No I don’t like this update at all. The folks who want to see it on their phone I suggest going to their computer. Not everyone lives by their phone. And somehow there seems to be less information on this site. Oh well. I do like lots of photographs.

      1. I agree. It seems too many websites are trying to cater to the smart phone segment of their viewers and lose sight of the bigger picture. (Puns intended)

  7. I love how the new version scales and fits my iPhone; it’s really useful now. The former site was nearly impossible to use on a mobile device. The problems I had over the weekend appear to be technical, server issues rather than caused by the new format. Reaction to change on the vineyard comes grudgingly (RE: Roundabout) but now that i am moving around the website, it’s growing on me…I think it will be superior to the old once I’m fully acclimated. When I really think about it, the old version wasn’t really that good compared to many other sites I visit on a regular basis.

    1. PS: I do see, however, how some readers miss some sort of drop down to get quick links to some of the most sought after regular features. I notice you tried to alleviate this by have quick links at the top side for a couple, for example the movie schedule, but I haven’t for the life of me figured out how to get to the Court Report (an Island favorite; to check on which of my kids’ old classmates have OUI’s each week).

      1. my bothers step daughter used to appear in the court report a lot, and thankfully has turned her life around, and now is not.

  8. Much appreciated! People don’t like change, but I fnd the mobile updates make it much easier to navigate classified on the go, I’m sure visitors will appreciate this much more as well…Regards…

  9. The general look is cleaner. The old layout looked like a throwback from 1998. It’s also good to see that photos are viewable in a decent size, rather than the glorified thumbnails of the past. But, the loss of the dropdown menus and other things of that sort make the site much harder to navigate.

  10. PLEASE put a nice clean picture WEB CAM up like you had for years and years !!
    It was so nice to see things sharp and clear!

  11. To the M.V. Times,
    Thank-you for putting my articles in your paper,although I no longer live on the island,(40 year wash a shore,came with my dad in 1958) I still hate to see what’s
    happening to the island.
    Prospect Maine

  12. I think people doth complain too much. It looks nice, and the news and photographs remain exceptional.