This afternoon The New York Times sent emails to registered readers to view the prototype of their new website design. The new prototype website does not include changes to the home page and section fronts, but rather new article design and navigation. The purpose of the email is to get reader feedback prior to any launch.
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You'll see many enhancements on article pages, including the following:
A cleaner design
Richer integration of photography, video, interactive elements and ads
Customizable navigation, accessible from every page
(The home page and section front pages are not yet included in the prototype.)
The NYT says that the prototype is designed for Chrome 25, Firefox 17 and Safari 5.1, and is optimized for iOS 6 on the iPad.
In fact, the design change is most obvious on an iPad in portrait where the responsive design comes into play. In landscape the design looks and feels very much like a desktop version.