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Reaction to, “Newspaper Website Design: Trends and Examples”

January 26, 2012

Newspaper Website Design: Trends and Examples by Steven Snell

It was an interesting article. All of the pictures forced the reader to scroll down the page forever, but the amount of text was fairly light so it wasn’t too big of a deal. The introduction was pretty straightforward, and the section that listed the common themes of news websites was helpful in identifying what to look for.  I thought it was ironic that there was a line about intrusive ads that was right next to an intrusive ad.  I’m glad the author used screenshots from all of the examples he talked about because it wouldn’t have been much of an article without the visuals, especially for the list of news websites.

Of the 20 news websites shown, I liked the designs most that incorporated grids, had minimal ads on the homepage and used colors outside of the standard red, blue and black.  I didn’t like any sites that were extremely text heavy, used sidebar navigation and used little to no pictures on the homepage.  My favorites were The Tennessean, USA Today and ABC News.  The rest might not have impressed me in any way, but the sites I just flat out didn’t like were The Huffington Post, Ars Technica and the New York Times.  I’ll explain my reasoning for the New York Times.

If I’m totally honest, I just think the Time’s site design is boring.  I think the blue text it’s known for is the biggest problem.  I mean everything on that site is blue with the occasional touch of red.  I don’t feel like there’s any hierarchy with the way it’s displayed because the differences in the boldness or sizes of the typefaces is minimal.  Using a single color for all of the headlines is fine, but there needs to be something that sets the titles and excerpts apart other than lines and tabs that can draw readers’ attention.  I will give the Times credit for creating a site that is very easy to navigate, although I think the sidebar should really be across the top, and for having quality pictures and content.  I mean it’s the New York Times they have some of the best, if not the best, content in the world.  Their site design just bores me to tears.

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