Field Notes: Website

De Morgen’s website (demorgen.be) follows the same color scheme (red and black) as the printed product and seems to follow a 3-column grid. The website uses what looks like Arial for the story text, while it uses the same serif typeface for the headlines. The website also utilizes a navy-like blue when promoting stories.

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The website is structured as follows: navigation, the nameplate, more navigation, promos and then the content.

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On the right side of the website, there are ads, sections for most recent news, sections for different categories of news, cartoons, social media, weather and calendar.

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At first, I didn’t even notice the social media, which does not stand out as much as it should. Also, I feel that the site has too much going on in the sidebar; it doesn’t really focus on one thing and just looks like a bunch of sections put together.

Something that De Morgen does differently on its website is incorporate blue more. For example, it emphasizes a certain section of the website by making text in a blue box. I’m guessing that this section says “best news of the week” or something of the sort, and I think putting it in a different colored box is wise because it tells the readers what they’re looking at and helps them navigate the page.

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However, I don’t know what makes the first column different than the second; they both contain stories with photos, and I don’t know what make the sections different. I know that the story to the left is the feature story, but I don’t know what else differentiates the columns. It would be better if De Morgen put headers before the sections to make it clearer.

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There is also another section that incorporates the colored box approach, and in this case, it is a black box with white text and photos. Again, by doing this, the site helps readers know what they’re viewing and why they’re in that certain section.

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The site also breaks up news in different sections (business, tech, etc.) and puts the headers in different colors.

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De Morgen incorporates more colors on the website, and making the headers different colors works because of the contrast and because it makes navigation simple, but I don’t understand why some are in certain colors, while others aren’t. For example, “music,” “culture and media” and “sports” are all red, while “tech” and “geld” are blue and “ecologie” is green. Why do some get their own color while others have the same color? I don’t understand that relationship. It looks messy and as if the site threw some random colors on the page.

The inside pages follow the same format as the homepage, but the opinion page is completely different:

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The opinion page has nothing appealing about it at all. There are no special sections, no colors, no photos. I look at this and want to go to another page. If there is just text on the page, the page looks clunky and boring, and nothing makes the viewer want to read the text.

The main differences between the printed product and the website are 1) the website uses more colors 2) the print version has bigger and more intriguing photos and 3) more emphasis is put on the promos in the printed product.

samarkhoury