Field Notes: Website

The nameplate on the homepage of The Guardian is simple, in the same typeface as the print version and blue — it’s signature color. It’s also lowercase and two-toned blue to distinguish between the two words, just like in the print version.

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The Guardian uses ample white space to the right and left of the content, which gives nice breathing room for the rest of the design. However, the content seems a little cramped and overwhelming. I think they could have devoted more white space by the content to make everything easier to read.

The menu bar varies the color of each section of the website in order to help readers navigate the web page. I think this is a good strategy because it makes it easier to distinguish between sections.

They create hierarchy on the page through the use of visuals, color and text. Larger visuals indicate a more important story and directs readers to this story. Pops of color including blue, gray and red help guide readers to certain stories as well. Lastly, larger type leads readers to read this text first. Also, bolder type leads readers to read this text before the lighter text. I think The Guardian effectively creates hierarchy on the page, but I think they could do a little more. For the stories on the left of the page, they could vary photo size more to indicate more important, “must-read” stories.

Type hierarchy on the left side of the web page.

Type hierarchy on the left side of the web page.

The Guardian varies their content on the homepage of their website. There is a nice variety of photos, text and videos. The text for each story itself isn’t overwhelming, with at most 5 lines of text accompanying the story. Down the middle of the page, their are promos to interesting stories. These stories are set apart from the rest of the content because they have gray boxes around them, and are usually just a photo with a quick line of text. This helps these stories to stand out and be more visually appealing.

The promos on the middle of the page.

The promos on the middle of the page.

Towards the right of the page there is a variety of content including sports, videos, “On The Guardian,” and more. I think the right side of the page looks very cluttered and hap-hazard because it’s just too many different elements and types of content going on.

The right side of the page and the variety of content.

The right side of the page and the variety of content.

Overall, I think the website design of The Guardian is very boring. I think they could make it more visually appealing upon entering the page with a large photo slideshow or a few large images. The whole design just looks very cluttered and they need to make better use of the space devoted to their content. The Guardian is generally a paper with very simple design, which I think should definitely be carried over to the website. I think they should try to make more elements on the website look like the elements in the paper, for example, make the promos more similar to those seen in the paper.

katierubino