Field Notes: Websites

For me, the design can be a little overwhelming on the website. There is a lot of information presented and I don’t know if The WP presents it in the easiest way, especially on the home page. They do try to separate stories using various type, lines, and other elements, but it still seems like a lot going on.

The website uses little to no color. This is the same for the print publication. Color is used for hyperlinks. In terms of links on the site, mouseovers on clickable type turns a light blue color.

There is some color used for section names and colored boxes used for organization.

Typography on the WP website is basic web-type. It is clear and easy to read. The WP varies with its serifs and san serif types. There really is not organization when it comes to this. Some typefaces are sans serif like, captions and body copy, then some are serifs like, headlines and section names. Both are used together in some way.

On the website, photos are used in different sizes. Most stories are accompanied by a thumbnail image. When you click on the story, you are given a larger image. Also on the website, the WP utilizes their ability to provide video with some of the stories. Videos are their own section on the site.

One of the best things about the WP site for me is the main navigation bar at the top and bottom of the page. This bar features various sections of the newspaper like, Opinions, Local, Sports, World, Lifestyle, etc. For me this allows readers to quickly navigate to the section of their choice.

Stories are grouped by these topics and mirror sections in the physical newspaper. It is easy to click and mouseover these sections to reveal other subtopics, as well as other information like, columns/blogs and important stories.

In terms of layout, there are stories everywhere. The WP tries to organize the stories using various sizes and styles of type. Larger, bolder headlines denote bigger or more important stories.

There is an attempt to separate some information from other, like light colored boxes and lines/rules.

There are also some sections on the website that include multiple stories or information. Stories with similar topics or authors are grouped together.

The homepage has some elements that are the same or similar to the printed version. The nameplate and the folio information is presented in both.

Also, the physical sections of the newspaper, like Metro, Style, and Sports are presented on the website as, Local, Lifestyle, and Sports.

There is also some confusion from the print to the online version. The homepage stories do not match the front page stories of the newspaper. There may be some stories that match, but usually different stories are featured. This can cause some confusion for readers who rely on the front page being the most important stories of the day. When they shift to the online version, these stories may be different. So what are the most important stories?