Navigation • Navigation is one of the strongest links to the WP’s website. With the bar clearly resting on the top of the page, viewers can conveniently and quickly access the their specific news interest. Whether it be, world, national, sports, lifestyle, entertainment, or business, this webpage divides up the information well and includes a drop down menu for each section in order to make it even more easy to navigate.
Layout • As viewers scroll down the page, they notice that the page is oriented vertically. I think this helps navigation as well because the viewers are then not bombarded with information scanning the entire width of the page. Rather they have the control to scroll slowly to digest the news at their own pace. And while the page is very long and holds a ton of information, the use of headings cue readers to the news category—so it’s also less overwhelming. The next three screen shots attempt to capture the drastic vertical orientation of the homepage.
Color • One thing I’ve noticed throughout my analysis of the WP is its lack of a definitive color scheme. Like the NYT, the WP maintains an authoritative black and white theme, and though this helps readers identify it from other papers, I think the website could actually benefit from incorporating a little more color. Though I have a lot to learn about website design, as a student interested in graphic design, I’ve noticed that online is a great platform for dynamic color use and to help identify certain sections of the news. Instead, the website maintains the grey color to divide up the sections like Featured Discussions or Columns and Blogs. The printed version uses grey to categorize content, too, but because it’s so subtle, I’m not sure it’s an important or necessary element used to identify the WP. I think this specific color choice could be reconsidered, and I think the use of black throughout the webpages could be boosted to feel more modern. Otherwise, overall the paper’s color choices work fine as an authoritative newspaper.
Interactivity • While there may be room for improvement in the color department, the WP seems to have mastered interactivity. On the navigation bar alone, viewers can select pages to engage in live conversations, subscribe to the paper, use the mobile version of the paper, or select multimedia to explore infographics, videos, slideshows, or a new page called @innovations to read about the future of the news. And instead of a limited amount of content on each of these pages, they are full of newly updated interactive platforms to engage and entertain the viewers. This is a major strength at the WP considering this digital age and an increasing demand for multimedia content to complement and enhance traditional news.
Content • Multimedia isn’t the only strategy used to balance and enrich the hard news. The WP also shapes different types of content to target the online consumers including lifestyle content that’s accessible daily. I believe on the printed page, this is a recurring section a few times a week. But online, this page allows readers to view information on style, food, travel, and home & garden. And by clicking on these links, along with accompanying multimedia content, viewers can read and interact with shorter or feature-length lifestyle pieces. This differs much from the extensive printed version, which primarily focuses on harder news items.
As briefly addressed earlier, the WP’s webpage extends vertically, allowing viewers to scan at their own pace. This layout choice certainly keeps the readers in mind. But I also think it gives different news content priority. For example, only a few headlines are scan-able at one time. This means that each piece of content warrants viewers attention, and by sizing the headlines differently, viewers can easily understand which information merits the most consideration. This layout hits home with the printed version, too because both versions are longer pages.
Typography • As for the typography of the website, I believe it mimics the typeface choices of the printed version. Specifically, many of the headlines and section titles maintain the same serif typeface. Or at least a serif typeface very similar to it. One striking difference I noticed, however, is that the body copy of the articles use a sans serif typeface, while the printed version maintains a serif typeface. I think online sans serif typefaces are easier to read than the physical version, but I’m not sure. I’m interested to know whether sans serif typefaces are easier to read online and if other newspapers select this category of typefaces for their online content.