The blogger Ron Reason is a news designer. He was invited to give a speech at Alberta Weekly Newspapers Association in Calgary, and talked about how to make news pages more attractive at the first glance by getting “back to the basics of what makes a fundamentally engaging news page.” He wrote this blog basing on his speech materials.
After the few seconds of a glance, the readers have built up their basic reaction to the article – whether they will read it further or not. Besides the headlines and pictures, what can be the third temptation of attracting readers? As Reason found that the news pages of Alberta Weekly are not so abundant, he introduced a tip to accomplish that goal – “create a second level of information via an ‘at a glance’ box that could connect with and serve readers in new ways.” Then he gave out before-and-after examples of using the sidebar, and analyzed what sorts of information could be fitted into this “at a glance” box for different articles.
I don’t think that every article in newspapers should have a sidebar like that, but his effort in trying to give out more (and attractive) information to readers within glancing-time impressed me. How to make a news page look smarter? I think the most important element is to make it easier to read –informative, interesting and eye-friendly.
In this Q&A article, two designers and one developer who worked on the redesign of The New York Times website, which launched on Jan 8, 2014. They talked about their strategy & rationale, challenges and process & measurement from the internal aspect. The redesign is still far from accomplished. The goals of this website redesign, according to Renda Morton, product design lead, are the followings.
- Be faster.
- Have a more flexible and adaptive presentation.
- Have consistency across platforms.
- Make the site easier to for the newsroom to produce and maintain.
- Make it easier for our readers to read, navigation, share and explore.
- Maintain and convert subscribers.
- Create a high-quality advertising environment.
I always find it interesting to compare creator’s original idea and rationale with other’s (or the outsiders’) comments on the same thing.
QILU EVENING PAPER: These ten printed pages (A4 – A13) as a whole are a series of conclusion reports on 2014 National People’s Congress and Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference of Shandong Province. Usually, those kinds of reports are boring and full of official jargon. This series, however, did a good job in relating background information to the conference outcomes, analyzing changes in policies and their potentials, comparing data with other counterparts (such as other provinces), and visualizing the pages, especially the infographics.
USA TODAY: The printed version of USA Today looks like a website, and its website, which was redesigned in 2012, looks like a tablet app. I really enjoyed reading news on their website. It’s very easy to find the information you need, and things are arranged clearly and methodically. The whole website is very user-friendly. When I click the link of a story page, a new window pumps out, but it just floats above the original page rather that replace it. On the story page, I can find related stories and some quick polls. After finish the story, I can go back to the original page by closing the pumped-out window, or I can continue to read the previous or next story by clicking arrow on either side of the window.