field notes/website.

At initial glance, the website for Zaman newspaper is organized in a long vertical structure. The paper’s nameplate resides as it does in the printed publication, while underneath, a slideshow containing a photo and a headline for the day’s top stories dominates the screen visually. The ten stories selected to be a part of this package are numbered, and followed by an advertisement.

Though there are many interactive advertisements on Zaman’s main homepage, I find them clearly marked and differentiated from news content. Though I cannot understand more of the Turkish language than Google’s translator application can handle, video advertisments are designed to be contained and unobtrusive to the news content, and easily distinguishable from hard news videos.

While the language barrier makes the site hard to navigate personally, I can sense that all readers may encouter some trouble at the way the homepage’s middle section is organized— with very few rules used and text-heavy headlines, I am easily lost in the content. The hierarchy of the middle of the page is weak in my eyes, though the strangeness of the language certainly adds to this feeling.

The colors on Zaman’s website range from the traditional colors of the nameplate (dark oranges, browns, and blues) to the bright blues, greens, and purples of section headers as readers scroll down the main homepage. While I may find this distracting in another publication, Zaman manages to reproduce its photography in both large scale and in beautiful color, providing inspiration for all the colors used in the layout’s design.

Overall, the daily website for Zaman fits the publication well, mimicking use of photography strong in action and color, and offering many videos, links to photo stories, and multimedia to present interactive news that the paper cannot. The treatment of the nameplate and typography is reflective and familiar to loyal readers recognizing consistent design, who certainly have a better grasp on the language than I. Though the organization of the site leaves me a bit lost in the strangeness of the language in text-heavy, un-graphically treated headlines, the interactivity of the website’s video components makes up for this weakness in maintaining reader interest.