Online news sites: some comparative shopping

The Onion: scroll is too long on homepage and the site is a little too cluttered with information and ads. Because the site functions as a news source as well as a store for Onion merchandise the pages become too crowded with t-shirt ads; all Onion products should be advertised on a separate page.

New York Times: homepage looks like the frontpage of a newspaper so kudos for that, but the type size is far too small for the human eye to read accurately. There’s a reason why the packed newspaper format works better in an actual newspaper. The best aspect of the site is the links at the left side that again look like the contents area of a newspaper (love it). On the pages, like WORLD, the organization is a bit too jam-packed, as three columns on a computer screen is too much, especially since the middle column of information looks out of place – all squashed in there.

Sunday Times: love the homepage! Like NY Times it organizes its info into columns, but the width allows for better readability. The font is large and easy to read, the story links are set into blocks relative to sections, i.e. Business, Sports etc. However, it was difficult to find an RSS feed on the page, I’m not even sure if the Sunday Times has one. I like the links to the other Times sites, and overall this site has the best design thus far.

Montreal Gazette: now for some news from home! The website design is rather dull, the scroll on the homepage is a little too long and it feels as if the links and become repetitive when scrolling. For instance, I don’t think it’s necessary to have a ‘Headlines’ section in the middle of the homepage when most of the info and top stories have already been presented earlier in the scroll – poor planning there. But, unlike the Sunday Times it’s RSS feed is visibleat the top of the page.

courtesy creative commons

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