Checklist for Building the Ideal News Web Site

“Here’s a list of ideas for how news sites could do things differently. Some of these notions are mine (based on years of covering this industry as a journalist, researcher and occasional consultant); others come from top consultants and academics who I’ve enlisted in this advice-fest. (I avoided asking people who currently manage or work at online-news operations; this column is about ideas that are out of the current industry mainstream.”

Some good points in this article yes but I don’t really understand why some people still go on about scrolling on the homepage. After all these years it is an issue that still causes such consternation.

We have design needs that state we need to display a certain amount of information on the homepage in order to allow an efficient start to wayfinding through a site. Newspaper homepages usually need a huge amount of content, while portals often require much more navigation. We have business needs that state certain items must be on the homepage. We have political issues which fight for position and a place on the homepage. All these come together to form a compromise which must be viewed on a low resolution display. A high level of information density is ok if designed properly and we need this information. We need more than simple titles for the latest articles. What’s so wrong with the scroll in the BBC news site?

What would improve the homepage would be to remove the garbage that users typically ignore: all types of promotions, site identity, and bullshit filler clipart, as well as pixels that are literally unused (I don’t mean whitespace). Get rid of those large banner ads and replace them with targeted text ads and use more of the available horizontal space.

Read the article.Thanks to WebWord Usability Weblog for the link.