Tuesday, April 04, 2006

NYTimes.com's New Look

Yesterday, The New York Times released their new website design. They've wided out the page, changed up the fonts, and reorganized it. Some of the other new features are still in development, such as the My Times section where you're supposed to be able to create your own personalized news and information page. The Times Topics page is pretty cool, serving as a reference index to people, things, events, etc. that are covered by the paper.

In general, I think it's a good thing that they wided out the pages, but the main page seems a little scattered. The "Inside NYTimes.com" bar stretching across in the middle is an abrupt interruption of the columns started above it, and then the columns below seem too compressed, especially given the new font.

Most of the text now uses the "Georgia Serif" font, which I think looks good for bolded headlines, but it hard to read when it's smaller and non-bolded. In particular, the font looks pixilated at the smaller size. The spacing of the letters is also somewhat awkward, and the words, especially with the smaller fonts, seem stretched slightly, making it harder to chunk the words visually. This is most apparent in the lower column area. For smaller text, I think it's much easier to read a sans-serif, or even the traditional Times New Roman.

My favorite page, actually, is the Today's Paper where the articles in the printed version are presented. The page is organized in basically one long column, and the articles are grouped by first page and then by section. Front page has headlines and summary sentences, while the remainder of the article links are just headlines. A small image of the front page is situated next to the front page articles. I find this page very easy to navigate, scan, and read. I wish the rest of the paper was laid out in a similarly simple fashion. Of course, this may all be moot due to RSS readers.

They also seem to be playing up the multimedia aspect of their news coverage. Personally, I don't know how much value that really adds. Most of the video segments seem like they would be just as good as written text, and you could read it about 2-4x faster. I have enjoyed the still slide shows they've had for some time now. I don't know how much value is added by having voice narration over just having that text as a caption, letting the reader examine the pictures at his own pace. Then again, I may just be an old fuddy-duddy and not understand all this newfangled, hip multimedia experience stuff.

2 Comments:

At 10:09 PM, Blogger Thomas said...

luddite

 
At 1:01 AM, Blogger waitingforspring said...

i agree with you...the new layout is harder to read

 

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