Media Websites


After researching different websites for audiences like children and american voters, I thought about media websites as well, mostly news publications. I decided to analyze some of these and find out why their design works. According to the, these guys got it right.

  1. Identity.
    1. It’s important, according to poynter, that a news’ website know who they are and reflect their parent products’ brands.
      1. EX: The New York Times, MSNBC, USA TODAY
  2. Reader-Friendly
    1. Having a welcoming, and easy-to-read content is necessary for designing a news website.
      1. EX: CNN, Christian Science Monitor, International Herald Tribune
      2. The Christian Science Monitor has a very pleasing balance and hierarchy to its design. This comes from the use of space between items, a clear distinction between the main story headline and other story heads, and not using too many icons. This is a great example of why white space aids readability and creates balance. A dedicated section for ads is placed slightly downpage. The ads have a consistent width and enough space between them that they don’t get lost.

        CNN has a nice short left navigation bar, and picks the top headlines for each section displayed down page.

        The International Herald Tribune has headline with a short paragraph of text highlights the top stories, while the simple navigation points you to a section or region in an easy-to-use drop-down menu. On story pages, you have the option of adjusting the type size and layout so it is most comfortable for you to read. The one weakness is its obvious lack of photography on stories that need that reference to give the reader a complete picture.

  3. Beauty
    1. As you can tell from above, The International Herald Tribune wins this one.
  4. Simplicity
  5. Misc.
    1. BBC, The Washington Post
    2. The center section of the BBC News site has nice, chunky promos highlighting the day’s big stories, and a fairly simple navigation bar on the left. But, the right rail looks like it gets the leftovers thrown at it because of the inconsistencies in color palette and a sea of random images.

      What I like so much about the Washington Post site is that it has its own identity apart from the printed edition. It remains to be seen if that is positive or negative, but it does give it its own credibility. Check out the Camera Works section. It’s the best photo-driven section on the Web.