From a design standpoint, news websites can be fascinating to explore. Whatever type of news they cover, they all face the issue of displaying a large volume of content on the main page, which presents the designer with several layout, usability, and navigational issues. Examining how news websites solve these issues can provide significant insights for designers working on other sorts of websites, especially those with blog theme designs.
Newspaper Websites’ Most Common Trends in 2008
SCHEMES OF COLOR
Dark text on a white backdrop is used on the majority of news websites. Obviously, these websites have a lot of content, thus readability is critical. A handful of the websites listed later in this article employ darker colours for the headers and body of the page outside of the text.
In addition to dark grey or black for typography, a huge number of news websites employ blue and red. The colour blue is frequently used in headlines, article names, and links. As an accent colour, red is frequently used sparingly. Some news websites use additional colours in other areas of the site, such as the navigation.
BANNERS FOR THE HEADER AND SIDEBAR
Of course, all of these websites need to make money, and banner advertisements in headers are one of the most common ways to do so. Some websites have banner adverts on all pages, while others have them above the header on other pages but not on the home page.
While most blogs use 125 by 125 pixel sidebar banners, news websites typically utilise 300 by 250 pixel banners or large skyscrapers. Many websites include AdSense or other text link advertisements.
NAVIGATION AT THE TOP
Despite a few notable exceptions, the majority of news websites place their primary navigation menu just below the header and above the text. The New York Times and MSNBC are two exceptions, as both use the left sidebar as their primary navigation.
AREAS WITH TABBED CONTENT
Many news websites have tabbed content areas where users may find popular stories, recent stories, most discussed items, and so on. This appears in the sidebar at times and in the main content area at other times, as on Wired. This gives users more flexibility over what content and links they view, as well as saving space in the design by putting more stuff in one place.
LAYOUTS BASED ON THE GRID
Grid-based designs are often used in newspaper websites. The grid is a popular choice since it is one of the most effective ways to manage and arrange a big amount of content. One of the most well-known grid-based layouts is that of the New York Times.
There Are Some Significant Differences Between News Websites And Blogs
The distinction between a news website and a blog is blurry at times, and the two types can be difficult to tell apart. The term “blog” is used in this article to refer to a traditional blog rather than a commercialised news blog written by a group of authors. While blogs and news websites have certain commonalities, they also have some significant differences.
INTEGRATION OF SOCIAL MEDIA
Widgets or voting buttons are fairly widespread on blogs; in fact, almost all of them utilise them in some way or another. Most news websites, on the other hand, utilise them sparingly, if at all. While it’s usual to see a “Share” section on stories, such as this one from ABC News, voting buttons aren’t used in the same manner as they are on blogs, where a regular “Digg This” button may appear at the top of every post. Although an increasing number of news websites acknowledge the significance of social media, they continue to use such technologies in their designs in a subtle way.
A couple of the websites listed below use social media more frequently than others. The Huffington Post features a section dedicated to stories that have recently been shared on Digg, and the website frequently appears on the first page.