So, I’ve been analysing online news soures, in terms of the site design, for the last thirty minutes or so. In the good design vs bad design battle, there seems to be a huge difference in styles across the pond. I couldn’t seperate The New York Times website and The Huffington Post, when selecting the two worst designs, whereas it’s a straight shot between The Guardian and The BBC News websites for the best design.
For starters, The information architecture of the UK sites seem much easier to use. Both the Guardian and The BBC have toolbars running along the top, making it extremely efficient for users to access the catergory of news that they wish. These toolbars look stylish and are well spaced out. This is compared to the NY Times which has opted for a side toolbar that’s extremely cramped for space, is the same font as the text and is too small. The Huffington Post and NY Times front pages are also too long. This makes more than half the content un-accessible as the reader is just bored by more than half way down.
The readability and usability of the US sites is extremely poor. They both seem to compact to read until you are at least three clicks in. NY Times is too packed with text and the Huff Po is too pack with pictures and advertising. It shows that the US publications haven’t realised that the simplicity of news sites like the BBC. The BBC is the most readable and the most easy to navigate.
If I had to pin down my best and worst web design site… I would pit for the BBC as the best with the NY Times lacking in last place.
Screenshots from Monday 21st Februarys New York Times and BBC News website