One of the most annoying things about news sites is the blend of advertisement and news. In fact, if you notice the difference between blogs and news sites, there’s an inherent design difference between the two. The former is usually very clean.
What’s interesting here is that blog theme designers take into account the single thing that most news websites do not: “single page layout”. If you look at a print newspaper, it’s set in a finite space and thus it’s spaced out very evenly so that you can take in each individual piece without getting thrown into a mess of things. Things are easy to find.
Similarly, news websites, particularly small local papers that have websites, need to remember to do the same but on a single page. This means that you shouldn’t just jumble all your ads together to try to appease advertisers, nor should you use all your space for news. There’s a fine balance between the two, and actually very passive ways to go about making things work in your favor.
Remember that without readership, your advertisers mean nothing. The audience is everything for your business. Thus, a clean design should not only be absolutely key to your process, but it should be a part your entire process from beginning to end. There is too many-a-time that I visit a newspaper website or a local news website to find myself jerking my fingers across the mousepad to get the piece as quickly as possible and get out of there.
Clean design is the key to everything. And don’t think that print layout is any different than the web. Medium might differ, but there are many things that you can learn from the more matured process.
Photo Credit: (Patrick Haney)