Sunday, March 16, 2008

Cramped Quarters: News Website Forgets That We Might Actually Want News

An angry radio listener crashed his car into a radio station. OK, I bought this main headline from's home page and clicked to read more. I mean, what would drive a person to want to crash their car into a building? I want to know! What I got after clicking was dreadful. Not only was I unable to find out much more about this story, it was really a bad experience reading it. I was there for one reason, which was to read about a bizarre incident.

Instead, I got almost everything but that news story. Only 7% of the web page was dedicated to the story itself. What makes this worse is that the story itself totaled a miniscule 200 words, but they still felt that they had to chop up the design by placing ads and toolboxes right in the middle of it. This makes your eyes have to snake around the page to read this puny article. It shouldn't be that hard to figure out that English speaking users like to read from left to right, straight down a page. That goal should be a very easy one to meet or exceed.

Sales must be designing the web pages at It would be nice if anyone running things over there put someone in charge that cared about the reader's experience. Of course FOX 12 News from Oregon is not alone in this. This link was from the main headlines section of, so they bear some responsibility even if it isn't their website. It's part of their experience.

By the way, here is a better designed article with better content courtesy of The Columbian.

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