With print becoming less and less beneficial in the world of news, some of the largest news agencies are realizing the significance of how their content is presented online. USA Today was the first with a very well done screen experience and many are following suit. The latest to hop on the bandwagon is none other than The New York Times.
As was shared earlier this week, The New York Times is about to change up their online presence. As you would expect, they’re starting at the core of the experience, the content, more specifically, the article layout.
It’s rather obvious why they’ve decided to go ahead and show some innovation on the web; they’re one of the most historical news resources in the United States and instead of being left behind, they’re working on being the innovators. Sure, it’s not the bleeding edge, such as The Daily, but we can all see how their endeavor turned out.
Instead of completely redesigning their distribution approach, they’re taking a more simple, elegant approach. With content taking the obvious spotlight, the entire article experience is getting a redesign.
From the typography to the comment section, one thing is certain; they’re aiming for beautiful simplicity. We’ve actually seen a hint towards this before, with a prior article they uniquely set up. However, now it’s the entire experience, not just the content.
As important as content is within online news publications, navigation plays just as vital if not a more vital role. How are we going to find the content we want to without an efficient means of getting around the site?
Thankfully, much thought is being put into the navigation within the redesign of The New York Times. Along the top-left-hand of the screen you are presented with a “Sections” menu, which utilizes the “Hamburger Menu” we spoke of earlier this year. Next to the sections menu is the classic “T” we all associate with The New York Times. Next to the “T” is a simple search option. To the right side of the menubar, you’re presented with the sign-in box.
Below the above, you are presented with the featured stories, of which they select one from each section of the publication. However, once you scroll down within the website, the navigation bar shrinks into a fixed bar along the top of your screen. In doing so, the share options and comments section for the article appears in place of the sign-in on the right-hand side.
The first element of the article which sticks out is the headline. No longer is this attention-grabber at the top of the page, above the image. The redesign turns the headline into a UI element all in its own by prominently displaying it bolded and alongside the featured image. The featured image is also a very significant element, as is to be expected. Positioned nicely below the image is the caption as is norm in the publication industry.
As you read through the article, one thing is more prominent than on any other news site, Whitespace. The redesign combines the always spoken of whitespace with great-looking typography, offering very distinguishable columns, justified, with perfect line-spacing. When reading, your eyes seem to just flow along the writing, making it an extremely enjoyable experience.
The media is also placed strategically along the article, with the bounding box being just a bit larger than the text width, allowing for more image to be displayed and separating it a bit from the text. Although I’m unsure of specifics on slideshows and the like, it seems as though The New York Times plans on implementing quite a few, and rightly so. The photojournalism within The New York Times is some of the best in the world, if not the best, and what better way to present those images, accentuating the article, than with great media blocks within the stories.
If you noticed something missing thus far, you’re correct. What is an online news publication without the snide, rarely beneficial comments section? Right? Well, even so, they didn’t leave the comments out. Instead, the comments aren’t displayed until summoned by the reader. Once the comments button along the top-right-hand side of the navigation bar is selected, the structured comments section appears from the right side of the article. It’s a simple solution to hiding that which is not always needed and otherwise distracting.
To say it’s an improvement would be a dramatic understatement. The New York Times managed to boil down their online visuals to appropriately accompany their world-renown content. They’re certainly not the first to do so, but it’s nice to see one of the, if not the, biggest name in the industry take a dive into a beautifully designed layout.
What are your thoughts on the redesign?