Before CityOnline Magazine went live I decided to test it on a few people. It was a pretty level-one design then (and still is) but it was more or less what the site would look like when it launched.
Each time I would show it, I noticed people would often tell me that the site looked “clean”. That word, “clean”, in terms of Web design, is important because it’s a sort-of loaded term. It also touches on an important issue present in the development of Web sites for print operations.
Pressed further, the consensus on what “clean” meant to them, the response often was that the site was not cluttered and that it appeared easy to navigate. What designer doesn’t want to hear that?
As the print establishment crumbles, beneath the sighs and cries about the death of the once-sacred industry, there’s been a call to action to the Web. It’s the new must-have item: a tricked-out Web site for their readers.
This is a failed strategy.
Here are screen shots of the homepages of a few Web news outlets. Most of them are newspapers. After the image, I’ll explain what I like (and dislike) about the design. My opinion matters insofar as I’m both a journalist and an avid Web user.