Designer Bill Ostendorf offers tips on how to make news sites more Web-friendly. He spelled them out this week at a Society for News Design seminar in Las Vegas. As reported on the CNHI site, they include:
"1. Scrolling is out. Scrolling was in when we all had dialup and we could read the top of the page while the bottom of the page was loading. DSL sets us free. 2. Don’t copy from newspapers because newspapers are dumb. “We are the ugliest thing on the Web.” Go to great sites for inspiration – Google, Dell, Apple, Southwest Airlines. Simple, simple, simple is what works.
3. It’s not how many links you have. It’s how fast I can go to what I want.
4. Learn these from newspapers: hierarchy, consistency, weight, variety.
5. Credibility comes from your print heritage, so your main site should stick to that brand like glue. Do niche products on line – sports, military families, moms, pets, kids. “It’s my philosophy if you own the high schools you own the towns.”
6. Web sites need a sense of place. I want to know where I am. They should have images.
7. Think life, not news, on line. Where do people go? How can we connect with people? How do people mark their lives?
8. Pictures are big. Really big. Run them big on line. Small photos are another throw back to dialup. Technology has changed. We have to change.
9. Don’t think of one dimension or a flat screen. Draw me in. Involve me. Surround me.
10. Don’t just be a Web site. Be a community. Be my community."