Critique of two sites

September 14, 2010 § Leave a comment

Screen shot of this website's logo

The Washington Post website is rather clean-cut in terms of display, and is presented in a style consistent with the intensity of navigation through the home page. For example, the list of “How to Get Us” appears as its own headline in the middle of the page and also at the bottom of the page for those who scrolled down that far. The navigation bar at the top of the page is similar to Newsday.com’s navigation bar; more options drop down from each category the cursor hovers over. The home page seems to be desgined symetrically, starting with the horizontal navigation bar, three columns, two horizontal bars below that, and three columns again below that. The top stories are gathered in the center columns.  The font on the site is quite small but if you take enough time to look, the categories are all there. For those in a hurry, look accross the Hot Topics bar just under the site’s logo. For most recent news, glance to the top left corner at the photo and caption. The site is designed like a newspaper page; the top half, particularly with the navigation bar, should take you where you need to go.  Users can read, watch, comment on, retweet, recommend and share posts. 

Screen shot of this site's logo

Jezebel.com  is a curiously complex blog at first glance. Interestingly enough, there is a Share bar next to the site’s logo, quite large and easy to spot (wins big points for interactive). The three pages of the site are also in the title’s catchphrase: celebrity, sex and fashion. Simple enough. Posts come from a few different “users” that have categories as names. This is a little distracting.  The tiny search bar on the top right corner almost discourages thoughts on what to start searching for first.  The usernames or something that may fall under one of the broad categories feels like information hidden in plain sight (just look at the page for a bit, it will sink in). On the side there is a bar with the site’s “team” contact info. There is no separate “About Us” page.  Viewers can “like” the site on Facebook and subscribe via RSS. Don’t have time to navigate? Stick to the home page “Jezebel” and click on one of the features at the top.

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Washingtonpost.com wins points for simplicity. Jezebel is rated blog #18 on Technorati (last checked 9/14/2010), but at first glance it feels like if you click away from the homepage you will be lost. Both sites rank high in interactivity but maybe Jezebel even more so.

                                                                                                         -Clesceri

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