August 16, 2013
I knew that it could be a sound of the future but I didn't realize how much the impact would be.
Random Access Memories, Daft Punk
In the past year, we've seen an explosion in article page design pushing the envelope in terms of beautiful, rich, storytelling. I won't even mention the article from The New York Times that started the craze (it rhymes with “snowball”) because now there are so many. These new article pages are telling stories through big images, videos, animations, transitions, interactive elements and, of course, compelling journalism. Recent favorites include Rolling Stone's "Greenland Melting," ESPN Grantland's Alaskan Iditarod profile "Out in the Great Alone" and, since these aren't all about snow and ice, Pitchfork's ode to Daft Punk, "Machines for Life." (And just in, The New York Times’ latest mega feature The Jockey hit the virtual newsstands this week.) These page designs are great for getting lost in a storyline and driving one-time visitors, but they don't do a great job of creating a relationship with the reader or recommending the next article to read.
If that is one extreme, the opposite extreme is much worse. These are the article pages that are trying too hard to drive the site's features down your throat. They recommend so much content it becomes meaningless. They are constantly trying to get you to sign up or follow. These sites, far too common on the Internet, treat the story as secondary. They do not honor the reader or the content. I love Mashable, but does it really have to put the whole home page underneath every article, including infinite scroll? Bleacher Report should know that I only occasionally read sports media, but every time I visit this site, I get a huge modal request to follow. Digiday goes so far as to ask if a certain CafeMom page is the worst page on the Internet.[Read More at Say Daily]