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Newspaper Web Design Is Seriously Flawed

Experts say it's time for the next generation of navigation, advertising functionality and home page hierarchy.

By Steve Outing

The home pages of most news Web sites are too cluttered and suffer from link and content overload. Nearly all handle photography poorly. Page designs are the same day after day. There's not enough hierarchy in story placement. Home page links are repetitive. Online classifieds design is often awful, making it difficult for consumers to find what they want. Advertising is handled so poorly that it's not effective.

These are some strong opinions. They're the view of an outspoken Virginia newspaper and Web designer, who believes that a decade into the online news revolution, the majority of newspapers have got their Web design fundamentally wrong. It's time to think about the "next generation" of newspaper Web design.

The designer is Alan Jacobson, president and CEO of Norfolk-based Brass Tacks Design, and he's not someone to pull punches.

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University of Nevada, Reno

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