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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