Felix Salmon for Reuters talking about The New York Times website design versus the Huffington Post:

Most importantly, the HuffPo page is genuinely, compellingly, interactive — it’s almost impossible to visit it without finding something you want to click on. Like! Comment! Tweet! Go here! Try this! Visit that! There’s site navigation, yes, but that’s just one layer of a very rich and complex page architecture. At the NYT page, by contrast, to get out of the Media Decoder blog you either have to click on a generic navigation button like “Sports,” or else you’ll just leave the page and the site completely.

Ok now that you read that look at a comparison picture of the two pages provided in the Reuters post:

Comparison2

You sensible readers will probably be thinking: “HuffPo is ugly and annoying looking.” Thanks for thinking that, but Salmon continues:

The fact is that readers come to the NYT — or any website — because they want to read its stories. They don’t much care about branded sections, or deciphering the difference between a news story and a blog entry.

Right, which is why this early statement of yours makes no sense:

Still, the difference between the two pages is much starker than it needs to be: the NYT page is like walking into a library, while the HuffPo page is like walking through Times Square. The HuffPo page is full of links to interesting stories elsewhere on the site — about Egypt, or the kid in the Superbowl Darth Vader ad, or the stories my Facebook friends are reading. And there are lot of links to media stories, too; each one has a photo attached.

I don’t know about you, but Times Square is the last place I go to try and read stories. Times Square, just like HuffPo, is distraction overload. I recommend reading HuffPo with Safari Reader (not Readability, they don’t need any more of my money).


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