Blog 2: Website Critique – Vox.com

By Zhao, Hong

Vox.com is a news website launched on April 6, aiming to deliver context alongside news information. The homepage is well laid out. It is divided into different modules. The margin between modules form a fine line. The topic of each module is highlighted in yellow, making it easy to skim and navigate.

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Though it doesn’t have a “Home” button in sight, the logo of “VOX” will lead you to the homepage. However, I don’t consider it a good idea that the webpage transfers to a new story page instead of opening the link in a new tab. Sometimes people want to stay on the homepage and look through more headlines.

The most special part of this website is its card stacks, well designed for usability. They are grouped in a separate module but also can be accessed through highlighted words within articles.

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They are more like news summaries, easy and simple for customers who fail to follow the news but want to know the whole storytelling. Their headlines basically follow the pattern of “Five things you need to know about…” You may not like its superficiality, but it’s direct and engaging.

On the card stacks’ page, it offers a search box on the top for people who know exactly what they want.

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Those card stacks do look like cards. Users can click the arrow key on the top to go to the previous or next card (list of information). Usually the content on the cards isn’t very long, so you can quickly scroll back to the top. Besides, there is a sidebar used as navigation on the left.

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As the website looks different from most traditional news outlets, which usually emphasize a lead story or a piece of breaking news on their website, mirroring the front page of a newspaper, Users might spend some time getting used to the modular layout. What’s more, if users are not familiar with the card stacks, they might have to figure it out by themselves. It’s not self-evident enough but “makes them think.” My suggestion is to make card stacks stand out and put one of the most newsworthy on the homepage.

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