FiveThirtyEight: Clean Cut Data

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FiveThirtyEight features three a clean and concise homepage with an obvious visual hierarchy highlighting featured stories of the day in the left column, with the newest story having largest picture and text. In the center column, titled “DATALAB,” there are about 10 stories from the week and it shows the date they were published and the headline. In the right column are two long-term interactive stories with an advertisement in-between. These columns are clearly defined and it is fairly obvious by looking at both the headlines and photos/visuals accompanying them what kinds of stories they are.

It is very obvious what is clickable on the page, as most everything is, and what is great is that there is a running menu atop the page showing stories in politics, economics, science, life and sports. Each category is assigned a color (purple, green, blue, yellow and red) and the main featured stories have a little colored square next to the headline showing what kind of story it is and also includes a subcategory like “NFL Week 1” or “Terrorism.”

When looking at it more closely, the page is actually separated into two sections, with the three columns in the top half of the page and the sections “more stories” and “contributors” in the bottom half of the page, which is broken up into two columns.

The “Contributors” section features six writers for the site and lists three popular stories for each writer with color coding based on what the stories focus on.

I think this page, and the site as a whole, is very clean and easy to both read and navigate. It makes it very easy to pinpoint certain stories that you are interested in and, by color coding each topic, helps the reader find exactly what they’re looking for without really having to read the headline or get into the thick of the story.


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