Blog 6: How Buzzfeed uses JavaScript

Screen Shot 2014-11-05 at 9.58.17 PMOver the last few weeks, I’ve started to see JavaScript and jQuery everywhere — not that it hasn’t been there before. It’s just that I had no idea what it was about.

I wanted to point out Buzzfeed’s homepage because I like how it makes use of photos and captions. The homepage is pretty busy. It has lots of links to stories. It’s already borderline cluttered. But it rescues itself from chaos by using JavaScript. Instead of including headlines with each story link, it just uses photos. If you scroll over the photo, it reveals the headline or caption. This lessons the clutter that would be there if text appeared with every photo. I also like the opacity of the captions on the left side. It still allows you to see the photo.

The emphasis on visual allows for a more appealing homepage, in my opinion. However, the major drawback of this approach is that the visual has to convey what the story means. In some cases, it’s difficult to tell a story just by one image.

I wonder why they didn’t employ more interactive features. The centerpiece is static. It could be an opportunity for a slideshow of several stories. Perhaps they felt that feature would have been too distracting. I also would have found it beneficial to have the navigation stick at the top as you scroll.

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One thought on “Blog 6: How Buzzfeed uses JavaScript

  1. I was just on Buzzfeed and telling my friend that we’ve learned how to do hover over caption in class. I agree that it is a good idea to hover over the images with captions because otherwise the front page would be incredibly crowded, noisy, and confusing. That can drive users away (I know I wouldn’t feel comfortable navigating such a site). I also agree that there should be a slideshow instead of just a picture on the center piece. It appears to me the design and construction of the website is pretty basic, but I guess if your website is big enough it may not be so easy to manage at all. I’m a big believer of “less is more.”

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