BBC News uses JavaScript

Almost every news site I looked at uses JavaScript and jQuery. I never knew how important this aspect was. In fact, I generally took these tools for granted. When I first started designing I was frustrated because I didn’t know how to do them when they are so commonly used. Now that I know how it has become exciting and has improved my designs drastically.

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BBC News is my example of a news site using JavaScript and jQuery. Just one example is a slideshow of videos towards the middle of the page. I noticed this aspect because I wanted to do something very similar for my True/False website. Unfortunately, we had not learned JavaScript and jQuery yet, so I was unable to do this. I am looking forward to adding this aspect and others like it into my next website. I think this is important to the readers because they have been trained to use aspects like this and like more options. This slideshow is a simple, clean and easy way to give them these options.

Visual browsing

The Morning Post has an interesting aspect that I think would be cool to involve in my future websites. It allows you to visually browse stories. This means when you click on it, you are able to look and choose stories based on thumbnails of the video of picture. It is a nice clean design with a black background and white writing but includes the blue in certain areas to match with their brand. Also, not all the stories are the same size. This not only gives visual appeal when looking at the page but allows the reader to understand the more important or possibly newer stories on their website. Finally, the large arrows at the top make it easy to navigate between pages. I thought this was an interesting concept that I hadn’t seen on any other website before and allows for the more visual readers a chance to gather news a way more tailored towards them. Visit the website: http://www.mcall.com/#vb

Blog 4

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I was on the Kansas City Star’s website and I noticed another sexual abuse case involving religion. I decided to look into how this continuos coverage is covered on their website. It’s easy to find individual stories by using their search bar. But they don’t come up in any particular order in relation to when it was published. The most recent story, also doesn’t come up during the search. It is nice, however, that they specify if the story is local or national. Sometimes pictures are used to help tell this story but this isn’t a story where a lot of different types of media would be extremely helpful or realistic. Their audience is the everyday Kansas City citizen, which means they are working to inform the public of these ongoing trials and issues. But it is not necessarily told in an ongoing story or package. I think this could be better grouped together with a tag so that people could see the bigger picture. Otherwise, people just a lot of individual stories and have to piece together the larger picture themselves.

Blog 3: Pack’s CSS

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Earlier this week the Missourian did a story about the new social media website, Pack. I did some research on this website and really enjoyed looking at all the dogs.

The first thing I did was disable the css to get a better understanding of exactly how it contributes to the website. Without it, the website is a mess. There’s a list of all the dog breeds they have on the site, which includes just about everything you could think of. Plus it includes pictures, names and links. Without the css this is just one giant list. When you put the css back on, however, the website is clean and entertaining.

When I dug further into the css, I became more confused. They talk a lot about groups and we haven’t talked about this yet. Is this because much of the website is the same, while only some things change as you click on them? In other words, are things that stay the same grouped in some way, or does this mean something else?

If anyone has an idea, I would like to learn more about this.

Blog 2: The Kansas City Star

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On the surface, The Kansas City Star follow Krug’s five guidelines for capture reader attention and aiding in comprehension. There is a clear visual hierarchy, with bigger and smaller headlines. The page is broken up into clearly defined areas and it is obvious what’s clickable.

But that doesn’t mean it is 100 percent perfect. Although, there are a clear visual hierarchy I was immediately turned off by the small column in the middle. It seems random and out of place. Had it been placed on the side, it would’ve been more visually appealing to me. Similarly, it is clearly defined but in areas that might not be the best places to define a new area.

Half way down the page the layout is more clear and is broken up in a way I, as a reader, understand.

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The columns are clearly defined, has visual hierarchy and still makes it obvious what’s clickable.

The difference between the two areas are the noise. There are a lot more ads at the top that push the column to the middle. If there were to rearrange and clear that up it would look like the bottom half of the website and more uniformed.

Invisible Child: Dasani’s Homeless Life

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Invisible Child: Dasani’s Homeless Life was a project done by Andrea Elliott and Ruth Fremson in The New York Times. There have never been as many homeless youth in New York as now since the Great Depression. This follows one girl through the life of being a homeless child in New York.

I think this was extremely easy to navigate and follow along. The pictures were incredible and broke up a long text story very nicely. There were also a couple of stories, which I liked. This allowed the reader to have a greater understanding of everything going on. With only one or two stories the audience might not have all the information. Also, if they had put all the information into one story it could be distracting and confusing.

But there were things I thought could be improved. The captions were displayed differently throughout the page and I felt like that was slightly confusing. I like a more uniform look and this was distracting. Also, I thought there were a few things that could’ve been added. There was no multi-media other than pictures. A video could’ve added a more visually appealing aspect and broken up a long series of pictures. Also, there were a lot of facts and an info graphic explaining some of these would’ve been a nice way to convey these numbers to readers.

Overall, this was a nice piece and explained a series problem in New York. But I think with a few extra additions it could’ve been a wonderful multi-media series.

See the story here: http://www.nytimes.com/projects/2013/invisible-child/#/?chapt=1