I am a big fan of TED talks. I used to be a lesser fan of the website. But, quite recently, the website got a “makeover.” It used to have a collage of stills from talks. The collage consisted of large to small pictures. If you hovered over the large pictures, you could see the title of the talk. However, you could not do that for the smaller pictures in the collage, which was a little annoying. With the makeover, now the collage has large and medium pictures, which means you can see the title of the talk. It is a great improvement, in my opinion.
With jQuery, the website has done two great things for its homepage, which makes all the difference in how user-friendly the website is. First, it increased the sizes of the images in the talk-collage (as seen in the picture above). Second, it made a slideshow of sorts of all the recent talks, which you can scroll through with the handy-dandy right arrow button you see.
It’s a simple use of jQuery, but it made all the difference in the world. It is much more clean and fun to use.
Firestorm: The story of the bushfire at Dunalley by The Guardian
This is an amazing work!
The only thing you need to do is scroll down, and it even provides a small prompt at the bottom to remind you of that. The sticky navigation bar on the right side is convenient and consistent. And the position won’t distract much attention.
Its design is very user-friendly and it is rich of content. It uses photos, text, graphics, videos background sound and interviews to tell a dramatic and complete story.
As readers scroll down, the whole story unfolds as a long slide show. The previous picture fades out and the new picture fades in. Some other effects are used as well. Besides, the text goes up, continuing to tell the story.
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.