A Word on Tennessean.com

2005-04-03
A Word on Tennessean.com

While I'm at it I just want to mention their recent website redesign. It was painfully overdue, however, things haven't gotten much better. It feels a bit "lighter"(due to some color changes) but it's still horribly cluttered. I'll just list a few points of concern:

The blue dot in the logo is used and abused. Let's try something unique.

There's a lot of white space up top. Why not center the logo and give it some authority over the page?

What is Tennessean.com? A marketplace? Move the classifieds to the left column and put your paper sections under the logo.

What's the "Top 40" emblem? Why is it there? It tells me nothing.

There are little grayish-green squares everywhere!

The yellowish beige carries a feeling of weakness.

Let's break up the three columns by putting a slight tint to the background of one or both of the left and right columns.

If you're going to do bullets, you must justify those line breaks. You must!

Tell Dillards you won't be their bitch. Make them submit an ad that's ELEGANT. That animated GIF is horrid. Make them submit something static in JPEG format avoiding that classic 1993 GIF dither. It makes them look cheap. Give them a bigger space if you have to.

Think about your non-IE users. When opening your page in Safari it automatically drops me down to the middle of the page. What's going on in FireFox? What's that huge empty space? (Not to mention your headline about fish, with the Pope's head right next to it.) Come on guys, it's not hard to check for these things.

Finally, A really good example of an online paper is The New York Times. Their logo commands the page, the headlines are well spaced and sized and also give a nice summary. Their section summaries at the bottom are well grouped easy to read and well spaced. Space is the key. Simplicity. And most important, it's easy to differentiate the ads from the paper content. I can easily move my eye through the page, avoiding the ads and reading only what I want.