Published on
April 18, 2002

Analysis of Online Media

The New York Times


Home Page

The Wall Street
Journal ONLINE

USA Today

The New York Times
on The Web


The online version of the New York Times has good material, despite the daily AP style error, but they allow applications to their site that are impediments to receiving information and holding on to readers.

Advertisement is the main source of mayhem on Not only are ads scattered about the page, but new ads pop-up every time a new page is opened. When an audio page of a selected reading was clicked on, the reading is not what was heard, and never was. Instead an animated ad, probably JavaScript, ran over the desired page. The sound of screeching tires were heard as a car drove over the page several times leaving a trail of blue lines. When the car finally stopped, it faded to white. Unfortunately, so did the entire page along with Internet Explorer. Having advertisements online is fine. Having advertise-ments that cause the entire browser to malfunction is not. The reasoning for this probably lies with in the fact that subscription to the is free and you can even have a customized e-mail of the publication sent to you every day. However, even though it is free, that doesn't justify ads that impinge on getting information.

As seen above, the home page is unbearably long. A finger could actually face fatigue from this website. This is due, in part, to a list of sections with each category's top three or four stories three-quarters of the way down the page, after the paper's sections have already been labeled at the top. If someone wants to read about Home and Garden, they will most likely select the link at the top of the screen rather than scroll down the enormous home page to check out the big gardening stories of the day.

I might point out that the audience was not entirely ignored in terms of page design. In terms of screen size, the did remember to include amenities like cell padding in their coding so that people with 800 x 600 screen sizes will have the whole screen filled, with no horizontal bar.