It is very clear how USA Today has reached the number
two spot in the nation in such a short span of time. Everything
is taken seriously, while making it look attractive and entertaining.
By far, USATODAY.com has the best website of the top three newspapers
in the Nation.
It is the only company, of those reviewed that offers
a search engine. USA Today has Lycos search capabilities. This
is valuable for people who set their homepage to USA Today as
opposed to AOL or Yahoo!. This way, not only can a viewer get
any kind of news information when they go Online, but they can
also do a search from that page, rather than logging in somewhere
The home page is much shorter than the other home
pages, distancing itself from the feel of a printed-paper, while
retaining pertinent information, such as top news stories, other
subject areas, and linked pictures. The splash of color at the
top and on the section headings carries over the look and feel
of the actual paper, grabbing the reader's attention. However,
the colored bars (encasing News, Sports, etc.) are not active.
The actual words must be clicked, which is a slight hindrance,
since for most people the instinct is to click on any part of
the desired object. Besides that, the bars are a space saver and
eye-catching. While the color is continued throughout the page,
it is limited. The advantages to this are faster download time
while maintaining an attractive site. Too much color can be garish
and often hard to look at, but used in the correct proportions,
color may not only bring in more viewers, but also keep more viewers.
Another consideration made for those with a slower
modem transfer rates was the design in the logo. The USA Today
logo, seen above, was done with a layering technique to make it
load faster than a scanned in, block image.
USATODAY.com has selected some specific quick reference
titles (scores, travel, and markets to name a few) as shortcuts
through the main sections. Again, this is the only publication
to offer this feature.