Gawker

Sordid tabloids are still a staple at grocery checkout lines. The enormous headlines, grainy photos and detailed accusations of Oprah being an alien characterized my childhood shopping excursions with my mom. Fear no more, such inglorious stories are ALSO available online at gawker.com

The most “important” story is at the top of the page, with an enormous picture that makes you want to click on it. There’s a sidebar that you can scroll down and click on other stories from today. It’s pretty clear which story Gawker thinks is the most important, and then there’s a continuous news feed on the righthand side as a sidebar. But after those places to find stories, I think they just arbitrarily pick two other stories to feature underneath the main story, which would indicate they’re also important.

I’d like to note that the “continuous news” idea is really popular right now. Another example of this is KSBY from San Fran. Each new story automatically goes to the top of the homepage…giving the idea they’re constantly covering the news for you. KOMU here in Columbia follows that same example, if you want to take a gander, but for the record, I’m pretty sure we got the idea from KSBY.

Back to Gawker, it’s quite obvious which things are clickable. The images and headlines are all clickable. In the continuous newsfeed sidebar, the entire thing is clearly clickable, since when you hover over it, it shows as a hyperlink.

Lastly, Gawker does a good job of letting its content be noisy on it’s own. The headlines, in a normal serif font aren’t in CRACKED font or whatever, but they’re incendiary on their own. The whole page really uses white space, and allows their pictures and words to create “noise,” if you will.

I frequently use Gawker whenever I’m writing entertainment stories for Newsy.com, and I find it pretty easy to navigate. I think a navigation bar at the top, rather than in the footer would be more visually appealing and perhaps easier to navigate, but other than that, I think Gawker does a good job of publishing their stories in a clean cut manner…even if their content is pretty …erm, unclean.

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3 thoughts on “Gawker

  1. maolingxiong says:

    I think generally this website is user-friendly. It’s pretty clear what stories are highlighted, and they only highlight 3 stories so it’s clear and not overwelming to audiences. I also like the width ratio of the main part and the sidebar, which leads to a functional sidebar with relatively enough information for each story but not too wide to influence the main page.

    The consistency of the page is quite obvious: every story with a picture both in the content and the headline. It’s visually attractive and also it’s organized. Every story has the same format, so audiences feel comfortable about the consistency of the whole page.

    But it’s not easy to get back to the home page once I click on a story, and this is something I don’t feel good about this website, and also a lot more websites.I just think it’s always nice if a user can go back to the page or go back to the homepage conveniently.

    Another drawback of this website is probably the navigation. I think it’s nice to list the good stories in the sidebar or down on the main part, but navigation at the top is always a good way to organize things. Audiences find the story they want in their own ways, and we can’t be sure that they like a list of topics instead of category of stories. We might offer them more options.

    Also, the uppercase all over the page is kind of stylish, but not really usable. It’s not simple clear and understandable as lowercase.

  2. aetaylor7 says:

    I’m glad that you decided to blog about this site – I had never thought to check out any drug store gossip rags’ websites, and I was pleasantly surprised by Gawker’s. Meaning, I was pleasantly surprised by its site’s design. Not its “news.” Sorry, felt the need to clarify.

    Yes though, this website seems to be quite user friendly. I was shocked by how clean it is – I would have expected a lot of obnoxious fonts, neon colors, etc. Because of the publication’s decision to do this, it’s incredibly easy to understand the website at a glance and know where to click for the stories you’re seeing.

    While I’m a fan of the continuous news feed sidebar, I agree that the site’s navigation isn’t up to par. After looking for a moment, I don’t see where I could, for example, search for stories about a specific celebrity or event. This is definitely a drawback and something that the site should think about improving upon.

  3. jclee89 says:

    This concept has also been duplicated on its sister sites: io9, Gizmodo, Kotaku and so on. I browse Kotaku on occasion and next to its weak content, its interface turned me away from reading it.I honestly think there is a more economical way of displaying the news items on the website next to a slider beside the main window. I feel the small right window is very limiting to the amount of new stories you can show. I would have preferred a a front page with the newest articles spread out so I can pick and choose between the stories I would like to view.

    Especially with the sort of content the site generates, its headlines often leave me confused and a short blurb on the content of the article would have greatly helped..I also disliked how you can only scroll with the arrow keys in each window by clicking it. I don’t want to have to go back and forth between both windows just to view the content of the articles or look through the headlines.

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