The Product Guy’s Weekend Reading (August 1, 2008)

reading_w_TPG_thumb5_thumb2_thumb2_t[2] Every week I read tens of thousands of blog posts. Here, for your weekend enjoyment, are some highlights from my recent reading, for you.

On Starting Up…
http://bokardo.com/archives/passionates/
Some thoughts from Joshua about what to do with those “passionate” users.

On Design & Product Experience…
http://aiburn.com/article/the_emergence_of_gradient_grunge_design
Great look at the emergence of the Gradient Grunge style.

On Modular Innovation…
http://www.centernetworks.com/how-to-save-the-music-business
Hank and Bill see how Modular Innovation can save the Music Industry.

Have a great weekend!

Jeremy Horn
The Product Guy

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MSNBC. An online experience.

windows_on_monitor_thumb1(part 4 of 5) Yahoo News, CNN, MSNBC. Each online news organization presents a different spin on the visual and interactive presentation of the news.Website: MSNBC Online
Briefly: MSNBC’s website was found to be the #3 online news website in December 2007. (read more)
00_msnbc_homepage

What’s Enjoyable?

  • The primary and category homepages (e.g. Travel, Health, etc.) have simple, clean, and consistent layouts.
    • They provide a minimalist feeling, making for easy skimming of the content.
    • Within the sub-category sections of the pages the link color, mouse-overs, and gradients provide good contrast for eye-easy reading and highlighting.
p01_msnbc_primary p01_msnbc_travel
  • Customization and its impact on the elements on the page(s) is both obvious and easy to use.
p02_msnbc_customization
  • The category tree allows for the peeling away of the layers of the news-“onion”, gradually displaying more articles within the categories of interest, dynamically and without the need to load (or navigate to) additional web pages.
p03_msnbc_category_tree

What’s Disappointing or Unsatisfying?

  • The colors in the page header and footer make those regions of the page very hard to read and, in turn, use.
c01_msnbc_header
c01_msnbc_footer
  • The advertising displayed can be overly intrusive. For example, the ads right in the middle of the text flow of the news articles are too much (and annoying). Don’t you (MSNBC) already have enough ads on the pages?
c02_msnbc_too_many_ads
  • Customizing the desired order of the sections on the page can be a slow and clumsy process. The placement and behavior (one move up or down at a time) are both contributing factors.
c03_msnbc_customize_layout_A c03_msnbc_customize_layout_B

    Until then, think about & share…

    I’ve now explored, in detail, the top 3 online news experiences, Yahoo News, CNN, and MSNBC. Stay tuned to find out which one (or two?) stand out as the best online user experience.

    Subscribe now (click here) to make sure you don’t miss out on the conclusion of this series comparing and contrasting the top 3 online news sites (Yahoo News, CNN, and MSNBC) along with my declaration of online news experience champion.

    Tune in to see if you agree with me — or want to argue a different perspective.

    More Information

    Enjoy!

    Jeremy Horn
    The Product Guy

    The News is Improving

    windows_on_monitor(part 1 of 5) Yahoo News, CNN, MSNBC. Each online news organization presents a different spin on the visual and interactive presentation of the news.
    00_yahoo_homepage 00_cnn_homepage 00_msnbc_homepage

    Most everyone has their favorite resource for getting news online. Perhaps it is the content, or the extension of the TV experience with which you are most comfortable, that pulls you in the direction of one particular news site over another. But, what about from the perspective of each online news product’s User eXperience?

    As of December 2007, the top 3 news sites are: Yahoo News, CNN, and MSNBC.

    The Yahoo News, CNN, and MSNBC websites provide their respective users with different online news experience advantages and disadvantages.

    Over the next few weeks, I will explore, discuss, and compare the top 3 online news sites, Yahoo News, CNN, and MSNBC, and share with you which, among these three, I find to be the champion of User eXperience in online news.

    Next, I will be looking at the first of the top 3 news sites, Yahoo News.

    Until then, think about & share…

    What online news experience do you most enjoy?

    Subscribe now (click here) to make sure you don’t miss any part of this series exploring the User eXperience within the world of news websites as well as other upcoming, insightful posts from The Product Guy.

    More Information

    Enjoy!

    Jeremy Horn
    The Product Guy