In the last month or so, two newspaper Web sites in my regular rotation have redesigned their front pages.
centredaily.com – The new CDT site is so…2002. After all of these years, the paper of record in State College still doesn’t have a very good Web site. The new design is functional, but blocky and boring. The top navigation is useful though.
The site loads slowly though, about 5 seconds before the page becomes visible and it does not completely load until about 12 seconds have elapsed.
baltimoresun.com – The new Web site debuted last week with the “flag” showing “THE BALTIMORE SUN” prominently in the same typeface as the dead tree version. The page is full of modules with internal tabs that make finding stories about specific topics from the “print sections” possible without navigating away from the home page. That is a good thing too since the load time on this page is pretty bad — about 9 seconds for it to start appearing in the browser and 16 seconds until all the scripts have loaded. The modules probably have something to do with the slow load time, so in the end, they are probably a mixed blessing. The page also has a little too much “trapped gray space.” Overall though, not a bad design and improvement over previous efforts.