15 Dec 2008 3:35 pm   //   Filed under: Media, Technology

The right way to design a local news web site

The more I visit the radical new WNBC home page, the more I like it. You can get a quick, visual read on the news without any clicking or scrolling. Efficiency, usability and speed are in, “stickiness” and interactivity are afterthoughts. (I’m busy! Thanks for not wasting my time!) The design is simple, there’s no banner ad junking up the home page, and the site gives the user the smart option to sort stories based on editorial importance or time stamp. I bet the site’s simplicity also makes it easy and fast (and cheap) for the editorial staff to update it.

(Some other NBC stations, including those in LA, DC and Chicago, are using the same design.)

Unfortunately, this is still local television we’re dealing with, so they’re thin on quality content. (Hello tone-deaf filler story: “Ten Reasons the George Bush Shoe Attack Was Completely Awesome.”) Local newspapers, which are producing high-quality stories in search of a good delivery platform, could take a clue from NBC.