TechNewsWorld : Previewing stories
Sampler panels optimise use of high-content pages.
TechNewsWorld, a news website belonging to the US-based e-business and technical news publisher ECT News Network, uses a simple in-page ‘taster’ for sampling content.
TechNewsWorld produces a daily edition with a ‘front’/home page packed with stories, banner ads and links that extends well below the fold (the bottom of the visible screen). ‘Top stories’ are listed in the main content area with a headline, thumbnail picture and the first few lines of the article (five for all but the lead story); click ‘More’ to access the full story. To the right is a series of boxes of related links, interspersed with banner ads.
The links boxes include several for other titles in the ECT News Network stable, among them E-Commerce Times and CRM Buyer. These boxes feature five headlines; rolling the cursor over a headline opens a preview panel to the left of the box that carries the opening summary paragraph of the article. The top of the panel is aligned with the headline, which is also highlighted in red. Click to open the full article. The same device is also used within publications.
TechNewsWorld’s front page provides an instructive contrast in story tasters. Previews in the main panel follow a traditional format, with headlines and introductory lines stacked so that the page soon needs scrolling to see beyond the first three or four articles. The sister publication panels to the right allow a similar sampling of the story but the use of rollovers significantly increases the number of articles that are visible on the page at any one time.
The attractions of the rollover are obvious on high-content pages and sites, which are becoming more prevalent in corporate as well as news and retailer circles, allowing more options to be put in front of visitors at greater convenience to them. Other applications could include adding a preview capability to related links that take users to either another section of a site or a third-party environment.http://www.technewsworld.com
First published on 26 January, 2010