MinnPost.com has released a preview of what their soon to launch news site will look like:
It looks pretty good. Clean. Fairly scannable. Links to a river of news stories and posts along with a link to a river of comments would seem like valuable additions.
I’m a bit surprised that there isn’t more real estate set aside for ad space. Clean is good, but it’s tough to bring in much ad revenue without ads.
The use of sketches for authors seems strange to me. Personally, I prefer author images that build a personal connection with readers. Eyes play the biggest roll in this. As Ben from BenCredible likes to say, everyone’s eyes are drawn toward people’s eyes, so make sure their eyes are in focus when shooting video. I don’t think that translates to sketches very well. The Huffington Post uses b&w images of authors, which is a pretty smart strategy. That makes it fast and easy to get author submitted photos of themselves into the system with a consistent, yet personal, look. That could be done with the journalist photos they’ve already collected.
Will the RSS icon take people to a page with RSS options or will it like to a site-wide fire hose of content? Can I subscribe by topic, author, post comments?
Since the target audience isn’t the most tech savvy, is an RSS icon enough of an explanation of syndication options.
I’d also drop the “Home” link from the homepage. Redundant.
There is a Corrections link in the footer. Will stories themselves be updated with corrections?