Very nice redesign from the Dayton Daily News. The basic layout reminds me of a site that was redesigned earlier this year.
- Horizontal, tabbed navigation
- Local news emphasis
- Good sized main photo (could be bigger, but that’s hard to do on a content-heavy site)
- The modular structure will make it easier to make changes as managers learn about how people actually use the site
- Good ad sizes (great size for multimedia, which Dayton seems to do a good job of selling)
- Reasonably good emphasis on blogs and multimedia
- Good positioning on text ads
Some tweaks I’d make:
- Advertising belongs on the left side of the page (where people’s eyes flow more naturally’)
- The advertising column should be consistently advertising, not advertising and content (imho)
- I don’t see any place for user-generated content
- Interior nav element duplicates horizontal nav for classifieds and verticals
- Interior pages need breadcrumb navigation
- Story pages could use more “related” links so they properly serve as secondary entry pages
- Latest headlines need time stamps (I didn’t see time stamps on story pages, either)
- The site needs integrated search, but at least you can find obits or weather through the search box (search should also be bigger)
Overall, it’s a winning design, I think. There are some especially nice subtle touches that give the design some extra pizazz. The light blue is an increasingly popular color scheme for online news sites. I think it works, but I’m a big fan of it. I would like to see a little more spot color.
I congratulate Dayton the wide range of staff-written blogs, but where are the community blogs?