These days, people love reading newspapers and magazines online. If you take a look at the number of subscribers of New York Times and Boston Globe, you will realize the popularity of digital content. While designing a newspaper, magazine or any other type of content heavy website, readability matters the most.
Here are some guidelines that will help you design the content in a user friendly manner.
1. Content Navigation Methods – A quality web design attracts readers, helps them scan the pages effortlessly and improves user experience. Some designers think that multiple content sorting methods are helpful for readers and clutter the layout with unnecessary navigation options. Several websites highlight “most read” and “recommended by Facebook friends” article links, but if nobody is really clicking on them, then they are simply wasting the space.
You should try Google Analytics and see how people like to navigate news websites. Do they like navigational links or type the keyword in search bar? Ask the web programming expert to design a simple tab based navigation system for your site and give the readers one click access to all important articles. People don’t like a cluttered website. Hence, remove anything that is eating up valuable space in your site.
2. Experiment with Type and Spacing – Typeface has a huge impact on the beauty and readability of text content. Select the typeface very carefully because people will access your site from different devices. For instance, a reader can access your site from a desktop computer, a tablet and a smartphone. Each of these devices has different screen size and resolution. Some readers define custom font size, while some change the screen brightness. No matter what modification the end user does, your content must be readable under all conditions.
Choose the fonts that are specifically created for digital content. Publish some content in your site and take feedback from your team and selected readers. Are they happy with font style and line spacing? If you get any negative feedback, take the necessary steps.
3. Respectful Advertising - There is a stark difference between print media ads and web ads. Readers of a printed magazine don’t tear the pages to remove an ad, but when they see an ad in websites, they immediately start looking for the “close” button.
Magazines select relevant ads so that readers don’t get annoyed. Unfortunately, site owners publish any ad in their site without considering the content of the ad. Web ads are mostly garish and stupid, because web marketers think that loud and colorful ads can grab readers’’ attention. On the contrary, it diminishes viewers’ interest.
Suggest your marketing team to select some sensible and relevant ads for your site. For instance, if you have a magazine site, then you can publish ads of third party news apps. When you display useful ads in your site, people pay attention to it and stay longer in your site.
Placement of ads is also very important. Make sure that your ads don’t hinder readability or distract the readers. Place the ads in sidebar area to give your readers an uninterrupted reading experience.
4. Check Google Analytics – Once the site is designed; start using Google Analytics to understand user behavior and modify the site design and content placement accordingly. If you see that most of the readers are accessing your site from tablets, then optimize your layout for tablets to offer a better user experience.
5. Ask Your Audience - Instead of taking any whimsical decision, ask your readers what they like and don’t like about your content. Conduct a survey and then modify the user interface of your site. You may think that political news should be given high priority, but if majority of your readers tell you that they want to see more sports related news in headlines, then do the needful.
For a newspaper/magazine site design, you should hire a website design company . Professional designers know the importance of readability and they design the layout properly. These content design and placement suggestions are only for news and magazine websites. If you want to design an ecommerce site or a portfolio, then content organization is not a big issue for you.