The site, and especially the home page, has gone through several design changes, some pretty good. Some, not quite. It seems to be in the latter phase right now. Of course, there are commercial reasons why they have those ugly gray banner ads in the middle of the page.
And floating banner ads that irritatingly appear just when you are about to click on a headline. But despite all this, I am sure there is a more aesthetic solution, considering all news sites feature these kind of ads to varying degrees. Right now, the once familiar and pleasant home page is definitely beginning to look worse for wear. Having worked with the news team, however, I have to say they do an amazing job (given the constraints and resources).
I used to hate the Indiatimes.com page too because it was so cluttered and unappealing in the aesthetic sense. It looks a little better now. I think they’ve cleaned up the place a little. But it’s still got a way to go. The extremely irritating ‘in-your-face’ photograph, makes me feel I’ve stumbled upon the Mid-Day mate page instead. I hardly visit the site.
The Hindustan Times page looks much better in comparison. The use of blue and grey (bands), red (borders), blue and black (font colours) is restrained and looks quite neat against the white background. The site has a lot of links and sections packing a lot into the home page, but manages to come out better looking than the rest of the pack.
The column-style layout, traditionally used in magazines and newspapers, is not the preferred format online, but the Express India look is quite distinctive. (Another site that uses this column format rather nicely on its home page is Salon.com). The catch is the page weight. It takes extremely long to open the page, especially if you’re surfing from a café or a dial-up at home.
Mid-Day is strictly okay. I rarely go there. But it’s good for city related information that I need once in a while. But then we’re not really talking about content here. That would be an entirely different subject.
Which would you vote as the best looking Indian news site?