Tag Archives: pbs

A well-designed journalism website

This is part two of an a assignment for my Web Design for Journalists class at UMass.

Part one of this post involved me searching for a “terribly designed website” and point out what makes it so poorly designed. 

Part two of this assignment requires me to find a well-designed journalism website and make a post about why I like it.

But, as if you couldn’t see this one coming, I have loyally chosen PBS Frontline‘s website.

An aesthetically pleasing example of a well-designed media site.

The Frontline website is aesthetically pleasing, complex yet easy to navigate, and exudes an experience for the user. Here’s how:

  • The colors work. Note the varying shades of blue, gray, and purple. And, what pops out is the copany’s logo, which is classically white on red.
  • The shapes are spot on. Rectangles and squares follow continuous patterns, are spaced fairly, and are lined up like city buildings and skyscrapers.
  • Episodes are featured in two formats, as well as through the program schedule which is clearly marked.
  • Links to a popular topics and current affairs section is also clearly featured and is updated fairly regularly.
  • The user experience is first exemplified by a savvy theme. When users move their mouse over a featured program, an opaque detail card pops up, giving the viewer more information.
  • The front page also features a slick flip-book like rectangle showing off popular episodes.
  • When viewers click around the main menu they are taken to slightly less complicated sub-pages that aren’t necessarily less exciting but are clear and concise – and, yes, aesthetically pleasing.
  • The font and words are easy to read.
  • Their organization is key to helping fans find the shows they love most.
  • The screen fits to the window when it is expanded by a user.
  • Only one scroll bar is necessary.

It’s hip, it’s cool, it’s professional and is accessible.

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Product endorsement and breaking the news update

I just want to point out Frontline’s journalistic standards, as they pertain to my previous post, “Product endorsement and breaking the news.”

Frontline is an award winning news documentary program, which broadcasts nationally.

Part of the news-breaking-battle is the sponsorship and advertisers and the story being reported.

Here is an excerpt from Frontline’s Web site:

“…Once a project is funded, producers should try and avoid contact with funders except for promotional purposes. Sometimes, however, projects come to WGBH after independent producers have already had discussions with funders. In those cases the producer is obligated to disclose to the Executive Producer the nature of those conversations and to keep the Executive Producer informed of any future ones.” 

(“Funding a Program” 11.)

The program has many more guidelines, which pertain to the ethics of journalism.

 

I’m working to find more journalism ethics and guidelines from major media outlets. Let me know if you know of any. Please feel free to comment.

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