Overall, I didn’t like Huffingtonpost.com. It’s extremely overwhelming in content. The FrontPage picture of a newspaper layout did not work at all for the site. Not only were the pictures too big but the giant headline links did not fit the stories. In addition, some of the ‘headline front page picture links’ were broken up into multiple links but made to look like a single link. The giant fonts and the giant links didn’t work at all and they are very confusing. Also, after scrolling past the giant picture and headline links there was a very large amount of content. While there was a header bar at the top with links to different sections/beats before the headline picture, it was weird going to a news website that didn’t have multiple top stories posted. The layout is very awkward and hard to navigate. Stories were very hard to decipher from advertisements on the pages. The section to log in or subscribe to their feed was too far down on the page and you almost miss it because it looks like an advertisement itself. That should really be somewhere at the top of the page and easier to find. The whole site felt like content overload.
I think that maybe switching the column of blogs with the column of media would have broken up the overwhelming content feeling. Just a thought.
There were a few things that did work and I thought were unique. The first can be found in the center column of stories. In this column were headlines that paired with pictures underneath them and what I found useful was the ‘quick read’ links. It opens up a small box that has a short summary of the headline and what was going on in the picture. It’s great for a reader who is only mildly curious and not sure if they want to invest in the story. The second thing that was unique was the huge portion of the bottom with links to other news pages and news sources. Unfortunately these could only be found at the bottom of the page and off to a corner. I think it would have worked better if the links went across the entire bottom of the page rather than the lower 2/3. The third thing I liked was the color coding of the different beat pages. I hate going to websites that look the same on every page for every story and I find it refreshing when color is added to break up that monotony.
It’s not a site I will use only because it is so overwhelming in content and difficult to navigate.