Which is more important? Webpage Design or Organization?

Tricky question right?

They both have their advantages and disadvantages, which is why having both would really create a great webpage, but if you had to choose one… I’d choose organization every time.

An organized webpage will trump a well-designed webpage because the content is always more important than the look (in life as well).  If you create a webpage with the best design elements, pictures, videos etc, but there’s no way to find any of it then what’s the point?  Having a plain page with no elements but readily available content will still allow users to find what they need quickly and easily.

The best way to organize a webpage is through links, tabs and lists which can separate different ideas or subjects.  Angel is a great example of a webpage that has minimal design elements but is extremely organized.  Students can easily find their courses at the top left and announcements in the center, scroll down and you’ll find your e-mail as well.  The design elements of the page include a simple header with the school emblem and a simple green and white color scheme.

In few cases design may actually be more important than organization.  Typically when a website isn’t content heavy and may rely on entertainment or gameplay webpage deign can take precedent.

Ranking the Top 4 Social Networks by Design

Here is a list of the most popular social networking sites ordered by their layout and design features:

#1 – Twitter 

Twitter is recognized as one of the social networking sites with some of the most traffic.  There are millions of users that use Twitter everyday.  It’s website is easily navigable with few ads, smooth design and minimal clutter.

A user is allowed to create a personalized background and font color to spice up their webpage.  The online website also translates almost identically to the mobile version, which is good for commonalities.

#2 – Facebook

Facebook has had so many different designs over the years, it’s hard to keep track.  The layout has been simplified over the years to include pretty much everything you need on the homepage.  A list of friends who’re online, groups, events and posts are all available at your fingertips.

#3- Instagram

Of all the sites, Instagram probably has the most simple website of all.  A smooth scroll down the page displays all the photos the people you follow post. There is a link to your profile but that’s about it.  The mobile version contains much more, with an “Explore” tab and of course the photo/video features.

#4 – Reddit

Okay Reddit is just awful.  There’s no organization at all it’s like they just post whatever they want with no visual keys or design elements other than a picture next to a link.  It’s very cluttered and hard to find specific items.  Reddit has a good premise, but the website looks like trash.

Typography Examples

These are 3 elements of typography that I have chosen and believe to be very interesting and compelling components of web design:

Permanent Marker Pro – Font

T3425_04

This font is a very interesting and new look.  It adds a look that a normal computer font, such as Times New Roman, doesn’t, with the look of permanent marker.  This would be a good choice for art websites or music, something where a permanent marker may actually be in use a great deal of the time.

Timber 02 – Vectors

E0713_03

This collection of natural tree images is great for the nature lover or websites pertaining to trees, arbor day, nature, wildlife or really; anything.  This collection provides a calming, cool feel to any webpage.

Wormhole – Videos

http://www.youworkforthem.com/video/V0402/wormhole

These types of videos are great for music websites, the arts, and of course science. These videos give the feel of a fast-pace, immediate nature to them, which is something you may want to convey on your website.  On top of that, they look really cool.

Reddit.com Webpage Design

 

The Reddit.com logo

The Reddit.com logo 

     Reddit is a news and social networking website that provides links to pictures, videos, stories and pretty much anything else of interest on the internet.  The problem with it though is not its premise, it’s its design which is unorganized, sloppy, and filled with advertisements.

     Instead of ranking the various links on one page, it would be smart to organize the links by category so one can browse much faster when looking for something specifically.  Also the website is very wordy; use of images should be more incorporated to invite more browsers.  The ranking system is something I personally believe should be done with; instead of ranking them you can still count the number of views and shares and possibly sort the links by these categories.

Overall the design aspect of reddit is very bad,  there’s really not much too it.  The important components of the site are hard to find (login box, register link) and its layout is simply boring.  Although it’s not all bad, the subreddits area provides numerous links to different categories such as sports, science and food, and of course the search bar helps a great deal. 

 

The Avalanche at Tunnel Creek: A New York Times Multimedia Story

Elyse Saugstad, a professional skier, survived her battle with the Tunnel Creek Avalanche.

Elyse Saugstad, a professional skier, survived her battle with the Tunnel Creek Avalanche.

The New York Times story on the Tunnel Creek incident is a story of mother nature and how it can show its strength at some of the most unexpected times.

The story is written with good use of language and writing but more specifically the layout and media is key to making this a success.

Video interviews, packages, pictures, and background images are all included in the story helping to give the story some life and personality.  Also it helps the story read better, giving the reader an opportunity to get background information, in one click.

Since “Page One” the New York Times has realized that in this ADD society we live in today, people don’t have the patience to read full length story with the multimedia to support it.

The Times uses this multi-platform technique very well.  The images and video of people from the actual incident really give the story a more dramatic feel without taking away from the writing.

Here’s a video by the New York Times that goes along with the story:

 

Page One: Inside The New York Times

A look into the New York Times hub, where much of the work is done.

A peak inside the New York Times office space.

The future of print journalism is no longer in our hands, both figuratively and literally.

The New York Times has adapted to the changes in today’s journalism industry, and thus has survived and will continue to survive for years to come.  The Times has gone from the paper, to online, to Twitter and on along with any other innovations.

Since going online the Times has recently developed an online pay model.

For unlimited access to NYTimes.com and the NYTimes tablet and smartphone apps it's 8.75 per week.

For unlimited access to NYTimes.com and the NYTimes tablet and smartphone apps it’s 8.75 per week.

Although most news is moving to an online format, the value of true journalism is still at an all time high.

The Times and ProPublica (an independent, non-profit newsroom that produces investigative journalism in the public interest) work together to find and report the news; unlike aggregates such as gawker and Newser which only post stories the Times or other major news outlets break.

With staff cuts coming in network news and White House coverage the industry is growing smaller still, so it pays to know your stuff and have reliable sources.  Such as David Carr (@Carr2n) and Brian Stelter (@brianstelter) of the New York Times.

Carr and Stelter work as social media experts for the Times.  They are a part of the wave of online journalists, as the Times continues to adapt.

The editorial model is one thing that has not yet changed at the New York Times.  The Times has its most senior editors sit down together in a room and decide what stories go where, what gets cut etc.

Younger companies such as Gawker have created a big screen (board) in comparison that shows what stories have the most clicks and what’s most popular at the moment.

A look at Gawker's big board. Photo credit as "Scott Beale / Laughing Squid

A look at Gawker’s big board. Photo credit as “Scott Beale / Laughing Squid

The Times has been carefully toeing the line between old school journalism and new age electronic journalism.

With the invention of the iPad in 2010 many believed that newspapers had been saved.  The iPad provided an electronic, hand-held device that you could read the newspaper on.  An experience very similar to that of an actual newspaper.

Will this be the savior for the newspaper industry?  Probably not, but it is definitely one of the pieces to a seemingly never ending puzzle.

 

Searching for inner peace at Brockport Diversity Day

Being a college student is stressful.

To quell this stress Brockport had Yvonne Ferreira – an award winning teaching artist – come in for a workshop.

Once students were seated they were told to draw their favorite people, places and things on a sheet of paper, and to remove their shoes (yes one of those incense stick things was burning).  After the drawing session Yvonne took the stage and greeted us all with a pretty decent rendition of what I think was a Whitney Houston song.

We went on to awkwardly introduce ourselves to our neighbors , and stretch (also awkwardly) , before Yvonne told us her story.  She’s of Trinidadian decent, ancestors came via Ellis Island and her happy place experience involved black coral, sharks and miles of the ocean sea.  The silence in the deep blue was one that she’d never experienced before describing how she could hear the beat of her heart and the sound of her breaths only.  From that point on, whenever Yvonne felt a stressful situation arising, she would return to that place in the ocean and search for peace.

Yvonne's keys to her personal happiness were on display for viewing after the session.

Yvonne’s keys to her personal happiness were on display for viewing after the session.

Our turns were next.

Yvonne took us on a mental journey to our own respective happy places where we forgot about the stress of our day and enjoyed the serenity of that place.  Once we returned from our happy place the session was ending.  Yvonne sang another song to us and left us with a few words of wisdom.