Some time in the late 90s, most newspaper and news sites settled on a model favoured by the early Internet Service Providers like Yahoo! and AOL. The homepage was the behemoth, the thinking went, that everyone would be drawn to like moths to a flame.
The logic however, has begun to break down. Articles and what the one time major homepages like msn.com wanted you to look at have seeped into your webmail user interface so the need to go to the homepage has dropped. At the same time, social media meant that the Internet was buzzing with links that went directly to what users find of interest. So has that impacted the homepage idea?
If the latest developments in online design of Britain’s ITV news are anything to go by, yes. The new design apes that of the familiar liveblog or twitter stream and makes a very strong case for the new way of thinking.
Instead of making every page a home page, this new design is a lot “stickier” in that users visiting the page aren’t those looking for something specific, they’re looking for the latest news. Adding to this, the site also makes updating breaking news far more intuitive, with the ability to pull in tweets from ITV news correspondents or anything else on the web. It’s the page CNNi should be really.
It may mean low page views but the user engagement should be more like Facebook’s, Pinterest or our beloved Tumblr.