pulp and pith … current affairs blog

Archive for April 2009

Or, six things I would change about Independent.co.uk if I had the power.

1.    The funny brown colour of the masthead and dividers. It’s a vaguely soothing shade, I suppose – reminds me of Caramac bars – and it does tie in with the print product: but it does not grab attention. And it certainly does not go well with blue.

2.    The website’s habit of crashing. It makes browsing sticky and awkward. Don’t publish the page if it won’t load properly! (Unless it’s only me who has this problem… if so, apologies).

3.    The font. Increase the size and make the line spacing bigger. Or send a free magnifying glass to every reader. Your choice.

4.    The lack of space. The overload of information and adverts on the page makes it hard to pinpoint what you want. Clarity is vital. Let the site breathe. Make it easier to navigate, and get rid of the endless succession of boxes and blocks. If you’re going to divide something off, do it with purpose. Don’t just whack a thin blue rectangle around it.

5.    There are not enough pictures. Even the most eyeball-blisteringly committed internet news reader needs to rest their eyes on a photo or cartoon now and again. Including extra photos would not require that much more effort or money.

6.    Independent Minds. Even if you know what you want to read about or comment upon, finding it ain’t easy. This part of the website has one or two leading articles in prominent positions, but there’s no organisation or prioritisation of information beyond that. Fewer lists and more editorial input on where articles are placed and how noticeable they are, depending on what’s popular and what’s going on in terms of breaking news, would help.

the independent

I have fond feelings for The Independent. In my youth my family were religious Daily Mail readers and it was my designated ‘I’m rebelling’ newspaper (yeah, I was a real tearaway).

Am I twisting the knife by dissing their website? Of course not. It’s constructive criticism. Presuming that the next Indie owner wants to be constructive with his or her new plaything…

Currently buyers are being sought to take it and its Sunday variant on. Both titles have suffered flagging sales due to stagnant brand identity, and are in a lot of debt (bosses are putting off announcing their annual results, which doesn’t bode well).

The Indie’s future is uncertain. Perhaps the brand’s fate was sealed when the daily paper increased its price to £1, something that the other national dailies remain just shy of.


About the blogger

Hello! I'm Gemma Kappala-Ramsamy, and this is my current affairs blog. Please feel free to comment.
April 2009
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