Trends in Croatian news portals

Last month, the Poslovni Tjednik web site was reworked. Poslovni Tjednik is one of Croatian business magazines. We didn’t design that site, but we designed 24 sata and Nacional earlier this year. Those two are also newspapers online counterparts.

On both of our projects we brought some trendy concepts, as well as invented a few fresh ones. As a developer I often question myself about what are our influences (if any) to other development teams. The day has come for me to finally get that answer. Proud as I can be, I found a few great improvements on the Poslovni Tjednik, which I’d like to believe we at the Burza were on the minor part responsible for.

Article meta data

Article meta data comparison

On the article view, their information designer nicely grouped the tag line, the article title and the lead. We did it on the Nacional (see sample article) in a similar fashion, as the content units supposed to facilitate clear understanding and sweep glancing through the article.

Image captions

Image captions comparison

At the time we found image captions quite interesting, as Nacional’s photo archive is very well organized and up to date and with quite sufficient and consistent photography meta data. We felt we should take advantage of that and agreed with the editorial we should provide image captions with every photo on the site. The guys who worked on the Poslovni Tjednik obviously had the same luck as we were and came with quite similar solution.

This again proved that this is the way to go about image captions design.

Drop shadows

Drop shadows comparison

I remember when we contemplated over the visual design of the secondary information elements on 24 sata, we had a trouble to distinguish a description of the content to follow (tagline), from the content itself. At the time we opted for multi-dimensional effect – pulling, pushing and separating different content areas with plenty of drop-shadows and gradients.

We never knew it was so good. Now we know it – and the concept is quite successfully reused on the Poslovni Tjednik.

Vertical section labels

Vertical labels comparison

There’s really a huge amount of articles on the 24 sata, separated in many categories. The portal covers quite wide range of readership profiles.

We had to come with some additional hint about where the visitor currently is on the web site. Usually, highlighting the ‘current’ link is sufficient, but we felt it was not quite intuitive on that particular layout.

In order ot make things more clear, we decided to make it really obvious where you are on the site, by adding the vertical tab on the right hand side.

We never had a chance to make more user testing after the site launch, but it seems it’s working. After all, the Poslovni Tjednik has visually different, but pretty much the same section labeling concept.

Other concepts

Have you noticed some of the trendy concepts latelly? What’s in and what’s out in modern news portals?

Marko Dugonjić is a designer specialized in user experience design, web typography and web standards. He runs a nanoscale user interface studio Creative Nights and organizes FFWD.PRO, a micro-conference and workshops for web professionals.

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