Tuesday, March 6, 2007

USAToday Web site redesign

I've been reading several of the reviews of the new USAToday Web site that includes almost every social software design trick in the book. The reactions are pretty much bimodal: you either love it or you hate it. No one is neutral.

Hated it: USAToday - a brave new mess
Loved it: USAToday.com Refashions Itself as a Social Network

I actually liked the design. Sure they buried ads right in the middle of the copy, but I'd rather have that than pagination any day. I had a hard time finding some of the social software features. They weren't readily apparent from a casual browse. Perhaps they would be more obvious if I actually registered and created my own page. I wasn't about to do that. If they accepted an OpenID I might have done it, but I'm just tired of creating profile after profile after profile, so unless it's really compelling I'm not going there.

I spent about 30 minutes looking around, kicked the tires pretty good, and then started looking for the syndication feeds so I could subscribe to Tech, Sports, and Money. I found this through their site map: USATODAY.com RSS Feeds. I'll be darned if I could find the feeds on any of the content pages. You had to really want to subscribe to syndication feeds to find them.

I suspect that I will never return to their home page again. Even though I personally liked the design I don't go to "destination" sites anymore. The bottom-line is their site design just doesn't matter- social networking or not.

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