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Evening Edition and making readable news

Noted—Evening Edition, a daily news digest that plays nicely with mobile screens.

Interesting for several reasons. Firstly, I really like the smart design (as you can see. I’m playing around with a similar look on my own site in preparation for a news project. But I digress).

However, I’m not so sure of its overall value. The stories are top level headlines; there’s nothing you wouldn’t find if you subscribed to the BBC website, for example. The value of curation comes from the curator’s knowledge, viewpoint or character. This site’s editor seems a little anonymous. I may well be wrong.

There’s also something queasy about linking to stuff without comment. You’re not creating anything while someone still has to write - and get paid for - the original content.

Anyway, it is good to see news designed for the majority of its readers. There’s no reason not to apply this list approach to other news websites (just like ITV News and Today’s Guardian). It caters for the biggest online news audience: People who just want an idea of what’s going on out there now.

Online newspapers still find it difficult to let readers find and just read news. Several hundred stories on the home page, vast navigation lists and a more the merrier attitude to social media icons still prevail.

Because computers are good at storing and classifying data online newspapers have been designed more like archives than something you just read.

That’s not to say archiving isn’t a really important function. Sometimes you might want to research an organisation’s history or see what happened ten years ago. But it’s not what the majority of readers want, and newspaper design should reflect that.