OnMilwaukee is an independently-owned digital media company that focuses on creativity, community, and connection. The publication has a strong digital and social presence. For me, the first thing I noticed was the branding of the publication. The logo looks friendly and approachable, and includes a symbol that is recognizable to Milwaukeeans. When I browse through the site, I don’t feel as if it is being targeted to a certain gender. The simple primary color palette makes it neutral and appealing to people of any gender. In regards to age, I feel that the demographic that is being targeted is 25-35-year-old, young professionals. The UX of the site is simple. There are only 3 tabs on the navigation bar (“Home”, “Guides”, and “on/anything”) and a large search bar up top. The website is a continuous scroll, but there are some featured articles on top, along with a featured authors section and latest podcast section.
Article: 19 rooftop patios to explore before summer’s end https://onmilwaukee.com/articles/rooftop-patios
This article is in list format. It gives a brief 3-5 sentence summary of 19 different rooftop patio restaurants in the Milwaukee area. It definitely appeals to OnMilwaukee’s target audience that I mentioned above. I personally find this article appealing because I am always looking for new restaurants to check out and I love well-designed spaces with a good view so the content of the article was of interest to me. I thought the photos were stunning and gave a good representation of each of the rooftops that were discussed.
Right off the bat, the look and feel of this site is different from OnMilwaukee. It feels geared towards an older audience. There are 17 tabs on the navigation bar. It is not a continuous scroll, but similarly to OnMilwaukee, it has the latest articles at the top of the page. Different sections- for example, music, sports, food- and their featured articles are organized in a cluster-like way.
The Shepherd Express is a free weekly newspaper featuring independent local journalism. They have options to financially support the publication by becoming a member and getting perks.
Article: This Week in Milwaukee: Aug. 26-Sept. 1, 2021 https://shepherdexpress.com/music/this-week/this-week-in-milwaukee-aug-26-sept-1-2021/
I think the article was well-organized. It had headers with dates, then subheadings with the title of the event, location and time, then below was the body which goes into more detail about the event. I liked that they went into detail explaining the Japanese Taiko drum performance and the significance that it has in Japanese culture. I liked that they inserted a youtube video of one of the performances from a past year. The typeface that’s used for the article feels a bit “old” and boring. Not something I personally find appealing but it makes sense for their audience. Another thing about this article is there weren’t many photos. I think one of the photos is placed under the wrong date/event.
Publication was founded in 2008. Feels like it’s geared towards an older audience based on the design. There are 6 tabs up top, when you hover over the tabs, “sub-tabs” pop up. There is one big article at the top then as you scroll, it’s just a long list of articles not organized in any specific way. It seems to publish more “mature,” adult articles.
Article: Family Files Complaint For Discrimination Against Native Students https://urbanmilwaukee.com/2021/08/26/family-files-complaint-for-discrimination-against-native-students/
This article felt like a more formal news article. It included lots of quotes from the parties involved. There is one photo at the top, but none throughout the article. The point size of the text is smaller than the other publications I looked at.
The UX of the website feels more interesting and modern than urbanmilwaukee and the Shepherd Express. The typefaces feel more “fresh.” There are 10 tabs at the top and a side navigation bar as well. It feels geared towards a younger audience, maybe 25-35 year olds. There’s a “slideshow” of articles at the top, trending articles, then as you scroll down, they’re organized by topic.
Article: You Can Have Your Portrait Taken Today for an International Art Project
There is one photo at the very top of the article. There is a main article title, a brief subhead right underneath and the author’s name. This is a very short article. It seems like the main goal is to spread information (date, location, time) and briefly explain the event. It has hyperlinks throughout the article.
Feels like the audience is 35-40 year old males. It has a navigation bar at the top and their socials listed right below. The featured articles are arranged like a gallery at the top. Seems to have a heavy focus on music and local events. They have certain features like “Record Recommended” and “Mandatory Milwaukee”.
Article: Mandatory Milwaukee: Art and nature collide at Lynden Sculpture Garden
This article has lots of photos of the sculpture garden. The article is written in an informal and conversational manner, but still provides relevant information. It gives history of the garden and has links embedded in the article. There are captions on some photos of sculptures stating the title of the piece and the artist’s name
There are others that are sort-of local or sort-of entertainment (but, like Urban Milwaukee, probably focus more on other kinds of news), such as UpNorthNews or Milwaukee Independent. There is of course the website for the local daily newspaper, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. Are there others that you look at or are aware of? How do they compare to the ones that I want you to spend the most time at above?
To be honest, I don’t look at news sites or online Milwaukee journals.
For the national one, don’t go to a “hard news” site, such as CNN or NPR (but you could look specifically at Music@NPR!). Here I’m thinking more Teen Vogue than Jacobin.
i-D has been creating editorial content for over 30 years and started as a fashion fanzine. It is now a magazine and digital publication. It covers topics like news, culture, fashion, photography, music, beauty, and communities in the U.S. The target audience seems to be young people, maybe 18-25 years old. There is one giant photo/article when you open the site, which spans across the whole screen. Then as you scroll, there’s a “today in i-D” section and “features” section. There is a specific aesthetic of how the website is designed. Some of the headings are all lowercase, including the first letter of the word. Only sans serif typefaces are used.
Article: The queer artist exploring masculinity with Medieval symbols
The article features 6 pieces of artwork from Jakob Rowlinson and digs deep into the imagery and motifs that he uses. The article is well written, formal and scholarly. It contains some big vocabulary words that I didn’t know the meanings of. It was an interview but it didn’t feel like an interview, the quotes from the artist were scattered thoughtfully throughout the article. The images of the artwork were placed every two paragraphs, so it felt balanced. The images were crisp and high quality. I do wish there were little captions with titles of each piece.