Goal: To analyze different news websites based on organization, structure, and demographic.
Additionally, what about the website is and is not working?
Use the chosen articles as reference.
OnMilwaukee is strictly about Milwaukee hence its name. The "guides" section shows a plethora of eatery options from restaurants to dinking events. This tab tends to be concise and to the point providing as much information as possible without sounding drab. For the food options tends to a wide variety of consumers, comfort food, finer dining, etc… Each Guide is bordered and clearly defined. Captions for the articles on the website lists enough information to gain your attention. There is no other text listed in the article caption to indicate what else the article is about.
While looking through the website, I felt a sense of comfort. The organization, colors and topics is the reason for this. The idea of this website is help promote tourism as well as be functional for the general public who already lives in Milwaukee. The article, "Identity design enhances customer appeal at BelAir, Dead Bird and more", gives information on the topic, yes, but how the information is written helps promote tourism. Talking about other places helps bring attention to them. One mention can send a slew of people.
Shepherd Express: Savory Changes at Bombay Sweets
At first glance, it feels very newsy to me. The "Home Page" is too cluttered. This makes it appear to have little organization. Everything is in your face. The website does have tabs that break down into many categories. Shepherd Express looks very messy, however, it in fact has a lot of organization. It's because there is so much going on that it looks disorganized and unapproachable.
Taking a deeper look in one of the articles, "Savory Changes at Bombay Sweets", I can see this website aims to an older demographic like Millennials and Gen-X. Typeface choices and color scheme hint at this observation. A lot of serifed fonts with a very heavy use of black and white. All of this hints at physical "Newspaper" productions. While the website may lack apparent structure, the wording isn't as bad. The wording is designed to be concise and informative. It's a little more dry than OnMilwaukee but it's not a complete bore bore to read through.
Compared to OnMilwaukee, the length on articles is relatively the same. Shepherd Express is just producing way more content for viewers to read about. Because of this, the organization feels overwhelming no matter how the website labels and catagorizes its content. Personally I would not gravitate towards this source of information about Milwaukee directly.
UrbanMilwaukee: Who Bought MKE Brewing?
Each Article is shown with the same importance and is clearly visible. All articles have vertical organization, equal spacing and font sizes. The contents of UrbanMilwaukee is primarily political. The only exceptions are "Food & Drink" and "Real Estate" tabs.
While looking at articles, I noticed when you click into some articles, there is very little information on the topic. You'll see a small section but then the rest of the article is a bunch of random information on other articles. The article "Who Bought MKE Brewing?" is a great example of this happening. Any leftover space is used for Ads.
This is not always the case though as there are other articles that focus more on information. Continuing to look through the articles on the websites, I find the
amount of information to not be consistent. Some topics have loads of information
and some have very little.
I personally wouldn’t use this as a news source because it’s starting to look like
Ads and Ad revenue are more important than the information for the content they post.
There is very little consistency on how articles are treated. Compared to the other
websites, UrbanMilwaukee’s website feels like an afterthought. Because of how they
organize their information, there is a lot of room for Ads. All of the sudden the
website becomes a competition for Advertisers.
MilwaukeeMag: How to Get the Look of This Cozy Cabin
This news website feels completely different from other competitors. Articles are more image based. There is a sensible amount of information. The information is to the point while not sounding drab. The organization is easy to understand. I don't feel myself getting lost when I'm looking through information. There is a wide variety of tabs to choose from, Culture, Life Style, Eating & Drinking, Events, etc… If I had to guess which age range this website
is aimed towards, I would say 26-35 year olds. The use of typefaces and quantity of images
in the articles feel younger but seasoned at the same time.
Looking at the article "How to Get the Look of This Cozy Cabin", there are serifed fonts combined with sans-serif fonts. The sans-serif fonts are bold and stand apart giving the feeling of breathable space. There are multiple images of examples of cabins combined with continued descriptions and information. This makes me think of a younger audience. A heavy use of white space is still used which leans towards an older audience.
I would go to this website fro information. Images can tell a thousand words. My
generation likes imagery more than text typically. The website feels alive and
like it’s edited regularly.
MilwaukeeRecord: Celebrate the life of David Bowie with January 10 screenings of ‘Labyrinth’ and ‘Cat People’ at Avalon Theater and Times Cinema
Information overload! I can't tell what's an Ad and what isn't. The homepage is almost unreadable. The saving grace are the tabs at the top of the website separating categories
of articles. The interesting thing about the articles is that they aren't half bad.
Looking at the article, "Celebrate the life of David Bowie with January 10 screenings
of ‘Labyrinth’ and ‘Cat People’ at Avalon Theater and Times Cinema", there is enough
information without being too long. The titling of the article makes sense along with
the associated imagery. My only gripe with the article is the video link doesn't
work. If I was a tourist looking for information about Milwaukee and saw this website,
I would think the website itself a scam.
MilwaukeeCourier: Student Loan Debt Relief is a Game Changer
MilwaukeeCourier is primarily an economic and political news website. They have
topics from Welfare to Climate Change to Federal Food Aid.
How each topic is viewed on the website is very structured. Every new article is separated
evenly with the main article receiving the majority of focus. Compared to other websites,
the articles are heavier on content; not too long but bordering on "I don't wanna finishing the reading". The article, "Student Loan Debt Relief is a Game Changer", I could see these characteristics within its organization and structure.
I would use this as a source of information but not as my sole use. I would like to
confirm information from others strictly because of potential misinformation and
topic of the reading.
MilwaukeeNNS: Post From Community: On Belay – Outdoor Rock Climbing
Some general information about the website, it uses the Milwaukee color pallet, it's
smaller than other websites and is very community based. The organization is a little "weird". Unless you hover over wording you wouldn’t know each sentence was a hyperlink
to an article. The organization is cluttered and hard to read because of this. Looking
further, there are some categories, but nothing compared to the other websites that
push out lots of information. Content within the articles themselves shows little
imagery and a sensible amount of information.
If we use the article "Post From Community: On Belay – Outdoor Rock Climbing" from the website, we can see these characteristics. There is one image associated with the article
and what feels more like an announcement rather than an article. The website is certainly unique for doing announcement based information rather than true articles. This separated them from other news websites. This is not a given for the entire website though.
There are other articles with much more information. This information is split into subcategories making it easier to read, understand and digest. This is a very strong design/organizational strategy. Breaking down information helps the reader understand
what they are reading.
One thing that is nice about this article is that the writing sounds like there is an actual person behind the words. Other websites are a little more drab with their tones. Because of this, not necessarily bad, I get the impression that this is run by a smaller company with even fewer people. I’m just making assumptions though.
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: The hummingbirds are leaving Wisconsin for the year. Where are they going? Here’s what we know about their annual migration
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel is what one might consider a traditional news website. Categories
of topics are listed into drop-down menus like most websites. There are some categories split into 3 article section on the homepage. This acts like a preview into some of the topics mentioned in the categories. Each article feels like they’re treated consistently with equal spacing, article length and tone. The article lengths are longer than other news websites, however, they don't feel too long to read.
There is one article that stood out to me the most, "The hummingbirds are leaving Wisconsin for the year. Where are they going? Here’s what we know about their annual migration." Within the article, there are multiple sub sections continuing to break down information for easier reader consumption. More and more websites are starting to use this method.
I would go to this for more “heavy” news. My generation likes things broken down more so having articles broken down within them structurally makes sense to us. Makes information easier to look at when it’s explained in steps of need to know knowledge. The one thing
about this website is that after each article, ¾ of the article space is used up by random article headings. There is no reason for why each article is so different. (Lowers the quality of the overall website in my eyes. If you wanted articles at the bottom for more
to read, then having them slightly tailored to the article they are attached to would be better. : shoes and president should not be attached to Mexican culture article.)