"There isn’t a style book for this stuff," Tom Bodkin, design director of the Times explains. "There’s no consistency."
Journalism may be going through a painful period but thanks to the web the once lowly information graphic is finally growing up to be all it never could on paper. Especially the New York Times seems to currently stand out in how frequently and quickly they build amazingly detailed and insightful interactive features. Consider the tracking of US Airways Flight 1549 or the piece on raising its engine from the Hudson. Other recent highlights: 9,955,441 parking tickets issues in NYC mapped by street, The Ebb and Flow of Movies: Box Office Receipts 1986 — 2008, Ansel Adams's Yosemite, the view from the 10-meter platform explained, A look at the language of presidential inaugural addresses 1789 to the Present, A Map of the number of medals that countries won in summer Olympic Games, Going to the End of the Line, The 44 Places to go in 2009, an explanation of how the Pentagon responded to criticism of then-Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld, The Soyuz Spacecraft, How the Towers Stood and Fell and many, many, more. [more inside]
Meet the new New York Times. After five years, the most popular newspaper on the web has gotten a facelift. Joining a recent web design trend towards optimizing for wider screens, they've gone for no fewer than six columns on the front page. And while I wouldn't look for a wiki any time soon, they seem to be giving a nod to the web 2.0 crowd with javascipty scrollable image bars and prominent links to recent video (hello, YouTube) and current rankings of their most popular, most emailed and most blogged articles (hello, Technorati). The new Times Topics aggregate articles (and multimedia) from across the site, along with background info (hello, Wikipedia). All the more impressive, considering the head of their design team (who also redid The Onion!) was hired just three months ago. Of course, Mickey Kaus will still see this as proof that Sulzburger should be fired.