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February 16, 2009 8:24 AM   Subscribe

The NY Times Article Skimmer. A little more information. (still a prototype, but very nice way to browse)
posted by device55 (12 comments total) 8 users marked this as a favorite
Not quite as pretty or automagical but I just load the Today's Paper page. At least it's complete.
posted by jim in austin at 8:29 AM on February 16, 2009

Both the Skimmer and Today's Paper still need tweaking. The Skimmer's pageview overwhelms because the eye has no focal point. One is forced to aimlessly skim back-and-forth, up-and-down, which is disorienting.

Today's Paper's layout is too busy, but it at least allows for up-and-down linear skimming. I hope eventually the Times' designers will place article icons at the far left (rather than far right, where they are presently), bold titles, and offer brief summaries for each news item.
posted by terranova at 8:37 AM on February 16, 2009

See also "Times" an RSS reader that is, um, very very hot. It is laid out like a newspaper and makes browsing news pretty darn close to the mythical dynabook. I don't much need the page-turning animations, but still, all in, I love it.
posted by zpousman at 8:43 AM on February 16, 2009 [1 favorite]

Agreed, the image placement is wonky. Why not put it flush-left, under the headline, next to the summary?
posted by device55 at 8:47 AM on February 16, 2009

NYT 15 Years Behind Modern Web Design
Prestigious Firm Still Thinks Ultra-Wide 5 Column Layout Readable/A Good Idea
posted by DU at 8:47 AM on February 16, 2009

But that's a leftist paper! who needs it!
posted by Postroad at 8:51 AM on February 16, 2009

So kinda like google news, but worse.
posted by empath at 8:54 AM on February 16, 2009

I liked it. Pretty fast, easy to use. I don't need to spend my life on this stuff, just scan it, mark what I need to read, and move on.
posted by mmahaffie at 8:59 AM on February 16, 2009

posted by odinsdream at 1:30 PM on February 16, 2009

Prestigious Firm Still Thinks Ultra-Wide 5 Column Layout Readable/A Good Idea

This was my first reaction. With excellent products already (freely) available like Google Reader and NetNewsWire, I don't see what they could make in-house to compete.
posted by vkxmai at 1:58 PM on February 16, 2009

This seems like another way to reinvent wheels which are spinning very nicely already.

For what it's worth, I enjoyed the slight customization I could garner from using the now-unsupported My Times (where you could create your own mix of sections and add in, if so desired, external widgets). It wasn't perfect, but it was a way to get a NYT that I could find the stuff I wanted in more easily than anything they served up for the general public.

Maybe the way to approach this is something like a customizable tag cloud. You create keywords, and based on your reading articles, the cloud presents articles to you increasingly targeted on your tags, with new tags suggested as you migrate outside your comfort zone. Anyway, it would be different from recreating the paper-reading experience online.
posted by dhartung at 4:50 PM on February 16, 2009

I like it. I think it has a lot of potential.

For those who prefer RSS, I don't think this is meant as a replacement for feeds. The idea is to produce many different types of reading formats - different strokes for different folks. I think this layout would work great in a landscape-orientation touchscreen tablet.

Next step would be to improve the navigation. Maybe set it up so that article loads in a frame when you click on the title and the list of articles orients in vertical strip. Left vertical strip #1 for primary navigation (Home Page, Emailed, etc), vertical strip #2 for second-level navigation (title of selected article, titles of other articles in section), and the rest of the screen for the full article in a 15%, 15%, 70% proportion or something.

And along the same lines as dhartung's ideas, this layout is quite conducive to some intelligent filtering. I could go for something as simple as a thumbs up/thumbs down rating system for each article to have the website tailor the results to what I like. Put articles that suit my taste towards the top rows or left columns and then fill to the bottom/right in decreasing order of relevance to preferences.
posted by junesix at 6:38 PM on February 16, 2009

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