Everybody’s favorite fringe news organization, CNN, has updated the design of their Web site. Unlike the last three changes of design, I actually like this one out of the gate. Yes, I always got used to the old designs and quickly at that, but at first I disliked them. This time I’m impressed. It’s a little bit sparse, but the restrained use of whitespace is a refreshing change from many news sites (*cough*Fox News*cough*).
In part, this may be because the design isn’t a redesign so much as a tasteful makeover of the old design. By that, I mean that everything’s basically in the same place as before, just with a more serious look. However, it’s the addition of extra functionality that really appeals to me. For example, most section boxes now have the title followed by unobtrusive links to the main section page, video or other media, and then partner links. These links add a lot without upsetting the apple cart, as it were.
I also note with a good deal of interest that CNN’s video clips are now free; previously, you had to pay money to see their video. What forces led them to drop the subscription fee, I wonder? I can think of some likely candidates, but it would be interesting to hear from CNN why they did it.
Of course, they’re only free if you have the Windows Media Player 9 plugin installed. Otherwise, they’re simply unavailable. Gah!