Most online news sites are poorly designed messes where stories are packed into every crevice of the site with no consideration for the user. Those who just want to browse the latest headlines are often left to wade through a sea of indecipherable text. The following sites recognize that online readers want to browse headlines and they want to do it quickly.
USA Today has long been a champion of visual journalism. Newsdeck, launched last week, continues that tradition with a headline aggregator laid out in the paper’s colorful but simple style. Headlines are broken up into separate boxes that, by selecting the arrow button, toggle between top stories and most popular stories.
Article Skimmer, launched earlier this year, is a user-friendly interface for browsing the latest New York Times headlines. Browse different sections by selecting a category in the sidebar or using the up and down arrow keys on the keyboard.
While the Times and USA Today visualizations only show headlines from their respective papers, Google News Timeline displays news stories from a variety of news outlets, arranged chronologically on a timeline. Users can also enter a search term to see the news on a given subject as it has been covered over time.
DoodleBuzz isn’t going to be the site of choice for hardcore news readers, but it is a fun tool for visualizing news headlines in a unique way. Enter a search term and draw a few lines with your mouse and DoodleBuzz creates headlines based on your doodles. Doodle more and you’ll find story excerpts as well as related topics.
UPDATE: Be sure to check out lanacion.com’s visualization of its most popular stories. Each story is arranged in the tree map format also used in the popular Marumushi Newsmap (hat tip to the site’s Conectados blog).
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