Sites That Speak Newspapers and Magazines

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Newspapers and magazines are the print venue for humanity's expression. They keep people informed, entertained, and, in some cases, change the course of political destinies.

Publications on the Web function in much the same way, although there's the exciting element of access to a much broader range of titles that might otherwise require a lot of effort to find. These include papers and magazines from cities, states, and countries all over the globe. This is the so-called Information Age in action.

Online publications are, in fact, one of the hottest types of Web sites. As such, there are many of them, so I urge you to go exploring and find ones that meet your interests, as well as those offered here, for the purpose of design commentary and learning.

First up is the Tucson Weekly Online, a small-town paper that has captured national attention for a number of reasons, including the discussion here: navigation. Large amounts of data require user-friendly, intelligent means of maneuvering the space, and the Tucson Weekly provides a very admirable example.

Next up is Word, a very popular 'zine that is a fine study of interface development. This extends the more specific ideas of navigation into a broader-spectrum learning for the designer: How to drive content by understanding how to contain it.

The Boston Phoenix's online offering is visually rich, with many beautifully designed image maps. Client-sided mapping is becoming the popular choice. You'll walk through an example of how to do this with the marvelous program MapEdit.

The next publication on the rack is The Brink, a 'zine that seeks to exploit hypermedia in artistic and cutting-edge ways. How can you use the Web as an artistic medium? Find out as I explore this on-the-edge online creation. On the more traditional front, the Minneapolis/St. Paul Star Tribune offers up an attractive site with a variety of highlights, including downloadable movie clips. is an alternative magazine that not only represents community, but fosters it via its interactive, global messaging forums. Designers wishing to implement this type of technology have the opportunity to think about some of the conceptual ways to present such forums. Do you think conversation might get scalding on an interactive system? It's always far above room temperature at the Phoenix New Times Online, which teaches how to keep content hot by making sure it's fresh.

La Nacion Online is one of Argentina's contributions to the global mien, and text alternatives and consistent navigation are discussed as you'll tour their contemporary site. MoJo Wire is an example of appropriate design, a simple-but-effective approach to making sure just the right amount of color and design enhances, but does not detract, from written content.

The last page of this tour is Dark Alliances, a journalist's project that is a fine example of what has been termed Way New Media. This is the combination of journalism with interactive, multiple medias. Dark Alliances provides a comprehensive look at how that can be done while maintaining respect and consideration for the variety of Web browsers and visitors.

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