Link to the website: http://www.globalpost.com/america-the-gutted-globalpost
The topic of this site is very easy to tell — the homepage shows a brief introduction to the story context with an image of faded American flag in the background. When users first enter the site, they are able to grasp the fact that it is going to be a deep story affecting people around the world.
When we scroll down, or simply click the arrow at the bottom of the homepage, we enter this section “What’s happening.” It’s a 1:30 long video piece explaining the situation of America’s disappearing middle class. At the bottom of this section, there are four links to related articles on the Global Post website. This single, long webpage provides vertical reading to readers. However, it is possible to selectively go to one of the section by clicking on the tab on the top of the site:
Scrolling down also helps people get a glimpse of the overall content. We all like to skim content before we actually spend time reading or watching anything. The next section combined two interesting graphics:
The left graphic links to a new tab, which explains the birth and the history of the middle class by using a timeline graphic.
The right link “Data Interactive” provides statistics through a clear and very interactive graphic for users to select countries and years to compare manufacturing data and GDP development.
As we scroll further down the website, we see more videos, graphics, text, photo slideshows all combined and mingled together while divided by different sections.
Although the content is very rich and covers varieties of topics in a global perspective, in terms of the user experience, I think this site could have a stronger emphasis in connecting different sections. A vertical reading page is supposed to simplify user’s reading process and provides a clear storyline, but this type of story is neither chronologically arranged nor logically related. There’s only one navigation bar at the top, which doesn’t necessarily provides an overview of the section’s content.
In addition, while the stories are interesting, all the external links to graphics and articles bothered me when the layout and design in the newly opened pages are completely different from the original page. It’s important to maintain a consistent sense of feeling when the website is trying to engage viewers.