What’s black and white and read all over? A newspaper. Bada-ching. While that joke may never get old, newspapers have aged quite a bit over the years. Still, even though media has evolved from its print days, its soul remains the same.
Don’t believe us? Keep reading to see how the roots of print media and online media continue to mirror each other in many ways.
Front Page Worthy
What you once would have read on the front page of a newspaper, now lies on the home page of your website. Think of it like a hub that offers the widest overview of what can be found inside your website (similar to inside the pages of a newspaper). Then you can flip the page (or link in the case of a website) to “page A6” to get the full scoop. Thinking of your website like this is a great way to envision how users will feel when they land on your site and begin to navigate through it. You want it to be intuitive and easy, not complicated and clunky. Speaking of navigation…
The newspaper index was “navigation” before navigation was even cool. It was basically an alphabetized list of news articles that could be found in the paper to help readers find what they were looking for. Navigation for a website, although not alphabetical, works in much the same way. You create navigation links to important pages on your site and organize articles into categories and tabs. This navigation helps to make similar information, important information, and current information easy to find.
Above the Fold
Where do you think this saying originated from? Ah yes, our inky black and white friend. Above the fold was a reference to the upper half of a newspaper, where all the things most attention-worthy were gathered. It’s not much different on a website. Above the fold on a website is everything that you see when you first land on the homepage, without having to scroll down. It’s considered prime real estate, especially for advertising placement. It’s also prime real estate for your main navigation links and your website banner, which should be on brand and depending on your website goals, include a tagline and CTA.
The Original Sidebar
Another commonality between print papers and websites are the sidebar. In a newspaper, the sidebar is space next to an article that includes something related to the longer article. On a website, the sidebar is used more for navigational and advertising purposes. But like a newspaper, sidebars appear to the left or the right (or both sides) of the main content on the page. Some websites prefer to omit sidebars on the homepage and only have them on internal pages. Others have sidebars on all the pages, and still others prefer not having sidebars at all. It depends on the goals of your website, as well as layout and design.
As you can see, there are quite a few similarities between newspapers and print media, and webpages. If you keep that in mind when designing your website, it will help you to design a site that is user-friendly and simple to navigate. That means less clicking away because of poor first impressions, a nd more business as people stick around and consume your content.
Ahh, newspapers. Remember the good old days? Alas, it’s a new era friends. Embrace it!