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Redefining
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Zhao

  1. 1. More Than Shovel-ware A Call for Layered Stories for Online Journalism Yanjun Zhao, Ph.D. Cameron University
  2. 2. How users read on the web? They don’t.  Instead of reading, they scan pages.  Reading something from a screen is more tiring to the eyes than reading the same information from a hardcopy.
  3. 3. Web usability  Visual design of pages and the logical presentation of information  Makes it easy for the user to find the desired info quickly and efficiently  This paper addresses the story page design in online journalism
  4. 4. The focus of this study: Text information design  Visual design of online news text  Not the multimedia add on  This study studies the presentation of text body of online news articles  the limits of shovel ware  The potential of benefits of layered stories
  5. 5. Literature review Current status: shovel ware  Transferring content from newspaper to the webpage with little or no revision.  This approaches assumes that people would read an article online the same way as they would read a print version
  6. 6. Wrong assumption  The assumption under shovelware ignored some crucial features of people’s online reading style.  Scan v. read  Less patient reading long text from screen  Resolution  72 ppi on screen  300 ppi in print
  7. 7. Online Journalism’s capacity Necessary to present the info in a “scanable” way. When info presented well, users could have easy and fast access to additional info.
  8. 8. Layering  Dividing text-based stories into several sections, and each section has a section heading, which represent the whole section  Advantage: structure  Layering is like a map  Provide a quick idea about the gist of the article
  9. 9. RQ: How effective is layering?  Hypotheses: compared with shovelware, a layered story will be rated as:  Better organized  Easier to understand  Faster to read  More visually attractive  Less fatigue  Less boring
  10. 10. Method: experiment Three groups read the same articles in three versions.  Shovelware group  Layer group  Hard copy group (Control group)
  11. 11. stimuli
  12. 12. stimuli
  13. 13. stimuli
  14. 14. Results 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 organization easiness to understand visual attractiveness fatigue in reading boring in reading layer shovelwear print
  15. 15. Discussion  The Internet, as a medium, offers huge potential for journalism.  Layering offers  Better organization of info  Less time to read  Visual attractiveness  Less fatigue  Less boring reading experience
  16. 16. Discussion  Online journalism is still in its infancy.  It is important for online journalists to understand the visual principles that underlie online writing, even though these principles don’t jump into our eyes.  The layering approach, with its clean and efficient design, has strong potential to change the landscape of online journalism.

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