L.A. Times Vs. Houston Chronicle

Our assignment this week was to compare two of the top 15 Web sites of 2008 according Nielsen Online.  From the list on the Nieman Journalism Lab, I chose The Los Angeles Times (ranked No.  4), because I hope to live there in the next year and I like to keep up with thier news, and The Houston Chronicle (ranked No. 11), because it’s a Texas magazine and I live here now.

In the opening page I found that the design of the L.A. Times was much more organized than the Houston Chronicle.  The Times contained a variety of large photos and video stills  of important stories and borders seperating each lead which creates more space in between that makes it look cleaner, whereas the Chronicle  has multiple thumbnails and story leads bunched together which creates too much clutter.  It’s hard to decide where to go first and which stories might be more important than others.

Both Web sites have photos and videos to put with their stories, but the other difference are the tab placements.  The Houston Chronicle puts thier tabs at the top for easy access and  The  L.A. Times puts them down the side.  Personally, I like the tabs at the top better, but for business purposes putting the tabs at down the side is better because it forces people to scroll down the whole page and it might make them read a story that they wouldn’t have otherwise.

A good online newspaper to check out if you’re from Denton, TX is the Denton Record Chronicle.

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