Of Handicapped Babies and Poor Layouts.

13 02 2011

Instead of looking at coverage about the end of Former President Mubark’s dictatorship in Egypt, I decided to scroll down the from page of the latimes site, seeing what I might find below the fold.

I happened upon the photography/multimedia section and I have to question why it’s buried so far down the page. Multimedia is one of the strongest points of using a web interface. Not only can you see the story, but you can hear it and gain a deeper understanding of what’s happening. The fact it takes several seconds to scroll down the page probably stops a lot of readers from ever getting there, which is definitely a shame.

I found this video of Dylan, a baby who had to have half of his brain removed and how he, and his family, were coping with it, before, during, and after. Had I not taken the time to look for something different on the Times, I would have never found it.

This slice of life story about a little boy is lost under advertisements, the weather, and television news. Upon further inspection, it just seems like a sloppy layout is to blame for this. Photos and videos are what draw a reader into a story. The words keep them there oftentimes, yes, but the photo is what brings them to it. Hiding the photo and multimedia section is such a poor choice for views. And in an age where views and clicks are what draw revenue, wouldn’t the Times want to showcase its most interesting features?

Dylan is okay. At the end of the video, we see that his family is coping well with having a baby that’s “different.” It’s a heartwarming story and definitely worth ten minutes of your time. If only the Times would make it more assessable to its readers.





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