Web Design Goodies Critique #24

By Joe Burns

Web Design Goodies Critique #24

Published March 1, 2001 By Joe Burns, Ph.D.

Greetings, Fellow Designers

This is a newsletter. It comes out weekly and you subscribe. If you do a newsletter online, it's not called a newsletter any more. The authors often call it an e-zine. That's cyberspeak for an online magazine.

It is my opinion that the term e-zine will soon go the way of the dinosaur and the term online newsletter will start appearing more and more.

Today we'll look at an online e-zine. A bi-weekly newsletter delivered via the Web.

Now the obligatory release clause statement

>>>>The critique below represents the opinions of Joe Burns, Ph.D. Feel free to disagree, argue, forget, or accept anything he writes. The purpose of the critique is to offer examples that you may use, repair, or forget when it comes to your own Web site. As always, remember that there are simply no hard or fast rules to Web design. Any choice is the correct choice as long as that choice aids the user and adds to the site's purpose for being.<<<<

Title: Award E-zine / Author: Malcolm Macpherson PhD
http://www.baldrigeplus.com/ The issue in this newsletter:
Load Time: 8 Seconds, 57kps modem, cleared cache, 9/04/00 11:10AM.
My Screen Size: 1024X768
Browsers Used: Internet Explorer 5.5 and Netscape Navigator

Concept: Twice a week, Dr. Macpherson writes the latest issue of Award. It is an online e-zine dedicated to, the tools, techniques and best-practice models that deliver high performance in the new economy

The e-zine is a quick, easy read. I didn't quite get through the entire thing, but I found the text to be very conversational once I got the gist of what the author was discussing.

Praise: I was most impressed with the size and content. Often newsletters and e-zines are little more than simple vehicles for advertisements and mailing lists. They say little and many times act as link vehicles to send the user to a Web site for the rest of the story where then the user can be bombarded with more advertisements. This is a thick, good read. The one advertisement is denoted and set to a different color. Take a look:

If the topic is your bag, then subscribe. This is another point I liked. You have to subscribe yourself. That's a nice touch. I dislike newsletters showing up in my box without my doing anything. This one won't. Visit if you'd like. If you don't sign up, you won't be bothered.

1. Concern: I stated, a few tutorials back, that if a newspaper was going to go online that there are traditional elements of a newspaper that should carry to the online version. It's the same thing here. This is an online magazine. Thus, there are some traditional elements of a magazine that should carry over.

First and foremost is a table of contents. I don't know about you, but when I get my magazines for the week, I rarely read the articles in order. I like to jump right to the texts that interest me most, first. Here, the table of contents is present but is of little help. You have this text at the top of the page:


The values issue
Workplace ethics
Open book management
Ten minute MasterClass


Suggestion: At the moment it's just text. Allow the users to jump right to the story they want to read first. Allow those headings to act as a table of contents. Activate them and have them jump right to the start of that section.

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