A lesson in how not to design a content site

Boy, large news sites really don’t get it. This is Lewis DVorkin, a Forbes employee, in the comments thread of their Dropbox article today. Props to Nick Bergus for the pointer.

We do have a business to run, and page views help generate the revenue needed to provide our audience with great content and great products. In the last year we’ve totally re-architected our site, which has resulted in many, many priorities. We have received very few comments asking for single-page view options, perhaps because consumers experience pagination on nearly every other major news and information site. That said, we know it’s important and we are certainly moving to provide the experience that you and others would like.

Translation, reading on any major news site is a terrible experience. We know this but are doing nothing to distinguish ourselves because we’re quite happy with the revenue our ads bring in from artificially inflated pageviews created by a design that places our users’ reading experience somewhere between last and not even on the radar. In the meantime, can you please purchase the print magazine so that we can stay in business?

A single page view should be the default for any site building a business off content. If it’s not, don’t be surprised when people start reading elsewhere.


albert says:

DVorkin isn’t just an employee, he’s Chief Product Officer and in charge of the site and the content.

Has a lot more interesting writing about building a content site on his blog http://blogs.forbes.com/lewisdvorkin/

Nice, thanks for the tip.

[…] Spittle drops/curates some knowledge about the reading experience on news sites and the subtle importance of single-page views. For my […]

I always feel slightly icky whenever I try to read on a major news site. The navigation of content is always clunky and a hassle, and it’s hard to find something that I actually want to read.

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