Sound Effects in the Headlines and More

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch Web site,, recently redesigned to great internal fanfare but not so much to user delight, has a couple of problems.  It’s hard for me to choose which part of the paper’s Web site annoys me the most, but here are some of the top candidates:

  • The 30 seconds it takes to load the top portion of the home page in Firefox.  I’ve learned that the rest of the page loads, so I can get beyond its top headlines to struggle to find stories I want.

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  • A rollover ad in the middle of the home page that will open itself as I mouse over the page and drape itself over the things I might have wanted to click that weren’t a banner ad:

Look at my banner!
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  • A navigational bar that drapes itself over the page every time I mouse down from the navigational bar/tab bar in the browser.

Why read the thing you clicked when you can go elsewhere?
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  • The fact that I cannot find anything in the stupid navigation, and how the contents of the paper (or at least what I assume might be in the paper, but perhaps I’m mistaken) are hard to get to unless they’re one of the top 5 stories.
  • Over the weekend, the only thing that changes are the top headlines and the sports scores.  The hard-hitting local news that’s there on Saturday morning will be there on Sunday night.

Couple that with a couple of obvious problems with the site, including:

Wap!  Qerl!  That's some hard-hitting news.
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  • How about the wrong headlines and breadcrumb trails on the article pages:

At least the article matches what I clicked.
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Seriously, anyone who’s opened the paper lately knows that it contains one ginned up “investigation” story or anecdotal plight of some little guy, a Bill McClellan column of the same, and a pile of AP stories/Washington Post stories.  I guess they’re working hard to make sure the barebones/no value to the reader strategy translates to the Internet appropriately.

No Responses to “Sound Effects in the Headlines and More”

  1. DarkStar Says:

    You forgot to mention the Popups… the &%^@# popups!

  2. The Director Says:

    Actually, the pop-unders have always been a “feature” of the site and didn’t get any more obnoxious after the redesign, as did not the Fat Boy and Big Boy banner ads that automatically overlay the page.

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