[LINK] anyone reading the new Global Mail?

Jan Whitaker jwhit at janwhitaker.com
Sun Feb 26 10:20:16 AEDT 2012

There is a new kid on the block: www.theglobalmail.org
I find it odd that they don't have a .au domain and are using a .org 
for goodness sake! double silly. It's not like they don't have money. 
They're fully funded by a philanthropist.

Here's what I sent their web developer, Andrew Cobby. Maybe I'm 
harsh, but I'd like to see them succeed. If any linkers have contacts 
to this new enterprise, please let them know this was sent to their 
developer as it's a pop-up window and no means to cc the 
decision-makers in one effort on my part. I am going to send the same 
thing to Monica Attard, who is the managing editor.

Hi Andrew. Just had my first look at the Global Mail website after 
seeing Mike Bowers on Insiders.

It's interesting, but there are some dysfunctional design aspects 
that I think you need to spend some time reconsidering from a user perspective.

I'm using Firefox, latest version, on a 14+inch laptop, just for background.

The continual hovering masthead is taking up too much presentation 
space and is terribly annoying. At the bottom, the progress bar 
actually blocks out text of the articles.

I tried to resize the presentation by making the browser resizeable 
instead of fullscreen and things got worse. None of the text floats, 
so when you use the left/right navigation arrows to flow the screens 
side to side, information columns don't behave the same way they do 
in full screen.

I know you're trying to be modern and unique in design, but this 
isn't doing it for me.

Where is the table of contents, if you're not going to have the usual 
categorical sections that other online news sources have? I'm at a 
loss as to how to find stories that interest me. Scanning to the left 
or right is terrible inefficient to find anything. When I used the 
drop-down for a category, all I see on my screen are pictures. The 
titles and supporting text fall below the bottom.

Now I'm in a pop-up to communicate with you and short of starting 
over in a new tab, I can't go look at the actual 'thing' I'm writing 
about. That's not a big problem, just odd.

Although I could provide you with suggestions to fix all that, I'm 
not being paid to do so, so I'll leave that to you guys to figure out.

I do advise you to do some user interface testing with your natural 
readership, which are people like me who are looking for more serious 
investigative reporting. You will be doing disservice to your writers 
if you alienate the very people who want to see this sort of journalism.

On another aspect, why the .org domain? I had a terrible time finding 
the site. It took a search and a supporting info link from the ABC 
interview with Monica and Mike to even find your site! Seems you need 
to do some work on your SEO. A .au.com domain would go a long way to 
helping that. Your efforts will disappear if you don't get that 
fixed, and soon.

Jan Whitaker

Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
jwhit at janwhitaker.com
blog: http://janwhitaker.com/jansblog/
business: http://www.janwhitaker.com

Our truest response to the irrationality of the world is to paint or 
sing or write, for only in such response do we find truth.
~Madeline L'Engle, writer

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