New York Times launches a new way to read news on the web

The New York Times has rolled out a product that tries to recreate online the experience of reading a physical newspaper with the Times Skimmer. The Skimmer is quite similar to its Times Reader application, but on the web. It features the visual effects readers experience when they are reading a newspaper. It sorts its articles into sections including “Top Stories”, “World” and “Opinion” as well as “Week in Review” or “Most Emailed”, and presents them all on one screen, with no scrolling. Except the first one, all the articles play an equal role and come with headlines, pictures, and short summaries in a grid layout. In this way, Skimmer introduces an element of chancing upon a story – a piece might get your attention, wiithout you actively seeking it out. Also important is the lack of visible links. With the trick of seeing only one story, the Skimmer focuses your attention on one article. This means readers feel as if they are being informed rather than overwhelmed by information. The NYT is attempting to focusing on what is important under the logic of the web rather than print by making blogs and topics as important as the sections. In addition, it offers a very visible introduction into shortcuts that help navigating the Skimmer.


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