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Free minds and free markets

Sat, Jul 21, 2012

News | Author:

reason.com

reason.com is the website of the reason monthly print magazine. They are a non-profit organisation promoting the freedom of minds. The website covers politics, culture, and ideas through mixture of news, analysis, commentary, and reviews. making a principled case for liberty and individual choice in all areas of human activity.

The title of the homepage is “reason.com” – not very good. The website also needs meta descriptions and keywords as well. Do some seo urgently please.

As I visited the the homepage, I saw the header advert banner above everything else. Then I saw the main navigation and the logo beneath it with the slider news on the side. I thought that was strange as I expected to see the logo quite early. I also missed the slider news… It looked ok design wise but I wasn’t sure if it served its purpose. How about making them move automatically?

As I started scrolling down, I started reading the main content area. I wasn’t really satisfied with the squashy content as they occupied only 50% of the body width. The other 50% went to the ads. The ads weren’t aligned properly either as I scrolled further. Since there wasn’t enough space for the text, they were forced down further and I had to scroll alot to reach the bottom of the page. I felt that the “Get reason email updates” should be higher and not at the bottom of the site.

One important element of a successful website is consistency. Some links from the main menu actually linked elsewhere or to pages which had different look and feel.


fig 1. subscribe page did not have a proper header.

The website was wordy in all aspects (typical of a news site) but I really hoped to see more graphics. The homepage and the category pages could have thumbnails to accompany each post. They could also run some promotions to attract more subscribers.

Conclusion

I like the motivation behind reason.com and I appreciate what the people behind the scene is doing but I feel that their online presence deserves more. The site needs a fresh layout especially the homepage. Advertisements are critical but they need to be placed strategically and not affect the user experience. Attention needs to be paid to tonnes of empty spaces after the content. Think of ways to spice up the site using strong images, competitions and promotions. Good luck.

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