May 12, 2010
Pop goes NYT
If you visit any article page on the New York Times recently, you would have noticed a relatively new navigation 'pop out'. Let's say you were reading this news article. As you get towards the end, this is what you are probably seeing at the bottom of the page: Now, when you get to the end of the article text, a box springs out from the right (quite disconcertingly, I found, since the appearance is quite swift and abrupt). The box points to another related article in the same site category: From a web design point of view, this is interesting - a tiny addition that tries to keep the reader on the site. It attempts to catch your attention by appearing out of nowhere. But it can give you a surprise (a slight spike on the fright-o-meter), which is perhaps why I wonder if they would have been better off with something that fades-in instead of the horizontal jack-in-the-box. Incidentally, Forbes India's Business.in site also has the very same navigation pop out, albeit one that grows diagonally. However, the site gets it very wrong on paginated articles (see this article for example). Even if you are coming to the end of page 1 of an article (and not the end of the article itself), you still get a link suggestion box. Surely they don't want me to leave this article by the wayside? NYT doesn't make this elementary error.