Who Needs A Pretty Website Anyway?

from the ugly-pays-the-bills dept

Of the various Knight Ridder newspaper sites, I tend to mostly look at the site for the San Jose Mercury News – but I do also come across a number of other sites owned by KR. It’s easy to tell which sites are under that umbrella because they all look almost exactly the same – and often repeat the exact same content. Now, Business 2.0 looks at that group of sites, which everyone admits is horribly designed, and points out that they’re making money. Who cares if the website is difficult to read, annoying to navigate, and indistinguishable from 30 other newspapers? Apparently not the folks at Knight Ridder. They say they’re looking to do some small improvements, but on the whole, they’re happy with the current set up. Of course, the problem is that it’s not the uglyness that’s making them money. They should look at what factors are making them money, and then look to improve the actual surfing experience, such that their users feel more comfortable coming back every day.

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Comments on “Who Needs A Pretty Website Anyway?”

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MissinLnk says:

Re: Knight Ridder Sites

I don’t know how the other sites are, but I HATE the online job classifieds section of the Kansas City Star (one of the Knight Ridder sites). They’re a complete pain to use compared to the printed classifieds. Oh, to have the old site back. I may not have been the best site in the world, but it was a hell of a lot better than this.

Dr_Stein says:

TV channels do it too...

http://www.thekcrachannel.com looks like at least 2 dozen other tv channel sites. They’re absolutely horrible. Some of the deeper links give you the article in a
very thin
column that is
just like this
while the other
90% of the page
is filled with
ads ads ads ads

It’s really annoying. At least stations like KXTV and KTVU have different websites, and their webmasters write *back* when you point out errors or broken links or just write to say “nice site!”

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