Newspaper Design and iTunes Cover Flow

December 5th, 2008; 12:43 pm by Ryan Thornburg

One of the complaints that news Web site designers often hear from readers who prefer print is that it is tough to tell when you’re “done” reading a news Web site. In print, physical cues let readers know when they’re done skimming through everything that the editors thought was important to print that day. But online, a labyrinth of links leaves some readers disoriented and anxious about when it’s OK to stop reading.

Enter FluidTunes..

FluidTunes is a Mac application that uses the computer’s camera to detect hand motions and allow users to navigate iTunes. Wave a hand, flip through album covers. (Good news for germophobes who can cancel that order.)

That got me thinking… what if a news site used the iTunes cover flow navigation interface as it’s UI? Each story becomes an album, and the daily report is represented by a virtual stack of stories through which the reader can thumb.

Then again, maybe that’s a lot of extra work for something a simple horizontal list of headlines can do almost as well…

(Hat tip to Andrew Werhane for the heads up on FluidTunes.)

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