As a proud recent pilot tester for the Google Chrome Notebook, I’ve switched over to the device as my primary laptop and have thus been consuming more and more news through the web apps in the Google Chrome Web app store.
Because Chrome web apps have yet to be adopted at a mass consumer level, it’s an opportunity for news orgs to experiment with new displays of news without really impacting ad potential or frustrating the standard user. And that’s just what they’re doing — experimenting.
If these apps (which are all accessible from a web browser, even if you don’t have Chrome or the Chrome notebook) are any indicator of where the future of news design is headed, here are the trends I’m noticing:
Every news app in the Google web store has a drastically different layout from its respective site and iPad app. The most common layout is a grid-style set of tiles which includes headlines, excerpts and photos for various sections or topics, as shown below in the NPR app, Salon app, and New York Times app.
Switching amongst stories is intuitive in the Chrome store. It never made much sense from a UX perspective for a user to use the browser’s back button, then find the next story on the list to click in order to go through posts chronologically. Most of the Chrome apps allow you to navigate amongst articles and sections using simple keyboard strokes. Read more