I’m actually staggered by the comments of Steve Busfield on the Guardian’s organgrinder blog: ‘the Mirror site certainly gives Sun online a run for its money and makes the Sun’s site look, well, a little bit tacky.’ —briefly speechless— We are talking about the same Mirror site, Steve, aren’t we?
Roy Greenslade is a bit nearer the mark:
Since I started this blog in early summer last year I have visited hundreds of newspaper websites across Britain and across the world. I have seen the good, the bad and the ugly. But I have never come across one quite as inept as this new Mirror offering.
Well Roy, I’ve been following online news for over a decade – and I can’t think of many worse myself.
To his credit, Mirror web editor Steve Purcell acknowledges there has been ‘good and bad’ reaction to the new design – although only after an earlier piece which claimed ‘on the whole the response has been very positive‘. You’re kidding, right?
Steve, the bulk of this isn’t about ‘biased sniping from others who appear to have forgotten that they live in glass houses’. I have no connections with the newspaper business, and I have no axe to grind. There are some really bad examples of web practice, from an objective and scientifically measurable viewpoint. Failure to ensure it worked satisfactorily in two out of the three major web browsers, for example – that isn’t a ‘teething trouble’, that’s just plain negligent. Or the total lack of image compression: your ‘welcome’ graphic on the homepage weighs in at a staggering 88k. OR YOUR TOTAL RELIANCE ON CAPITAL LETTERS, WHICH IS A BASIC USABILITY NO-NO.
OK, being entirely fair, it’s a little less bad today than it was yesterday. At least the video streams don’t all fire off automatically any more. But it’s still appalling.