News sites teach readers to read online

Careful web design keeps readers clicking.

News websites have created a very subtle standard which demands how the reader is drawn into news.  The information that a news site provides is not only readily available, but structured to fit the web environment.  It is this structure that garauntees return
readers day in and day out, with multiple revisits during that day.  Major sites which take advantage of this style are CNN and CNBC.

There is a general three column layout that dominates not only news sites but all websites that crave user traffic.  The center section, which runs down the page is usually a flagship for the latest videos, major stories and breaking news.  This is where the eye is initially trapped.  Moving across the page the left and right columns act as bracing borders, set to keep you rolling through pages of content.  The left sidebar will contain menus or categories for the type of news or information in general you would like to pursue.  It may act as a secondary set of headlines, and may even be customizable, depending on the site.  The right column is everything else and more.  It almost always contains advertisements, interactive or otherwise.  This is where you will see novelty and promotional site announcements.

What these three sections collectively do is create a window that the reader can habituate and become comfortable with.  Digging in is easy as the go to spots are readily at hand, and exploration becomes unnecessary.  Each news source would like to be the primary
source in a home.  This structure helps to normalize individual sites to make what appeals to the reader easy to access and addictive.

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