Faz.net has relaunched. Another news website in Germany looks like anybody else. (Talking about Spiegel.de, Focus.de, Suedeutsche.de, Welt.de,…)
Come to think of it, I should be rather proud, as the recipe everybody is converging upon is basically the same that we came up with nearly 10 years ago when we worked on the 1998 Spon5 relaunch.
If you compare what is now standard to our original solution, only the main section navigation has been taken from the left side to the top at most sites (including spiegel.de, but with the notable exception of welt.de). Some (like Focus, Welt and Sueddeutsche) have settled for a two-column area for the smaller department teasers and headlines – something we had also considered for Spon5 (as you can see from the following scribble), but finally decided against.
The scribble (click on it for a larger version) does not show the final version of Spon5, but an earlier stage of development. Along with the very elegant first designs by Peter Fischer of the Multi-M web agency it would make for a great little museum exhibit. (Fischer’s vision, though a little heavy on the graphic side, is still in many respects superior to the present run-of-the-mill layout in my eyes.)
Other progress we’ve made in the weeks following the scribble:
- Convincing Fischer that the middle column with additional teasers and navigation belonged to the right side, even though this seemed a little boring even in the late 90s;
- Introducing the now-common sequence of highlighted lead story teasers, followed by the department sections, each with a smaller lead story and some headlines, respectively.
So much for the pre-history of the current Faz.net relaunch. But seriously, couldn’t you all come up with something new after such a long time?