In "News Sites Need To Go On Diets," Editor and Publisher columnist Steve Outing says: "The mistake at too many news sites is to overload the home page to demonstrate how much you've got." The column points to Google as an ideal example of simplicity, as previously discussed on this weblog.
A negative side-effect of displaying too many headlines on a news home page is the tendency for users to assume the home page is a complete index of all the site's content. Here are two problems with that:
- It discourages users from exploring the site's non-home-page offerings. If a news site overwhelms users with home-page headlines, what incentive do users have to dig deeper?
- It encourages "ping-pong browsing" of news articles. Go to home page. Click on article. Read article. Go back to home page. Repeat.