Separating photos and captions at ABCNEWS.com

Written by Adrian Holovaty on November 1, 2002

Here's a strange way of presenting photos and photo captions on a news article page.

On ABCNEWS.com, wire story photos are displayed adjacent to headlines, but their captions are all the way at the foot of pages. Photos and captions are tied via an internal link.

Check out these examples:

On each of those pages, you don't see the caption of the lead photo until you either scroll down or click the photo credit (e.g. "AP photo"). There's a section titled "photo credit and caption" at the bottom of the page.

What the heck?

This does help keep the top of news story pages uncluttered, but I question whether moving caption information to the bottom of the page is throwing the baby out with the bathwater. Seems to me this is a workaround to a poorly thought-out design.

Comments

Posted by Holly on November 1, 2002, at 6:07 p.m.:

I agree. It is a very strange approach to design that only confuses readers. I don't think a cutline really ever "clutters" the page. It is there for a reason, and I think most readers expect to see a cutline under a photo (or to the immediate right or left). I certainly don't want to click my way to the cutline.

Posted by kpaul on November 2, 2002, at 3:36 a.m.:

Hopefully they won't try to show them in pop-ups next! ;)

Posted by Jay Small on November 4, 2002, at 2:06 p.m.:

One word: eww.

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