Bristol, RI – October 21, 2004 – The Atlanta Journal-Constitution’s AJC.com has been awarded the Internet Media Review Usability Excellence Award 2004 for Best Regional Newspaper Website.
To conduct this study, IMR closely examined ten regional daily newspaper companion websites, focusing on the homepage and some typical user tasks. IMR conducted a series of expert usability reviews and actual user tests to determine the top 10 “Best Practices” for homepage web design for the regional newspaper market. Some of the key metrics studied by IMR were: brand integrity, persistent/consistent navigation, task depth, labeling and language, content density and load time. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution scored a perfect 10 in four of the 10 best practices.
The user IMR profiled for this report was a first time visitor to the site (not a current subscriber to the print edition) who was looking for information the newspaper might provide. The tasks IMR had the user accomplish included: subscribing to the print newspaper, searching for specific information, browsing for interesting information and temporarily stopping delivery.
As the author of the report Roxanne O’Connell likes to put it, “If the user can’t find it, you don’t have it.” AJC.com not only had the resources available, they were all prominently placed and easy to navigate. Editors and Internet Managers should bear in mind that although IMR determines the winner using a scientific scoring system, there is always room for improvement. The report delves deep into each best practice to demonstrate how it could be done better.
Other winners of the IMR Excellence Awards include WSJ.com for Best Online Newspaper Marketer, Discover.com for Best Consumer Magazine Website, and bookreporter.com for Best Online Affiliate Marketer.