What we can learn from MailOnline


Love it or hate it you’ve got to admire it. MailOnline website is a recent winner at the Design Business Association Design Effectiveness Awards. Or at least the credit should go to their design agency.

Stunningly MailOnline is ‘the world’s biggest newspaper website, attracting 84.9 million unique monthly browsers, up from 18.7 million in 2008.’ [Source: http://www.designweek.co.uk/news/daily-mail-website-wins-top-design-effectiveness-award/3035987.article] That’s some statistic.

If we ignore the marmite effect of whether you like the content or not, it’s quite impressive in just how successful MailOnline has been in delivering an array of ever changing content in a manner that its audience can work with. Within that comes two key, yet simple, components when it comes to website design…

Colour: By using colour in systematic ways the content is visual differentiated, making it easy for the eye to quickly categorise, dismiss, and be attracted to content.

Structure: The 3 column structure delivers clear chunks of content. Clearly not a million miles away from the good old printed newspaper, columns and how they are used are essential in providing a sense of order to things.

By just glimpsing at the screenshot, it’s immediately evident in the world of an online newspaper that the left column is the main story, the middle column secondary stories, and the right hand column then browsing / cross linking. Simplicity itself. Not rocket science. Just good website design.