Video bullies its way on to the updated CNN website

The new CNN homepage
The new CNN homepage

CNN have updated their website. I like the layout although I think the boxed content and the ad on the right are a little to similar and the movement of the ad is very distracting. But they aren’t going to move their ad’s around are they.

There is a shift in emphasis towards video on the site but the international version doesn’t get a link the Newspulse beta which is a shame. But few things did catch my eye with respect to video and multimedia in general.

The first thing was a neat little feature of their video player. If you drag the play head around on the video it overlays the running time . Not groundbreaking but a nice little touch.

The player overlays the running time as you drag the playhead
The player overlays the running time as you drag the playhead

On the article pages themeselve many stories now have an integrated slideshow at the top. This is nicely done but it will be interesting to see how many articles get this treatment.

 

The integrated slideshow is a nice touch
The integrated slideshow is a nice touch

The last thing that caught my eye was the use of video embedded in the article page. Video is presented as thumbnails in the left-hand-column which ‘pushes’ everything out-of-the-way on the page when clicked.

Video bullies its way on to the screen when clicked
Video bullies its way on to the screen when clicked

I have mixed feelings about this. In one sense I’m pleased to see video in with the article but the overlay on the article feels wrong.  Many times when watching embedded video I will start it playing and listen to the content – it’s more often than not packaged content (script etc) so I can keep reading and dip back in when the video sounds interesting. (who says men can’t multitask!) This approach seems to bully its way on to the page and does little to integrate. This is made worse by the use of packaged content rather than clips with little or nothing to signpost the link between the article and the video.

I think a better option would be to go with the clickable thumbnail approach of video. Align the images more appropriately to the text and the expand your player from that point.

Still. Lots of interesting new tweaks and experiments.

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