Everything you know about online news design is wrong?

Over at Signal vs. Noise, Jason Fried explains “why the Drudge Report is one of the best designed sites on the Web.”

“The Drudge Report usually leads with a “font size=+7” ALL CAPS headline in Arial. Sometimes it’s italicized. Sometimes, for something big big, he’ll cap it off with the infamous siren.

[snip]

Stories aren’t grouped or organized except probably more interesting ones up top. And that’s it. Your eye darts all over the place looking around for something that looks interesting. The design encourages wandering and random discovery.

The site feels like a chaotic newsroom with the cutting room floor exposed. I think that’s part of the excitement — and good design.”

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Drudge, today:

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While I’ve never been an obsessive Drudge refresher, I do see the appeal.  I’ve been spending a bit more time with the Huffington Post lately, and it’s hard not to notice the parallels on some days, especially as big election news flowed into the top third of the site, when giant headlines were followed up by a very Drudge-esque big block of text full of links to related stories.

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HuffPo, today:

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Of course, HuffPo has all that dang navigation at the top.

Does anyone use it?  Starting to wonder…

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