CNN.com is possibly one of the easiest news sites to navigate (another reason why it’s my go-to news site). It’s similarity to newspaper layouts makes the most important stories easy to find. All of the latest and breaking news is “above the scroll” (similar to above the fold) so readers know that it is a must read.
The main assistance in navigation the site comes from the navigational tabs at the top of the site page. Specific tab titles let viewers know and decide exactly what they’re looking for. And Each page has it’s own unique graphic banner across the top. Re-introducing a visitor to it’s unique site.
Small graphics here and there further assist in letting visitors to the site know what kind of story they’re looking for. On the right-hand side of the screen is the CNN News Pulse that allosws readers to see in real time the most popular stories on their site. Clicking the News Pulse tab at the top of the page expands on this and allows readers to see the complete list of most read stories.
I will say that there does seem to be a massive amount of text to read through. There are more words on any particular page than video and graphics. This can turn a visitor away. When people visit a site, they are looking for the most simple usage possible. All of the text might be intimidating. However, simple colors don’t overload reader senses making reading easier. Also, small video camera graphics alert readers to know when they are going to see a video corresponding to the text. This helps viewers decide if they would rather watch or read a story.