If you’re a regular visitor to msnbc.com you may or may not have noticed the recent changes to their website. At first it appears as if there were only minor cosmetic changes to the header of the page but upon closer inspection you’ll notice something else – a ridiculous choice of content placement.
The first time you visit the page you see what appears to be a normal home page
Notice that the vertical scroll isn’t at the top of the page? It’s almost imperceptible and in fact, I didn’t notice it for a week. Why does this happen? Scroll up the page and you’ll see that msnbc.com now has a large chunk of content sitting up above what appears to be the normal top of the page. It wasn’t until I saw a link where some of the old navigation used to be that said “Where’s my navigation? We’ve moved it to the top” that I noticed this big change.
So I have to ask why would you redesign a page and place a large chunk of important content up above where the visitor will see when a page loads so that they have to scroll up to see it? This just seems completely counter intuitive to web navigation. Visit a news site and then scroll up to read the headlines? That’s like opening the New York Times and then finding that the top stores section was folded down behind the front page.
Msnbc.com explains this change by saying “We’ve moved the news menu to the top of story pages and made it easier to see what’s happening across the site. When you first get to a story, you’ll see sections and shows displayed across the top of the page. Below is the name of the section you’re in and a search box. Scroll up to see top headlines, slideshows, video and hot topics. Roll over a section name to see more from that section and click on a section name to go there.” Scroll. Roll. Click. Are they serious? Is it just me?