Newspaper Design and iTunes Cover Flow

One of the complaints that news Web site designers often hear from readers who prefer print is that it is tough to tell when you’re “done” reading a news Web site. In print, physical cues let readers know when they’re done skimming through everything that the editors thought was important to print that day. But online, a labyrinth of links leaves some readers disoriented and anxious about when it’s OK to stop reading.

Enter FluidTunes..

FluidTunes is a Mac application that uses the computer’s camera to detect hand motions and allow users to navigate iTunes. Wave a hand, flip through album covers. (Good news for germophobes who can cancel that order.)

That got me thinking… what if a news site used the iTunes cover flow navigation interface as it’s UI? Each story becomes an album, and the daily report is represented by a virtual stack of stories through which the reader can thumb.

Then again, maybe that’s a lot of extra work for something a simple horizontal list of headlines can do almost as well…

(Hat tip to Andrew Werhane for the heads up on FluidTunes.)

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