Using a Newspaper Style Multi Column for your Web Design
It has come across the minds of some webmasters to create a design reminiscent of a newspaper. Multi column text used by newspapers is actually appropriate in their field due to the limited pages that they have and the need to include as much content as possible into every page. Some webmasters have dabbled in using this format but personally, I do not find it pleasant or helpful to be used for websites. The main factor why newspapers use multi column format is largely because of limited space which is not a really a problem when creating a website. I will list reasons why using multi column format for your web design is not really ideal.
There’s a Reason Why Newspapers Use It
The reason, as stated above, is because newspapers want to optimize every page with as much articles as possible while also including advertisements. Quite frankly, newspapers are a dying breed and are now including more advertisement space in their pages to accommodate cost. While I still believe that well known and more prominent newspapers will hold on for much longer than their lesser know brethrens, which is the only reason why newspapers use multi column text. They use it out of necessity and not for design based principles. Websites do not have any problem when it comes to space for content and advertisements.
Websites are a completely different platform and thus have its own way of optimization; multi column is not one of those. Also to note is that using multi column can present a lot of sizing problems for web designers. Most users are akin to use the vertical scroll bar, with a multi column however you can include the horizontal scroll bar in there as well. It is clearly not a smart design to use for websites.
Another factor to consider if you want to use a multi column format is the confusion it can create with visitors. Instead of a whole page dedicated to a single content, what you have here is a monotonous scroll down and back up again experience. This is not user friendly at all and can only serve to annoy most visitors in your website. In reality, visitors of sites who have this design format will likely just close the page and open another one that is much easier on the eyes.
Looking for a Unique Design is great but there are Limitations
The common reason why some websites resort to using newspaper style design is all in good intentions. To be able to climb the rankings of a search engine and generate quality web traffic one of the key factor is a unique website. Either it would be in content or in design, a completely fresh website can garner traffic continuously throughout. The newspaper style, unfortunately, can cause the complete opposite of what you hope for. As a tip for those who wants to create a website but lack sufficient knowledge in designing, take a cue from one of your favorite websites and see how they design and format their content. They’re generating quality web traffic for a reason. Usability is one of the backbones of a website and making sure that it does not give any discomfort for the visitors is your goal. I’m not saying that you should just copy from a well known and successful website in terms of design and format, what I’m pointing out is that there’s nothing wrong in using them as your inspiration to create the perfect website that you desire.
I always encourage web designers to be unique in their approach with websites, this article points out that a newspaper style multi column format that some websites have used, with catastrophic result should not be in your selection. Be creative but include usability with your plan for a website design.