TAIWAN: Focus on the Visuals

BRIAN CANAVE WRITES – Can a slick design help deliver news to readers? One news source is betting on it.

Focus Taiwan, an English news service of Taiwan’s Central News Agency (CNA), launched a new layout Monday hoping to wow readers with stunning images rather than text alone.

The front page offers readers a novel, artsy and sophisticated look inspired by the simplicity of  today’s technological innovations. Such beauty can be found in devices like Windows phones and in Microsoft’s Windows operating system: Windows 8. In the case of Focus Taiwan, the top half of the screen features a slideshow of three news stories, as well as the latest and most viewed news. The bottom half is similar to popular media design, revealing 12 windows having either an image, video, or the title of articles in text.

What’s neat is the design’s ease in sharing the stories through social media sites like Facebook and Twitter.

“We hope that the new layout, which is quite different from traditional news website formats, will better suit today’s readers, who are more image-based than text based,” said Bear lee, associate editor-in-chief and director of CNA’s Foreign Language News Center.

Focus Taiwan is Taiwan’s only real-time English news outlet delivering information to not only individuals but also major newspapers in Taiwan.

Though the new design provides ease of use for today’s tech savvy audience, what about yesterday’s not so tech-savvy readers? Will the new layout make it difficult for older folk accustomed to a more traditional design? You be the judge. Visit their home page: http://focustaiwan.tw/

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