So I’m slightly behind on this, but I seriously just noticed the button on top of the New York Times website today. It’s called Times Skimmer and it’s the next best feature to come from the Times. It’s a way to browse their stories easily. It’s not quite like the Living Stories that the Times and Washington Post are doing with Google, but it’s close.
Times Skimmer was launched at the beginning of this month, although different earlier versions were around earlier this year. It uses the same fonts that appear in the newspaper, too.
There are quite a few layout options — seven to be exact — but the one I use is serendipity. It neatly arranges tops stories for you in an evenly placed and easy to look at format. It’s apparently very similar to the Times Reader in terms of layout, although I haven’t seen or used that yet. A few of the different layouts have an RSS reader feel to it, arranging just stories for you to look at with maybe a few pictures and either a summary or the first few lines of the story in a list-like format.
There is also no horizontal scrolling because the Skimmer is automatically adjusted to fit the width of your browser. Opening a story keeps it in the same window/tab and pops out on that page.
Denise Warren, the senior vice president and chief advertising officer of The New York Times Media Group and general manager of NYTimes.com said
“Times Skimmer presents the news in an elegant and interesting way that brings the serendipity that readers appreciate from the newspaper to NYTimes.com. With this application, we are giving our online readers another way to view the latest news and updates in a choice of formats that best suit their preferences.”
Another great thing about this layout is that advertising doesn’t look nearly as out of place as it does with pretty much 99% of newspaper websites. Because there isn’t a lot of scrolling, there isn’t a lot of improperly placed ads. This does, however, cut down on ad space. But I guess that just makes it what ads do go there all the more powerful and profitable for the paper.
What will the New York Times come up with next?