Breakdown of CNN’s Web Design{1}

by Cole O’C
As I was looking around for articles, I found a very interesting site that has tips and tricks, among other things, about professional web design. The article I looked at was a breakdown of all the features of CNN’s redone website as of November 2011. The new website contains all of its elements in an unusual grid-like layout, although it does not precisely fit to a grid. The vivid design is noticeably more modern, putting emphasis on stories by popularity, and using space very efficiently via expanding tabs. There is an incredibly uniform look throughout the pages, making users comfortable with the setting. Their font choices are excellent, including everything from the 14px Arial for the body to the small, bolded, capitalized attention-grabbers on the left that link to related topics. The main aspect of the website that was not modernized very well is the social bar, which uses rather small icons with small fonts, as opposed to the commonly used larger, picture-only buttons to which many have become accustomed.

This is an incredibly useful site ( for any growing web designer, and this article is a specifically good find. CNN is a very successful company, and their web design team knows what makes the internet of today move. The design shows meticulous preparation and a deep knowledge of the web, and this article breaks it down for the less experienced to understand. The Depot has links to other things a web designer would be interested in, such as color-matching templates for WordPress, instructions on how to make an embeddable icon font, and new trends in the design world. The articles are written by web designers currently involved in the process, and could really help an aspiring web designer to learn the tricks of the trade.

I think what CNN did with their website is fantastic. It shows a very good understanding for where the web is and where it is going. I think the experience for both first-time visitors and returning users is very smooth. The navigation bar is simple yet comprehensive; it lets a user navigate the website very efficiently, without a lot of flourish, while still alerting the user of the prime features that CNN offers. The whole website follows the same general pattern that the navigation bar does, presenting a lot of information in the right amount of space, without throwing eye-grabbing graphics around. Design holds a lot of sway for a website, and CNN’s design and presentation certainly add to the feel.

(2011, Nov 2). Web Designer Depot. Retrieved from