New look for 1.40pm EDT April 29, 2007 has a new look and a stronger emphasis on soliciting content from its readers.

The redesigned site, which was launched late yesterday, appears less clutterered than its predecessor [e.g. small icons now replace the headline tags “Video”, “Story” and “Vote”].

But more significantly, the new site distinguishes itself from its TV network competitors by having a front page that fits within a single screen view. That’s right, no vertical scrolling, even at resolutions as low as 1152 x 864. The page width is 1024 pixels, which is fast-becoming the standard for news sites [NBC is the only major American network still running an 800 pixel front page].

At first, I was impressed that ABCNews had achieved this, but all that content had to be accommodated somewhere, didn’t it? And, sure enough, there are two scroll boxes within the front page. I think there are two risks to this approach: readers may find multiple scroll-boxes more of a nuisance than scrolling the entire page, and scroll-bars within a page may not be as noticeable to the reader, leaving them to conclude that what they were looking for isn’t available at ABCNews.

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