Making news stories visually pleasing for the Internet

By ABIGAIL L. GARNER

In today’s ever-changing world of technology, simply having the words on the page and a story is not enough. It is important to learn about Web design and making your work visually pleasing to your audience on the Internet.

There are many sites that help people make Web pages without necessarily having to know a lot of HTML code. There are the simple blog sites such as WordPress and Blog Spot. These give people themes to choose from and ways to customize them. This way they can make their theme their own. Then, after setting this up, all they have to do is enter in the information.

But there are also other sites; one of my favorites is Wix. Wix allows people to use the technology of Adobe Flash in a user-friendly format. No action script is needed. You can choose from 1,000 different themes for free (unlike WordPress, whose better themes cost money) or you can start with a blank slate and make your own custom theme. This is a great way to make an interactive portfolio to showcase all of your journalistic work. Having made an Adobe Flash page before, I found it difficult to update my information. But Wix makes it simple.

Also, if you are working for a magazine, it is important to show your audience what the final image of the magazine looks like. There is a great Web site called Issuu that allows people to create an account and upload PDF files. From there you can insert these files into your Web page and show the world a visual representation of your work. Because it is not simply about the story, the layout, design, and photos are just as important. So giving a reader only a portion of this is not doing justice to your work. Many fashion magazines are using this site to help display their content. Also, the next step from this is selling your magazine on smart phones. Vanity Fair uses this technology to sell its issues in a flip format through its iPhone application.

For examples of a Wix page, you can visit its Web site, http://www.wix.com or you can view my current profile http://www.abigailleegarnerportfolio.com

For examples of how issue works you can visit Distraction magazine’s Web page and view under Current Issue the PDF file.

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