tecznotes

Michal Migurski's notebook, listening post, and soapbox. Subscribe to this blog. Check out the rest of my site as well.

Sep 16, 2004 6:26pm

newsmap squarifies

Visited Newsmap today for the first time in a few weeks, and was pleased to find that they made a few adjustments that address my biggest gripe with the site. The news is now "squarified", which means that the color chips containing the various news stories are being arranged slightly differently. The old layout made comparative sizes of each item a breeze - you could quickly see what percentage of the news was taken up by Sports, or Health, or National news. The main drawback was that it made reading the actual headlines a royal pain. Smaller items would have text so small it was illegible, or shoehorned in sideways, or available only on rollover. The new version takes advantage of a treemap technique called "squarifying", an algorithm that adjusts the display of each item so that its aspect ratio is as close to 1:1 as possible - more square-like is better.

Some of the text is still too small to be readable. This is okay - it's inevitable that smaller items will fit less text, but now the illegibility cutoff point has been set lower. Also the whole thing just feels a little more balanced.

Very swanky.

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