MSNBC has debuted a new look for its cable channel’s Web pages.
This new look comes after the split between NBC News and Microsoft and the former’s intent to separate NBC News online from the cable channel, a process which officially started in July.
MSNBC.com began redirecting to NBCNews.com July 15, and the site’s logos were also swapped out. At the time, MSNBC executives promised a new MSNBC-only site in 2013, which an NBC Universal rep says is still in the works.
The new look features a prominent MSNBC logo set against a white background that continues on all the pages. A bar at the top of every page provides fast access to show pages and includes host photos for some of the more prominent ones.
Each show page has a branded banner running across the top, but maintains the overall same look and feel of the rest of the site (for an example, see the “Morning Joe” show page).
This approach is a departure from MSNBC’s previous strategy of having show pages that used a fully branded background and placed video content prominently. Now, video is simply embedded at the top of standard story pages.
One of the major weaknesses of this new look is the headline font. Designers opted for a condensed version of Futura, which seems difficult to read in many places, and has a particular negative affect on scan-ability of headlines on section fronts and the homepage. Its harsh lines also don’t contrast very well with the more round, friendly and contemporary lines found in the “MSNBC” typeface.
Overall, while the white background certainly is effective and gives the site a clean look, the new site also has little graphical connection to its sister channel. It would have been nice to see some subtle diagonal line banding like that found in the MSNBC on air graphics package, or perhaps more use of rectangular elements found there as well.
The new site is found at the subdomain tv.msnbc.com.