One thing I like about chicagotribune.com is that it leaves enough white space between sections and news, which makes it easier for readers to read through. In the article’s words it helps readers “divide the content into digestible pieces of information”.
In terms of following conventions, the website has something unusual. Its navigation bar is on the left instead of the top of the site, and it stays still when users scroll down the page, that means users can navigate to another section whenever they felt like easily instead of scrolling all the way up to the top. That could facilitate its users and save their time especially if they scroll down a lot.
The site makes it very clear what are clickable. headlines and excerpt changes colors when hovered over, and pictures become bright and move slightly. But one thing I noticed is that the site has some ads on it that may do a disservice to the website. For instance, it has an ad that shows what looks like a piece of news as it has the logo of Times or Huffington Post and also how long ago it was published and number of comments, but it is actually a news website about foods. Users are very likely to be deviated to that website when they didn’t realize it’s actually ad. I think the website should avoid advertising for its potential competitors, like other news website.
Another thing I like about the site is its Visual Browse, which serves users that enjoy picture better than text well. When click this button, the background turns black and the main page is taken over by pictures and a few text below them, and users can keep browsing pictures until they find one that interests them and click it to read the full text.
Overall the site provides good user experience. If I were to change anything, I would display news on the main page according to its click rate, newsworthiness or time relevancy instead of the never-ending pages divided into sections that can be easily navigated to from the left navigation bar.