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NBC Los Angeles Gets Awkward Web Makeover

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Tue, Mar 1, 2011 at 1:00 PM

click to enlarge nbclalogo.jpg
Maybe this is just one of those whiney world-is-over moments we experience whenever one of our bookmarked sites is redesigned (Gawker quickly grew on us; so did the new Facebook), but NBC Los Angeles' home page is looking mighty retro this morning. And not in a good way.

They call it "clean, contemporary" -- we call it boxy, boring. Most distressingly, all the front-page photos have these awful stripes of blue across them to carry the headline text -- an obvious and sloppily executed way to keep words clear when they're plastered above busy images.

Screen shot of the awkwardness (click to enlarge):

click to enlarge nbcla.jpg
It's like Facebook, if Mark Zuckerberg sucked at spacing. Also, what's with the Arial black? If there's anything that could make us skip over the headline "Suspect in Bathrobe Arrested After Pursuit," it's Arial black.

NBC LA's jump pages are largely the same as they used to be, with that tried-and-true xylophone of reader reactions down the side and extraordinary volume of linkage compared to major-news-network contemporaries. There are some improvements, too, like how video thumbnails are larger, which is always a good thing, and those erratic yet lovable handwriting/gradient fonts still pop up in unexpected places.

It's mostly just this fugly home page we can't figure out. The white space is on overkill, to the point where content feels bareboned and unimportant, and the white-on-dark text is just... so... high school.

Some more shots from the 2000-and-late wreckage:

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click to enlarge nbc1.jpg
click to enlarge nbc3.jpg
For a general idea of how things looked before, use the WayBackMachine. And here's how NBC justifies its growing pains.

So are we missing something here? Is this some futuristic genius that'll dawn on the rest of the web in a year or so? Do you even read NBC Los Angeles? Tell us what you think.

[@simone_electra/swilson@laweekly.com]

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