Interstitials and better publication dates at NYTimes.com
NYTimes.com now seems to be using interstitial advertising. I’d never seen any on their site before today.
I don’t mind the giant ads on article pages that the site often uses now, and even got rid of its left navigation rail to support. But I really dislike waiting for an interstitial to go away before I see the article I wanted.
The interstitials also add a bunch of ugly query string parameters to some of the site’s URLs, really gunking them up:
I gave NYTimes.com’s URLs an A- grade before, but they deserve much worse with the new garbage appended.
The Times has done something unquestionably good in the past few days, though: The site has moved publication dates into the content area. Previously, they were in the upper-right corner of the header, an odd place where, as Adrian Holovaty pointed out, it was confusing whether they were the current date or the publication date. Now, dates appear right under the byline and are clearly identified as publication dates.
The only problem with this change is it doesn’t resolve having both a publication date and a dateline, which Holovaty rightly also singled out as confusing. And the site seems to be missing an opportunity to display the hour and minute of publication — the little red timestamps for breaking news stories on its home page — in addition to the date where appropriate on article pages.