I like SI, and their site design is pretty good for the most part, so I was a bit surprised to see a design of this caliber on this on their site (especially being displayed so prominently).
Jeez, I am not really sure to begin with this thing...
- When I look at the layout in terms of balance, it just looks unsettling to me. There's a huge space gap in the upper left and upper right corner, and an awkward placement of one of the main objects right in the middle of the image. By choosing this photo at this angle for this roughly 650 x 525 space, this design was kind of doomed from the beginning. The designers would have been better off choosing an image that was either left heavy (put all text on right, or right heavy (put text on the left). In this case, having the text split on the left and right looks bad.
- In this design there are 4 different focal points all competing for attention. Instead of using contrast and leading people through a logical progression of what you want them to look at first, second, etc., this design has 2 players and two large blocks of text all fighting for attention...I didn't know what to look at first.
- I get what they're trying to do by lowering the contrast in the background (to draw attention to the two players that have been knocked out), but it doesn't come close to working. The blue background looks odd, and the two players that were knocked out look like they're floating on top of the image. I didn't see all of the footage at the end of the game, so I don't know if this was an actual photo that they've tried to get "artsy" with, but I'd swear that they took a background image of the game and slapped these two players on top of the image.
- Not sure I am digging the fonts or their styling on the left either. By having each font in a different color/style it just looks bad. I see a lot of young designers do this when it comes to choosing WAY too many filter effects in Photoshop. Hint here...go easy on the gradients my friend, you don't need them on EVERY bit of content you have in there. It's as true today as when it was first said, "Less is more"...although I don't know who first said it, or when it was said.
- I might go easy on the ALL CAPS AS WELL, IT'S KIND OF HARD TO READ.
- In choosing the font colors, perhaps you might have gone with a red or another color that would have established some contrast with the background, blue text on a blue background might not have been your best choice.
- Might have right justified the text on the right rather than having it butted right up against the guy's shoe. There's a weird gap between the right side of the text and the edge (about 30 px).
It works well, doesn't it?
- Clean, easy to read font.
- Layout is balanced.
- Focus is on the power of the image and headline, not crazy Photoshop effects.
- Not too many elements competing for attention.
- I might have tried to fill in the gap on the right a little more, but the text and image fit together pretty well.
- The designer used a logical progression of she/he wanted us to look at first, second, etc. They wanted us to look at the headline first, followed by the player, and then the subhead and reporter's name.
Feel free to drop me a line or add a comment, I know you have your own thoughts - what do you think?