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FT redesign: modern, readable and accessible

Reading The Guardian’s tech supplement this morning, I came across a rather intemperate criticism of the FT’s home page redesign.  Andrew Brown (when he’s not arguing that dyslexia is a condition suffered solely by the lower orders) makes the following comments about the FT’s home page:

The overriding theme is that it has been designed for people who can’t and ‘don’t want to read’.  There is a surprising (bearing in mind it’s in The Guardian) snobbishness here; it reads more like The Telegraph.

All nonsense, of course, and the design should be saluted for breaking from the current convention for super-complex grids, content-overload and headers stuffed with 75 links.

So here’s what the FT does well:

In short, all great things that The Guardian’s site isn’t.

It’s perhaps a surprise that such a traditional, conservative publication has led the way in designing a home page that is fully aware of the constraints and possibilities of the medium, while Britain’s greatest liberal paper adopts such a narrow, backward looking view.  It’s the FT that’s leading newspaper design into the modern era.