Comparing Australian online news services for usability

Mikey 5 comments
Comparing Australian online news services for usability

In this article aim to compare four popular Australian online news services, ABC, NineMSN, News and the Sydney Morning Herald, for usability and features. I have deliberately not included news services that are owned by tabloids, (The Sunday Times, The West etc...) as it is reasonable to expect them to be sparse in comparison.

All sites were tested on the latest version of Firefox and Internet Explorer, on Vista Ultimate, on a 1680x1050 desktop resolution and 1500kbps Bigpond ADSL connection. The portable device used was a Nokia N95 (screen res of 320 x 240) with the stock standard Nokia Browser, over a wifi connection.

Each component was given a score out of 10. There are a total of 10 components, which means final scores are obtained by simply adding each component score together for a rating out of 100.

I have not scored "first impressions and experience" and "web standards" as they technically do not affect the user experience under these judging conditions.

The results may surprise you, as they did me on occasion.

First up...ABC News (continue).


  • Introduction
  • Part 01: ABC News
  • Part 02: NineMSN
  • Part 03:
  • Part 04: Sydney Morning Herald
  • Conclusions
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D. Sanchez

Tuesday 4th September 2007 | 01:47 PM

Sydney Morning Herald is not a tabloid. It is a broadsheet and it is one of the most respected newspapers and news web sites in Australia. It think that a review of Australian news web sites without including it and its sister newspaper and site The Age is incomplete.

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Tuesday 4th September 2007 | 02:04 PM

Thanks for that Dr. I was actually corrected on that before I published this article but still forgot to amend it. I have made the change now.

I might even endeavour to expand on this and include the SMH and The Age.


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Tuesday 4th September 2007 | 02:29 PM

I take it we're not doing a comparison of the quality of the actual news but rather the look and feel of the page?

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Tuesday 4th September 2007 | 03:04 PM

I didn't think much point in comparing content as credibility is only relevant to the person reading it.

The focus here is on the usability of the services, and how easy or difficult they make the experience.

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Tuesday 2nd October 2007 | 08:03 PM

2 things that suck most about ninemsn are all the typos and that they make you to use internet explorer to watch videos. As microsoft have recently taken an admirable approach to web standards (years behind everyone else i know) I hope they get away this dumbass line of thinking.

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