TechCrunch: The Hardware Store of Tech News

Craig Cardimon - 06/04/2019 - The Help FIles

Introduction

I have stopped by TechCrunch before, but not recently. They must have redesigned it because I don’t recall being this impressed with it before.

The layout is simple, but not simplistic. It’s visually appealing … like the Microsoft Edge landing page when you open up a tab. Edge shows you news stories with a picture, headline, and sometimes a teaser of the text of the story. TechCrunch has the same feel.

TechCrunch presents well and offers techie news and gossip. Like your local hardware or grocery store, it has a little bit of everything. Let’s see what’s going on.

Layout and Content

The first thing that jumped at me was that something is missing. TechCrunch lacks a top and bottom menu. This may sound strange, but I found that refreshing. Why? Honestly, whenever menus appear, yours truly needs to open and investigate every menu item to find out what’s being offered and if the menu itself is accurate. Most are. Some aren’t. Anywhy, TechCrunch made things easier on me by not offering menus. The sidebar, which I discuss later, is the closest we come to a menu.

The page is laid out on a clean white background. First up–one large headline, followed by the author’s name in smaller type, then a good-sized image related to the article. To the right of the first headline and image a handful of smaller headlines and authors’ names follow. I find this an attractive and inviting layout.

Below the introductory headlines, you see the section labelled “The Latest,” with a short list of  article headlines in bold black type, with posting dates and the authors’ names. To the right of each you’ll find a teaser in light gray type, which when you click,t becomes the first paragraph of the article. And to the right of the pull-quote you’ll see a small image, which appears larger in the linked article. Clicking on the headline, the teaser, or the image leads you to the article. Very nice, horizontally aligned mechanics.

Sidebar

On thing certainly hasn’t changed since my last visit. TechCrunch offers lots of items to keep techies occupied. The mechanics differ from previous versions, but the quantity and quality of content remains high.

Startups, Apps, and Gadgets  – Each of these offer news related to the respective label, each laid out in the same headline, teaser, and image format as the home page has.

The Videos section differs in format, using  a more compressed horizontal format. Videos also includes items  on News, Gadgets, Features, Reviews, Interviews, Apps, Disrupt, and More. I was surprised to see so much offered in the video section, but then again each section offers its news in video format, so I guess it does belong here. This video menu seems hidden, but I’m not sure how I would suggest improving it.

The menu in the video is chock full of interesting things. I urge you to investigate for yourself. I went for Gadgets and found articles on travel gear, robotics, mobile technology, and more. Feel free to geek out, fellow techies. I also looked at Features, which offers in-depth profiles of everything interesting in tech. This includes people, companies, and places. On my visit, I found articles on Lockheed Martin’s up-and-coming tech, Walmart’s inventory tracking robots, and the robots used at Amazon. (The robots are here, folks. Brace for impact.)

Audio – This section features articles in audio format, with a text section beneath that gives you a brief, 30,000-foot-view of the topics covered in the audio discussion. I found items on IPOs from China, what’s next for Slack and Uber, Pinterest, and cannabis vaping. Have a look for yourselves. There’s a lot here.

Extra Crunch offers in-depth articles, similar to their Features section but behind a paywall. To read the articles you must subscribe. You can sign up for a 14-day free trial, so you know what you’re paying for before you actually have to pay.

The remaining sections, Events, Advertise, Newsletter, and More, contain the kind of content you would expect.

Conclusion

TechCrunch is a clean, easy-to-read site, great for keeping up with the latest techie news, opinion, and gossip. The left side menu is straight to the point. Want to see the latest techie gadgets? Click the Gadgets link. Simple, not overwhelming. Very tabloid-like in its presentation. One-stop shopping for tech info. Still worth the time and a bookmark.

Have a job-related, business, or tech comm website you’d like me to review? Have some tips or tools to share with your fellow technical communicators, information developers, and content creators? Let’s network! Drop me a note: HelpFiles@TechWhirl.com. Follow me on Twitter, connect with me on LinkedIn, or email me at craig.cardimon@gmail.com. I enjoy connecting with others in the industry.

Category: The Help FIles

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