This Just In: The New York Times is Way Smart!

Elizabeth Saloka

Eight words. Just eight little words. 

With one outburst, “Now that’s what I call an “interactive graphic!” I’ve finally, officially given in to the power of the geek side. And you know what? I don’t even care. In fact, I’m psyched. Why? Because the NYT has rocked my world with an interactive graphic that’s totally jiggable.*

The piece, titled What Your Global Neighbors Are Buying provides an overview of spending habits across the globe. The information it presents is less than earth-shattering—does anybody outside of a diaper not know that Americans spend an ungodly amount of money on, um, everything?

What I did not expect was to encounter an interactive graphic that simultaneously does its job AND looks good enough to eat. 

Specifically, I likey that NYT didn’t stink up its graphic with unnecessary bells and whistles. No long-winded copy. No extra stats jammed into the rollover. No convoluted keys or systems.

Just the gross total for the country, a bite-sized intro paragraph, and intuitive graphics (bigger boxes mean more spending). But what really makes me want to shoot off cowboy hat-shaped fireworks is that NYT made the information digestible. Content’s broken into categories which are broken out by tabs. Really lovely stuff.

Okay, NOW I’m hungry for breakfast. Think I’ll have a content-nerd McMuffin.

P.S.: I was just on CNN.com, and I noticed their story highlights feature on each story page. It’s a bulleted list of four key highlights. This, as a web writer and a reader, makes me happy. Of course they could (and should) take it one step further and link each bullet point to corresponding content further down on the page. But for now I’m happy. Baby steps, people. Baby steps.  

*(adj.) exhibiting characteristics worthy of inciting a celebratory jig