The NY Times is my news organization and it has what is described as the basic grid design. The mast (nameplate) is centered at the top and the navigation bar is on the left hand side of the page. The page has a five-column above-the-fold design and silos populate the lower half of the page.
Unity – on the page is coherent and everything has a good visual flow to it. The lead stories draw the eyes towards the large font and over-sized picture at the top of the page. Everything fits together well and nothing seems out of synch with the rest of the page.
Contrast – on the page is used very well, with larger bold print for the lead stories, a large picture in the center column that leads the reader’s eye straight to that point. Mixed in with graphics, double spacing, color and in some cases all capital letters the contrast sets the different sections and stories apart from one another on the page.
Hierarchy – on the pages is firmly established, the most important stories use such things as larger font sizes, over sized pictures and placement on the page to define which stories are more important.
Consistency – on the pages shows throughout with all headlines using bold type regardless of size. The same fonts are used throughout and the same page structure is consistent on all pages.
The one thing that I think the NYT does best is something that it actually doesn’t do. It doesn’t make you wade through fly-outs or intrusive adverting before you can see the articles and get the information you came to the site for. I believe the NYT definitely has the right idea and the way to improve is by continuing to do more of the same thing.