Many sites, including DF, use the word “archive” to describe the previous content available on the site. In the case of the new Harper’s web site, it’s a very big archive indeed: every issue from the last 156 years.
The navigation Paul Ford designed for this is interesting and clever. One big problem with the web compared to print is the lack of implicit context. You can tell how big a book is by holding it in your hand, and you know where you are in the book based on how many pages remain to be read. In a physical archive, like, say, a library, you can get a sense of how much is available by looking at the shelves. The three-level navigation at Harpers.org — decade / year / month — gives you a clear sense of where you are in the magazine’s 156-year history. Bravo.
★ Thursday, 19 April 2007