Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Fun with dynamic features: MSN article template

As I was skimming through the morning headlines and tweetdeck channels, I came across an MSN article about the first hurricane of the season, and was struck by how many dynamic HTML features had been packed into one article template. MSN must be testing these features, because in the time it's taken me to write this, they've added one and replaced another.

Check these out:

First, a persistent global header above "Today's headlines in two minutes"; also note the persistent app drawer at the bottom and icons on the side, more about those in a minute:



As you scroll down the page, "Today's Headlines..." scrolls away leaving the global header (which will scroll away momentarily...):



Each of the icons on the side follow you down the page as you scroll; each opens to provide a link to jump further down what is becoming a very long page:






If you decide at any point to share something, that persistent drawer at the bottom slides up:



And if you keep on scrolling down the page, you'll find the rest of the text behind a drawer control, and encounter rich media like videos (which you could have jumped down to by clicking one of those icons on the side):



But we're not done yet... next, you'll discover comments, with more expandable drawers:



And finally, the pi├Ęce de r├ęsistance, a draggable timeline of videos:


MSN must be testing these features, because in the time it's taken me to write this, they've added two other features: a storm tracker at the top of the article, and instead of the draggable videos, a trending chart of content:



Rich interactive experience, or dynamic templates run amok? What do you think?

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