Review: the new Cleveland Plain Dealer e-edition

July 13, 2013

Evaluating/reviewing the new e-edition (online version) of the Cleveland Plain Dealer:

Great idea. I understand the economics are driving in this direction. And I like seeing the “real paper” better than just the lists of articles as in, e.g., NYTimes.

But this first go at it doesn’t cut it.

  1. The mouse control is terribly sluggish. Significant lag. Virtually impossible sometimes to control where the cursor is. One result is no precise zoom control.
  2. The buttons at the top and bottom of the zoom control don’t seem to work consistently or reliably.
  3. The default to two-page view makes is seemingly impossible to view just one page at a time, which makes it even harder to zoom in on the desired article. Selecting the “single page” option at the top doesn’t persist when you advance a page.
  4. Click and drag to center the desired article on the screen is sluggish and klutzy. The page shifts a bit and then the cursor zooms off the page and one has to reset it and start dragging again.
  5. Once you click on an article you should be able to view the entire article, even if it continues on a different page.
  6. The menu bar on the right covers part of the articles and seemingly can’t be moved.
  7. The ‘page up’ and ‘page down’ keys don’t work reliably to move to a new or previous page. There seem to be no keyboard controls for moving around the page, just mouse/touchpad options. Typically on a web page ‘page up’ and ‘page down’ scroll the screen for the page one is on. And the directional arrows move the cursor around the page.
  8. The whole process has to be quicker. Right now it will take significantly longer to read the e-edition than the dead tree edition, even apart from the difficulties involved.