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newmocker101 posts since 30 Mar 2008

So I've been trying for a while to come up with 'sky sports news' style Sky News - that is, with a permanent side bar. But never quite got one to work - until now, I think.

The concept is, that the side bar will stay there all the time instead of a ticker. Story/name straps and LIVE bugs will still appear at the bottom of the screen as and when required.

So, like I say - straps and bugs appear when needed. Nothing will be on the lower thirds when not needed. When there is a breaking story, the red stripe at the side changes to yellow.

On the right is the new side bar. The top quarter shows the logo, with time and date. The middle two quarters replace the ticker. There are a list of 'headlines' and it'll go down the list one by one expanding the story and giving a brief summary, like we're used to seeing on the ticker. Benefit of this is that just by glancing at the side bar you can see a summary of all the days headlines just from the titles.

If there is a breaking story, they'll appear at the top of list, and they'll be yellow. They won't be constantly expanded, they'll just be like any of the other except yellow. If the story is important enough, to need to be seen all the time, it'll be on screen. But we can get an idea of whats going on from the headline.

The lower quarter is a free for all. Very versatile are. Examples: weather, stocks, coming up, contact details, debate questions etc.

Still needs work yes, but I think the concept isn't bad?
Last edited by newmocker on 16 February 2016 1:02am - 3 times in total
Mr Q671 posts since 17 Apr 2003
BBC World
I like the idea - but I'm just not sure the sidebar is an effective substitute for a ticker. Particularly in a breaking news context (which, admittedly, on Sky is about 90% of the time), a ticker is a useful way of making key information available to viewers without needing reporters/presenters to keep saying the same things too often.

This sidebar idea is not just something that Sky Sports News uses - it's been a feature of business channels (CNBC and Bloomberg), and is also used in the Bloomberg politics show "With All Due Respect". So, it does have pedigree. But I certainly can't think of it being used in this way on a straight news channel.

Sky is renowned for trying different things - so, from a mocking perspective, it's a perfect target for different presentation forms. I'm not sure that this idea quite delivers a superior alternative to the status quo - but I think it's worth a shot.
tomo359914 posts since 18 Oct 2009
Border (England)
Can't decide if I like this or not, probably because its so different from anything i'm used to, but I think its something which could possibly work, as long as its implemented properly.

I think the white box/bar on the right should go to the edge of the screen at the top and bottom, so it aligns with the astons and Live bug.

Don't think yellow is the right colour for breaking news, it doesn't look serious enough, or grabs your attention in the same way. I think you somehow need to have a bold bright shade of red for breaking news, and maybe adjust the colour for other stories.

If there was a huge breaking news story which would take over most of the full hour, such as The Queen dying, would the column only feature details/information about the queen? I don't think seeing other news stories with something like that would work, so I think you should try to work that into it, maybe at the top have the breaking news headline, and underneath, have bullet points and small paragraphs with details on which can easily be updated. I hope that makes sense.

I know you said the bar will never move, but when the news programme starts on the hour, will the bar just appear, or will it somehow transition in place?
Also how will it work with split screens with the news reader speaking live to a reporter on location? Will the bar stay in place then? Maybe try to design a split screen scenario.
newmocker101 posts since 30 Mar 2008
Thanks for the comments so far. I think tomo359 has hit the nail on the head in that it's so different to what we're used to we're not sure if we like it.

With regards to the sidebar, at the TOTH, it would slide in and then slide back out again when going to a break etc. I'll try later to see how a split screen situation would work.

I agree about breaking news. Though essentially the side bar is so versatile in the event of a serious breaking news story like the queen passing away, all the stories could go and like you say be replaced with images/facts/live pictures of Buckingham palace etc.

I'll see if I can improve things further.
DTV1,182 posts since 27 Feb 2012
Meridian (South) South Today
It's alright but a bit simplistic for Sky News. A few issues though
- The text in the coming up/weather box isn't aligned to the text in the rest of the sidebar.
- The size of the clock is too small and the date would become illegible on some TVs.
- And you have unfortunately made the biggest mistake possible for any graphics designer - SAFEZONES . While it is now common to have things made for 16:9 rather than 4:3, these aren't even in the 16:9 safezone so much of the text will be cut off, this is what it'll look like to many viewers...

I also concur with a few of the points raised by other mockers such as animation, transitions etc. Though I disagree that this feels more BBC than Sky, it does feel like a very basic version of something Sky might do. But until you sort out safezones I can't give more than 2 stars as they are a fundamental part of graphic design.
BBI45415 posts since 2 Aug 2015
Central (East) East Midlands Today
I think that while this is a good design, however, like Mr Q said, it probably wouldn't be as effective as a ticker. I also don't like the dead spaces at the top and bottom of the sidebar. It's a nice idea but I just can't see it actually working on screen.
Last edited by BBI45 on 9 February 2016 4:40pm
I tried to think of something funny to put here, but I can't think of anything, so you can read this to the end and then realise you have just wasted 10 seconds of your life. You're welcome.