Design changes introduced last week to Google News make it easier to filter information quickly, most immediately about the Norway shooting that has left at least 90 dead. The changes that were made live Thursday decluttered Google’s top story display and highlighted new labeling introduced in May.
With the labeling, links now carry a description, including: “Highly-cited,” “In-depth,” “Opinion,” “Wikipedia” and today, “From Norway.” During breaking news (and anytime), these labels can help readers find not only the information they seek, but exactly the type of news they want; someone ready for analysis can easily locate it, someone still searching for basic facts can find those. The labels also promote news literacy, reminding readers to assess a source’s authority using several measures, including crowdranking (“highly-cited”) and proximity to the information. The “From Norway” label signals that local knowledge can be different from an outsider’s understanding.
As Nieman’s Megan Garber wrote last month, Google News is aiming to strike a balance “between total personalization and total universality; between breadth and depth; between pre-existing interests and discovery; between want to know and need to know; between expectation and serendipity.”