Morningstar.com: The best designed information-heavy site on the web Jason 24 Mar 2006

23 comments Latest by leisa.reichelt

For years I’ve been impressed with the design of Morningstar’s site. Beautiful data tables, clean charts, crisp text, tasteful icons. They use font sizes and shades of grey wisely. The leading on their longer articles is spot on too. It’s really the gold standard in information-heavy web design. Well done.

23 comments so far (Jump to latest)

nate 24 Mar 06

The other UI touches are nice, too. Like the soft glow and fade of the items in the “Investment Highlights” section and those below it.

Jonny Roader 24 Mar 06

For a moment I thought you meant this:

http://www.morningstaronline.co.uk/index2.php/ex/examples

Didn’t take you for a commie, JF.

Ed Knittel 24 Mar 06

Ahhhh memories! I remember being a part of the team at Sapient that worked on the original morningstaradvisor.com project back in 2000. It looks like they’ve rolled a lot of that websites functionality into morningstar.com now.What’s funny (not ha-ha funny) is that the team was quite big (45+). You guys talk about working in small teams and all but this was a major project that took quite a long time to complete. But if it works it works, right?

Jeff Hartman 24 Mar 06

Agreed, except that bloody ad that pops up over the content (at least on first visit). That’s easily one of my top web site pet peeves.

Mike 24 Mar 06

I can’t help but pick, but there are a few things that are not very intuitive. For instance, what are the two little vertical lines under Stocks in the News? And the purple arrow with the plus sign image to most users would indicate a drop down menu below (upon clicking on a few, it appears it means premium content). Alt tag would work wonders.

dusoft 24 Mar 06

Site looks pretty broken - tabs below each other etc. I surely wouldn’t call it the best designed information-heavy site.

kev 24 Mar 06

makes me wish the sites we did were public. sigh.

Josh 24 Mar 06

Looks great… until you view it without an ad-blocker. It’s a shame to see something so nice get ruined by terrible ads popping over the content and blinking at you.

pwb 24 Mar 06

I agree that the Morningstar site is generally very aesthetically appealing and fairly well laid out. This has very little to do with Sapient and all to do with Morningstar’s historic use of good aesthetics. For example: http://corporate.morningstar.com/US/documents/SampleContent/INV_DIV_SampleContent_Article.pdf

But I do also agree that some of the design and organization stumbles in places.

pwb 24 Mar 06

I agree that the Morningstar site is generally very aesthetically appealing and fairly well laid out. This has very little to do with Sapient and all to do with Morningstar’s historic use of good aesthetics. For example: http://corporate.morningstar.com/US/documents/SampleContent/INV_DIV_SampleContent_Article.pdf

But I do also agree that some of the design and organization stumbles in places.

Don Wilson 24 Mar 06

Is it me or does it look -exactly- like the recent redesign of craigslist?

pwb 24 Mar 06

Speaking of the Craigslist redesign, is the consensus that the new versions are better?

I wonder if Craigslist actually benefits from its spartan design. Perhaps it demonstrates that Craigslist’s priorities are elsewhere, such as in making the site work as well as possible for its users.

pwb 24 Mar 06

Speaking of the Craigslist redesign, is the consensus that the new versions are better?

I wonder if Craigslist actually benefits from its spartan design. Perhaps it demonstrates that Craigslist’s priorities are elsewhere, such as in making the site work as well as possible for its users.

Nick 24 Mar 06

I personally think Craigslist existing design does it well. It simple and has also became apart of the craigslist brand.

Now, this is not to say that I don’t like the redesign. I actually like it very much, but think it would work best for a new site.

Emile 24 Mar 06

I like the Craigslist redesign but I’m not sure I prefer it over the current one. The current one probably validates in Netscape 2, which shouldn’t be a desire, but there are elements that could be designed better in the redesign as well.

The Morningstar recommendation is a SOLID one. I prefer Fool.com but their design has gone to crap of late. I’ll probably referring to Morningstar more often now. Cheers!

Tory 24 Mar 06

The site and reports are all nicely designed. I don’t really agree with their research, though.

Larry Wright 25 Mar 06

I think the similarity to the Craigslist redesign is from the fact that both use a thick border at the top of the sections (dark grey/black at Morningstar, light grey at Craihslist). At least that’s what stood out to me.

Daniel 26 Mar 06

I have not used it, but one flaw in the morningstar design is the bold face on the “top stories” headlines. Since most of them only show the main heading (a few has a non bold sub heading) you get an all bold list with bad readability. Further down on the page there are a “Most popular articles” list without the bold face which is much more readable - wasn’t the position at the very top enough to let the top stories stand out?

Sebhelyesfarku 27 Mar 06

Hehe, the Morningstar has joined the Deck, now the shilling starts.

leisa.reichelt 28 Mar 06

ooh yummy. what a great site! (morningstar, that is) Thanks for pointing that out.

re: Craiglist, I’d say the jury is definitely still out as to whether the redesign is an improvement or not…

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