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The aim is to create a minimal news page and based on a UX law, I thought it would be a good idea to limit the number of news articles a user can see on a screen and it could be 3, to eliminate the overwhelming feeling by showing many options at once. But at the same time, there are going to be many new articles updated on the website per day. What number do you think would be a better solution?

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    Hi, it's going to be difficult to give you an answer without knowing much about the project. Can you edit the question to give us as much information as possible about the new outlet and its goals for your project, and maybe show us what you've been working on so far? Thanks.
    – Izquierdo
    Commented Oct 17, 2022 at 19:10

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Beware magic numbers!

First, thank you for asking. Cool project!

Now I am not going to give you a straight answer but a warning instead: There will be no UX law telling you what the "correct" number of headlines is. Anyone who tells you otherwise is lying. You will need to attack this problem from many different angles, all of which have their own laws and rules. Some stuff that comes to mind:

Define a use case

Here is an UX law that is also a rule to live by: Never do anything for no reason ;)

What is your reasoning behind building this? Why a minimalist news page? Really define your idea very clearly, then forget everything you know about news pages and design what you think is the best solution to just your problem.

That may yield you quite different results. For example, if your goal is to inform your user about everything need-to-know in a certain niche, your number of articles will probably be different from solving the need of feel-good entertainment.

Consider the truly terrible site 9gag, who originally settled for nine posts per page because that balanced some packed entertainment but was reasonably fast to load (I guess), and also because they could build their whole brand around the "9", which happens to be a bad play on words in Cantonese.

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Brand Identity

Obviously, your front page says a lot about your product, who you want to be, what you are. Consider for example the NYT:

enter image description here

That would be around 11 articles, but the exact number is not the point - the point is that the NYT is known to look somewhat like this, so they probably will never radically change this - it's their brand identity.

Create your own brand identity and stick to it.

Innovation Tokens

There is this concept of innovation tokens - it is basically saying that you cannot and should not try to innovate in every area, but only the relevant ones. So think long and hard about whether you want to innovate on the front page! If not, go for the usual number of articles one would find on whatever site your users are getting their news from currently (this might be just CNN or something or the existing minimalist news apps that are out there).

Decision Fatigue

Why a minimalist news app? If your reasoning is to stop your users from being overwhelmed by all the information out there, it may be worth researching the concepts of Analysis Paralysis and Decision Fatigue. While that won't yield you an exact number either, it will give you a lot of guidance.

User Characteristics / Expertise

Who are your users?

That also matters - consider for example expert software like HackerNews or the Bloomberg Terminal, both considered minimalist in some sense - and their astonishingly high number of front page articles.

enter image description here

If you innovate, go extreme

If you do decide to go innovate on the number of articles, I would urge you to go extreme! You need uniqueness to stand out in the myriad of news services - and the character of your product is also a big part of UX. Maybe go for one single article? Or try to fit every article of the day on the front page? Both could be considered minimalist.

TLDR: There is no hard and fast rule, define your use case, stare at it, find your answer

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    What a detailed answer, I truly appreciate the time you put and for sure consider the ponts you have made. Commented Oct 19, 2022 at 6:10
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It all depends on the amount of information you are going to display on your cards and the size of your text. For example: cover image, excerpt, author, etc.

I recommend

  • 3 is good if you display a lot of information
  • 8 for a list with headline and excerpt
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  • Thanks for you reply! Commented Oct 19, 2022 at 6:11

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