Google launched an image view of Google News about a month ago. It’s an interesting alternative to text headlines of news stories. I quite like it. I also found myself gravitating towards different stories on the image view than on the normal Google News page, even though some of the images are the same.
The shape of information on the image view is different than on the standard view or text view. It breaks the offline newspaper genre more than online news in general. For one, the notion of priority is different. There is no real headline story, and it’s easier and quicker to dive into all of the articles.
That would make a good study: what is the perceived difference in daily events based on the different formats? I suspect with a typical news layout, the larger headlines in more prominent positions will correlate to people’s perception of what’s going on at that moment. On the image view, there may be other cues, and the top left photo may not have influence just because of its position.