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Anybody seen the new Gawker/Gizmodo/Kotaku redesign?

post #1 of 47
Thread Starter 

Any complaints about the new CHUD.com are nothing compared to this:

 

http://gizmodo.com/

post #2 of 47

Horrible, it's inspired me to write a review as an example of website design gone horribly wrong. Worst thing I've seen in quite a while.

post #3 of 47

I would say it's dramatically better than the new front page, actually.  It promotes the stories that are most likely to be popular and it's visually interesting.  The biggest mistake in the Gawker redesign is that they didn't come up with an answer for how to navigate the content as a blog outside of the "next new posts" button, which is a pretty stupid solution.  There's the "blog view" option, but anytime you're asking readers to do work to simply navigate your site, you're making a mistake.

 

Plus, any site in English that doesn't place important content on the left is a little suspect, but there are worse crimes.

post #4 of 47

Navigation is completely broken, puts the scrollable content away from the scrollbar, and it's not clear what you are scrolling with your keyboard (up down arrow). You can also make the article bar on the right scroll like crazy.

 

It feels like somebody designed it for the iPad, and forgot to review the usability on most other computing environments.

post #5 of 47
New chud retained it's functionality and readability after the change. I've just deleted the links to the gawker sites from my browser after seeing the hack job they launched. Jesus fucking Christ it's terrible.
post #6 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by ElCapitanAmerica View Post
...somebody designed it for the iPad.


Pretty much the long and short of it.

post #7 of 47

On the upside, their old design would force my browsers on multiple computers to freeze when opening a new page. I've had zero loading issues since the redesign. So, there's that.

 

Pushing their headlines that far off front and center is a shitty idea, though.

post #8 of 47

Oh wow. Nice knowing ya, Kotaku. I was happy they had kept things simple and clean all this time.

post #9 of 47

Yeah, this design change ruined the whole Gawker network. Was a loyal follower of Kotaky, Gawker and sometimes io9. Now they're all unreadable.

post #10 of 47

Naturally this is coming from the guy who interfaces with nearly the entire internet by tabbing-out pages from RSS feeds, and who is himself involved with a website that recently underwent a semi-controversial redesign... but the apocalyptic verdicts and promises of Gawker-abandonment... a bit hyperbolic, no? In a time when the internet is a maelstrom of bullshit crashing and breaking against itself, is it not the content that should ultimately determine your loyalty? I have no idea if the Gawker Network is really the gold standard (I've settled into keeping up with all of their shit, but don't shop around much), but if you've dug their shit in the past, is a right-hand scroll/iPad-style interface really a dealbreaker?

post #11 of 47

It is when you can barely navigate the site.

post #12 of 47

I must be a fucking super user then, because I can move my cursor to the right, scroll, and click on the things that interest me, read them, and then repeat that process.

post #13 of 47

I'm going to post a video of this, but if try to scroll with the arrow keys the right side goes nuts and just keeps on scrolling by itself for a long time (minutes). Are you using a mouse scroll wheel?

post #14 of 47
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Renn Brown View Post
...but if you've dug their shit in the past, is a right-hand scroll/iPad-style interface really a dealbreaker?


 

It kind of is a deal breaker for me.  A big part of the appeal of Gizmodo et al. was the simplicity of their reverse-chronological blog layout, and a relatively old-school, low-tech webpage that loaded quickly.  Now they have neither.

 

Before, I would quickly peruse the whole site each morning, opening a new tab for every article that struck my interest.  With their new design, even when I click on "blog view", navigation is harder, less articles are visible, the ads are more intrusive, and I'm constantly drowning in a syrupy sea of over-polished clunky Javascript.

 

One example - the "back" button on your browser doesn't work for navigating their site.  Every time a new article loads, it fades out the old one and fades in a new one with the possibility of an ad showing up in each transition.  They want to you to use their own interface for the most basic web page stuff.

 

Their content was never all that special.  I'll make do with Engadget, Joystiq, and others.

post #15 of 47

I do understand they're having bugs and slowness and shit, which is a separate issue from what I'm being obtuse and snide about, naturally.

post #16 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by ElCapitanAmerica View Post

I'm going to post a video of this, but if try to scroll with the arrow keys the right side goes nuts and just keeps on scrolling by itself for a long time (minutes). Are you using a mouse scroll wheel?



Yeah- magic mouse, single finger touch scroll. The arrow key things works for me too, at least currently.

 

Sounds like they're having speed and comment functionality issues, along with poor delivery on promised new features which is all unacceptable and irritating- I get that. I'll continue to tab out pages from Google Reader and be a happy, oblivious-to-their-failures camper. I do dig their new approach conceptually though.

post #17 of 47

I'm sure it works better when using a scroll wheel, my laptop doesn't have one, so my alternatives are they two buttons for navigation (latest puts you on top, or "next" headlines). I was clicking "next headlines", saw an article I wanted to read and it scrolled past by. If I want to go back, I can't do that with their buttons as the other one takes you to the newest headlines. *sigh*.

 

Using the up/down arrows is a mixed bag, it kind of works if you time it correctly and have the right focus, if you hold down the keys or key away too fast the sidebar goes nuts.

 

The scrollbar is a big problem, if you have a scrollbar (your browsers) I want to scroll the thing immediately next to it (on the left for left-to-right languages). Now they put this sidebar in between scrollable content and their headlines. Confusing.

 

The headlines are horrible because you don't even get a snippet of what it's about, I guess they'll have to be more creative with their headline titles.

post #18 of 47

I love that it's inspired by feed readers. I don't experience any of the issues brought up and I think finding content is very, very easy. The headlines are all right there! Very readable. They're thinking outside the box, which is a necessity in these boring web-design days.

post #19 of 47

But boring works if it's simple! Just seems like a pointless "upgrade" to me, just for the sake of having an upgrade.

 

I'll just wind up "liking" Kotaku on facebook, and if they link every article, good enough for me. It'll be squished in-between baby photos and "what I just ate" posts.

post #20 of 47

The designed for the ipad comments are spot on. This is a horrible design. Not to mention a ridiculous waste of screen real estate. At my home monitor there's this huge white expanse covering two thirds of it. And I'm sorry but infinitely scrolling lists are not a good fit for a mouse/keyboard interface.

post #21 of 47

The Gawker sites were hideous and busy. An upgrade is better than nothing. To each his own.

post #22 of 47

I thought the original Gawker/Jezebel/Giz sites were cluttered and too busy, but I could still read it and could find the individual stores I wanted to read without too much hassle. This manages to be even worse, because I just can't navigate the site. At all.

 

And it's simply awful on my tablet too. Granted it's not an iPad, but still.

 

Between this and HuffAOL, I give up on the internet.

 

Edited: But at least I can read Gizmodo on my phone and my Nookcolor through the bland, boring, and simplistic Android app. I wish Jez had one.

post #23 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by Joe Lavers View Post

The Gawker sites were hideous and busy. An upgrade is better than nothing. To each his own.



Ugly but functional.

 

There's a good reason scrollbars go right next to scrollable content. And if you are going to create a faux scrollable area on the right, at least provide up/down buttons.

 

It's also really bad when you are "scrolling" down to older stories and the freaking animation scrolls the wrong way!

post #24 of 47

I messed around with Deadspin and Kotaku a little bit ... and I'm actually fine with the redesign. Current story on the left, headlines on the right, and both are scrolling just fine for me. And I like the way you can prioritize the headlines by most current or most read. I much prefer this to CHUD's new front page.

post #25 of 47

I think it's pretty ridiculous that even 1200 pixel width is not enough to see or get to the sidebar with the articles! You are forced to do a resize (almost maximize) of the window to get access to it.

 

See in most normal sites, if your browser is not wide enough, that is not an issue. You just scroll to the right to see the sidebar, not with this stupid design, the only access you have to it is by resizing. Basically for the site to be semi usable, you have to fullscreen it.

 

Also you shouldn't rely on users using the freaking arrow keys just to scroll around articles!

post #26 of 47

Illustrated example;

 

3812523674.png

post #27 of 47

Interesting. Every computer I use (every major OS, browser, and screen size) does not have the weird navigation issues you guys are complaining about. What are your set-ups? Although I do think your resize complaint is entirely valid. I don't understand why they did that, especially since you'd have to go out of your way to get that "functionality." But since I don't multitask while reading I always have my browser at fullscreen.

 

The complaint about using arrow keys to navigate articles is silly. Using left/right or j/k is an added feature for power users. Click "Next" or go through the minimized list of headlines to get to what you want, like any other Web site. The scrollbar scrolls the main content, again like any other Web site. Then move your mouse over the headlines and they scroll just fine.

post #28 of 47

Quote:

Originally Posted by Joe Lavers View Post

Interesting. Every computer I use (every major OS, browser, and screen size) does not have the weird navigation issues you guys are complaining about. What are your set-ups? Although I do think your resize complaint is entirely valid. I don't understand why they did that, especially since you'd have to go out of your way to get that "functionality." But since I don't multitask while reading I always have my browser at fullscreen.

 

It's bad design for webpages in general to assume people are going to read them in fullscreen mode. Again, you can assume this for an touch screen device, specially an iPhone/iPad but not for a desktop or laptop computer.

 

Also most conventions for webpages is that if you can't see an area you can just scroll to it. That's the expectation from any user, this breaks that. Badly.

 

Again, this seems to come from an iPad design.

 

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by Joe Lavers View Post

 

The complaint about using arrow keys to navigate articles is silly. Using left/right or j/k is an added feature for power users. Click "Next" or go through the minimized list of headlines to get to what you want, like any other Web site. The scrollbar scrolls the main content, again like any other Web site. Then move your mouse over the headlines and they scroll just fine.

 

 

Most websites don't require navigation via key commands or shortcuts. This is not a video game. The primary interface when you are in a website is your pointer device, also the controls on that sidebar are ridiculous. If you page down fast enough it breaks, also if you miss a headline and want to go back, you can't because there's no way to go back but to go all the way to the top.

 

The scrollbar controls the main content, but almost never is there content between the scrollbar and the scrollable area. That's why scrollbars are always immediately to the right of scrollable content. You can do what you want, but when you mess up with UI conventions and affordances, it confuses everybody.

post #29 of 47

/classic


ETA: I was kind of in love with the old design. It was perfectly suited for going down through the articles, seeing above-the-jump blurbs to clarify headlines (so that I'm sure it's an article I actually want to read) for all of the articles instead of the top one, and center-clicking the ones I like. I'm already kind of used to the interface, but it seems new for the sake of new and a step back, functionality-wise.

post #30 of 47

What is all this using keys to scroll stuff?  Move your cursor over the headlines and scroll using your touchpad or scrollwheel and it works perfectly.  Maybe not super intuitive, but it's not like you need to click or use keyboards shortcuts.

post #31 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by ElCapitanAmerica View Post

I'm sure it works better when using a scroll wheel, my laptop doesn't have one,



This isn't a problem I personally have but at least two of my friends' laptops would have the same problem.

The real dealbreaker for me is that the headlines don't have anything above the jump anymore.

post #32 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by The LD View Post

What is all this using keys to scroll stuff?  Move your cursor over the headlines and scroll using your touchpad or scrollwheel and it works perfectly.  Maybe not super intuitive, but it's not like you need to click or use keyboards shortcuts.



d41d903694.jpg

 

A lot of laptops don't have a scrollwheel. Instead of a scrollwheel, in Windows you use the middle mouse button and move up and down, that creates a middle-mouse-click drag down event, not a scrollwheel up/down events (they're different type of events in UIs). So while for normal apps with a scrollbar it works, for an app coded for a scrollwheel it won't.

 

Horrible stuff, and not intuitive means not good design.

 

To do what they want to do here properly they need 2 scrollbars, which is horrible, but at least more functional than what they did.

post #33 of 47

Friendly suggestion: Might consider using a photo of a trackpad that doesn't have a dedicated scrolling area.

post #34 of 47

Mine doesn't, use your imagination :-)

post #35 of 47

Tried it with a mouse and the scrollwheel, as I suspected it doesn't work that great either. You can go up and down but sometimes gets stuck, ok that's a bug ... but it doesn't let you do click drag for scrolling. So scrolling the wheel will move it up down, but click dragging the wheel will move the contents of the article.

 

Yuck.

post #36 of 47

I agreed completely with you on the window-size issue. It's dumb and in order to make that happen from a CSS standpoint you really have to go out of your way. There are ways to positionally fix elements without breaking browsing conventions. Then I said I personally don't have this problem because I have my browser maximized when I'm reading. We're in agreement. I just don't have to deal with it.

 

They don't require key commands. Like I said before, that is for power users. If you want to go to another article, click "next post" at the bottom of the screen or scan through and click one of the many headlines to the immediate right. It's pretty intuitive and acts like every other news site in existence.

 

I'm scrolling through the headlines right now as a matter of fact and it's pretty dang smooth. If I miss a headline I just take half a second to scroll back up to it. I'll ask you again, what browser are you using? Is it up to date?

 

As for your complaints about the scrollbar, you know what it does. Even though you complain about it you know exactly what it does. I bet most people do. You're overthinking it for those who aren't Web designers.

 

That said, the current front-page reskin on Gawker looks god-awful.

post #37 of 47

I'm using Chrome 7.0.5****

Tried it on Mozilla and had similar issues, I can make the sidebar scroll like crazy.

post #38 of 47

I've got Chrome 9. I can't get it to go on the fritz in that or Firefox 3.6.

post #39 of 47

Yeah the redesign there is TERRIBLE. Seriously, its almost unreadable.

post #40 of 47

Thought I could manage with going to Kotaku Classic. Tried to read an article this morning and the Diesel ad on the page was larger than the text and the the 2 Youtube videos hidden underneath.

 

Going to have to find a replacement site for my gaming news.

post #41 of 47
post #42 of 47

Joystiq is way better than Kotaku.

post #43 of 47
Thread Starter 

Here's a really in-depth, technical look at why the new Gawker template is so horrible:

 

http://www.isolani.co.uk/blog/javascript/BreakingTheWebWithHashBangs

post #44 of 47

Now that I agree with. Javascript as a whole is overrated.

post #45 of 47

I use all of their sites at some point or another over any given month. I have to say that I don't care for the new design at the moment.

post #46 of 47

Gawker admits redesign had some major problems. Notice they fix the scrollable area with adding a real scrollbar as I mentioned they had to;

 

 

Denton: Gawker’s redesign more bruising than it needed to be

http://www.poynter.org/latest-news/romenesko/121143/denton-gawker-redesign-more-bruising-for-readers-staffers-than-it-needed-to-be/

 

 

post #47 of 47

I admit I like the scrollbar better, as well as the (what seems like anyway) newly-added dates. I really don't like the ad placements though. It's smart in terms of drawing attention to them, but they sure make things busy and ugly.

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