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back to article Did the width move for you, darling?

Some years back — it might even be ten — The Reg went live with a major site overhaul — by mistake. Some contract techie pressed the red button, it all switched on and the first we knew about it was when we woke up, saw the new site had magically materialised and we had to start swimming for our lives. I now thank that dork, …

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Screaming rubbish

There is no IT angle to this story. What is it doing here? I am removing The Register from my bookmarks. Please cancel my subscription. I am also dissatisfied with today's weather. Please make the weather the way I like it. Goodbye.

Oops, wrong article. Sorry.

-n

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Coat

I like it...

And people who who moan about fixed width are usually techie anoraks anyway. Oh, wait...

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overall

I am pretty happy with the redesign, and I have noticed and appreciate the standard ad slot being removed from the middle of the stories and comments. That was probably my biggest gripe with the old layout. I am not sold on the fixed width, but we shall see how that pans out.

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Paris Hilton

Windows Mobile IE?

Doesn't get laid out well on Windows Mobile IE anymore.

Paris never suffers this issue.

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My 2 cents

I like the new design and I'm also happy about the good old comment icons.

But how about bringing back the old favicon? The new one is just horrible to look at.with high resolution.

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Dead Vulture

It sucks. :-)

Well, the new design stinks, but we'll eventually stop grumbling and get used to it. Just like that enforced change to the new Facebook.

:-)

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Flame

NO!

"If you want to tell us, constructively, where you think we might be going wrong or how we might improve things, please go ahead."

Oooooh "coooonstructively" is it now...

NO!

I will *demand* that you change the format of the site to one that is asthetically pleasing to me only. I believe that everything you are doing is wrong and I - again - DEMAND that you appease me! I will be APPEASED!

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NeuReal Man .....

How very refreshing that someone actually values change and can even change it after it has been provided, as easily as thinking about it.

Drinks are on me. What are you having?

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Anonymous Coward

Too many ads?

I don't see any ads when I'm at home, which kind of makes me feel bad as I know you need the dosh!

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Please leave the fixed width alone

I like my browser with a width of around 1080 pixels (on a 1920x1200 screen), in part so that I can view sites that display 1024 width pictures. The 960 width of El Reg seems to fit rather well.

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Paris Hilton

Name names....

RE The Case of the Butchered Icons... Whodunnit?

Paris, I missed her.

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Heart

bollocks...I need an amusing title

I was more than mildly surprised when the reg suddenly changed its clothes! Can't say I'm bothered by it though. New looks, same old hacks writing the stories. And that's why I come here.

Not because you look pretty,. but because you're a bitter, twisted booze filled journo with all the inegtrity of a wannabe actress offering hand jobs in LA. That's what I love about you el Reg.

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Exact same format for articles and front page?

I think the pain is really when you try to READ the articles when it comes to fixed width, forced font. I'm reading this page today from a Vaio with a nice wide screen and a 3rd of it is grey and it's a lot harder to read than before because of the tiny Ariel font we're stuck with.

Do you really have to use the same style sheet for the articles you use for the front page? And seriously, using a non-serif font for something longer than a paragraph?

The overall look isn't bad but someone needs to go back to graphic design school and take the class on use of white space and fonts again.

Oh, and thanks for bringing back the Odds & Sods link. It's the only decent entertainment I get during the week.

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Happy

BOFH

Gets a place of honour on the front page. I am happy now.

What took you so long.

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Law
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Comptetion time!!

I think we should have a proper comments icon competition, where we can upload or email you images of logos, then you filter out the sick ones, put them up on the site (the sick ones obviously), and we get to vote for the top 8!! :D

Oh - and first prize should be the smut loaded phone that the oz woman was so upset about last week!

Somebody has stopped doing weekly comments articles too, and as a result people have been less creative - so quality is going down. So we need that regular feature back too.

On the fixed width side of things, I've never tried it, but couldn't you just have a javascript button or link that enabled/disables the fixed width - so people have a fairly easier time of viewing the site, temporarily at least, with viewing the site in wide-screens/smaller-screens.

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Alert

yes but

NOW I have had to subscribe to the BOFH notification service, but of course have to use my home email

which means I wont be able to read it in the peace and quiet of a boring afternoon, I will have various commands being delivered by wife 1.0 at home.

and as I am a blerk, multitasking I leave to women and windows.

so BOFH in main news when released TA! :)

otherwise its not that bad, and will probably sort out those wierd overlapping problems on old computers running win2k at training centres :)

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Headline colors

Gents,

Overall the redo is OK.

BUT.....

As a Reg Vulture since 1997 I miss that all the headlines are in BLUE.

IN today's page there are 7 stories in blue. The first headlines I read.. Then there is this grey box my eyes gloss over because the change signals to me "ADVERT---IGNORE ME!!!"

Then on the right are the "top stories" again links in black and ignored as "not typical Vulture".

Otherwise it reads & works OK. I have no other gripes or comments.

PLEASE PUT ALL ARTICLE LINKS back to BLUE!!

Thanks,

John

Fairbanks, AK

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like

I Agree with the right hand editorial stuff (like peak oil or other recent stories there) and overall like the new layout. I can see fewer stories in my browser than I Could before, though, which means I have to scroll to check what's what!

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Happy

I like it.

Looks far neater on my iPhone now, and more useable. I like it.

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IT Angle

Constructive criticism

If you're not a web designer, how do you know what is possible? All you know is what you don't like.

If you go to a fancy resturaunt and try some weird sounding meal, you can't tell the chef "you used too much lemon grass and you shouldn't overhead the pan before cooking else you caremalise rather than cook" unless you're a chef yourself. All you can get out is "It tastes like shit".

Take the non-constructive criticism. You don't have to change to obey it, but if you take away all the bits people say they don't like, what's left is what they DO like.

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My only real gripe ...

... is that you've done away with the comment count that used to adorn the top of the articles (much like the one that's still there on Reg Hardware ... and why doesn't it directly link back to the main site?).

Oh yeah ... new the "flame" icon sucks. As does the Jolly Roger one.

Other'n that, all fine here.

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looks fine to me

not everyone fears change. As for the fixed width, and small screens issue, still looks ok on my iPhone, granted it's not the smallest of screens out there, but a damn site smaller than most.

The ad's are kept out of my way, the good old icons are back, and there is nothin wrong with the new icons that have stayed, all in all, good job.

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Anonymous Coward

Favicon

Viktor: "how about bringing back the old favicon? The new one is just horrible to look at"

Agreed 100%.

It's vile and really poor quality.

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People don't like change...

...But to keep things fresh, you need change otherwise it becomes stale.

Another thing about change, it makes you look for things and you might notice stuff you never seen before in the old format.

So change is a good thing. Makes you see more of the site.

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congrats

I rather like the redesign ; it's not radically different to the old site, and feels a bit cleaner. One or two minor quibbles aside (fix the anti-aliasing on that masthead!), it's gone very well indeed.

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Change the winning team...

This redesign reminds me of when I stopped visiting Tom's Hardware. It was not because the quality of the content slipped, it was because, after a redesign, it was too inconvenient to find what interested me.

I guess I can sabotage much of your redesign by substituting my own stylesheet. Opera is convenient for sites that try to impose things on me. The whole idea behind the way the web was made, is that the user should have total control of how the pages are displayed. All the broken websites we hate are run by designers who try their utmost to sabotage that feature and behave as if they were printing stuff on paper. If they are so anal about their design, then give them a letterpress and some molten lead.

One thing which irked me even with the old design, is that you could not always get back to the front page by clicking on the vulture. Sometimes, you got trapped in some ghetto where most of the articles were uninteresting. I would even have accepted the ugly new logo if it had been consistent and always led me back to the front page.

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Annoying ads...

...seem to be gone! At least for the moment. I found myself speed reading the top of the articles just so that I could scroll the annoying and distracting Flash ads off the screen as quickly as possible. I was so intent on avoiding them that I can't even tell you which ads they were; so much for effective advertising!

Overall, I like the redesign better than the previous layout (although that was a *great* improvement from the one before, where the article titles weren't in fixed height cells -- shudder). Some people will always complain about change; to them, I say, "Good luck with that attitude in the IT industry."

amfM, make mine an Old Fashioned.

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One Unfortunate Thing

On the browser I normally use to visit The Register on my home computer, instead of three columns of articles, I just get one very long one. Apparently, The Register is now using newfangled HTML features that are not compatible with my old browser which I use for most surfing (as it has Java and JavaScript turned completely off). I can just bookmark your site on one of the newer browsers I also use for visiting more trusted sites, of course, but I always think it's a pity when sites move away from good old HTML 1.0 for no particularly good reason.

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Paris Hilton

The site changed? Memory of a goldfish etc etc

I've got used to it now. You listened to your readership on key things (comment icons, Odds & Sods) and even chose a lighter shade of grey for the bars at either side* as I hoped for in a previous comment. And who knows how the fixed-width thing will turn out? But I guarantee this - if you change it all again in a couple of years, lots of people with lament the loss of the (new) old look. C'est la vie.

*Or I could be wrong and you left it exactly as is, in which case I just got used to it (maybe the red mist was fading by that point) and all is good with the world. Would be nice if someone from the Reg could confirm if it was lightened otherwise it will prey on mind, leading to sleepless nights and much tossing and turning...

Paris because she also... oh it's far too obvious.

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Praise the Lord

Love the fixed width. I have to work off-site once a week at a wide-screen monitor. Ever try to read a page where the line-o'-type is half a yard long? Sheesh!!

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(Written by Reg staff)

Re: The site changed? Memory of a goldfish etc etc

Yes. Toning down the grey looked like an easy win for us, so we did it. That better?

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IT Angle

Fixed width.....

I really dont mind the fixed width on my work lap top but at home there seems to be a lot of wasted space.

I am not a web designer but wouldnt it be possible to have a tick box to select your fixed width and font size requirements or is this beyond the realms of possibility?

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Good comeback...

... but I still think you are going to lose the argument on fixed width. Back in the dark old days of the early 90's when having a work machine with a 15" 1024x768 screen was considered luxury maybe 800 fixed width was a good idea, but for crying out loud, you can buy a 20" Widescreen monitor for less than £100 which has a resolution on 1680x1050 which means that 50% (ish excepting scrollbars etc)) of your screen is given over grey nothingness.

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Fixed width

Everything else I don't care about - but the fixed width problem is very important to me.

It used to be that most media sites were fixed width (and narrow too) but slowly the situation is improving as sites are designed for the greater range of widths being used.

I would switch to another site to protest this change but I'm too lazy.

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Paris Hilton

Right hand big stories

It took me a while to work out what my biggest problem with the new design is. I'm so well trained these days at unconsciously filtering out right-hand column images, on the assumption that they're just ads, that I miss all your big, expensively researched stories.

It's a genuine effort to realise that they're there, and then look for them, and it frequently doesn't happen. Hence my having to go all the way through to Odds & Sods > BOFH for my weekly fix today, even though it's plastered across the front page. Couldn't see it for looking.

My suspicion is that it's not a useful place to put those stories, as they'll be overlooked frequently. There's some traffic analysis for you to do...

Other than that, not nearly as disastrous as it might have been, and generally well handled by the Reg team. Go and buy yourselves a few beers - it can't have been a particularly easy ride this week. Cue Paris icon...

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Fixed width

I like it, it means I can reduce the window and hide most of the graphics thus reducing the liklihood of the PHB spotting that I'm reading El Reg and not working :o)

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Flame

New Format Still a Downer

Its been a few days, and the Reg has relented on two of the issues, but still insists on 'fixed-width' as a pillar of their new look and feel and control. I don't care fixed vs. variable EXCEPT for the effect it has on my scrolling requirements. THIS NEW FORMAT SCROLLS TOO MUCH. I know that most readers have their desktops with the fancy scroll wheel, and that may make things easier. BUT scrolling on my laptop is still a keyboard thing, and going down ALL the time, to sort through the main page, or to see every story, is just BAD DESIGN. Especially when you have limited yourself to the big gray sidebars for 'look and feel' reasons. Usability for the readers (ME!) is at least as important as the new ad-space, and I feel VERY shortchanged.

Going from unhappy to FLAME.

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(Written by Reg staff)

Re: My only real gripe ...

Seems like a harmless enough request. I'll see if I can find out if there's a reason why we didn't put the count at the top as well. Although OTOH, as we make cracks about encouraging people to comment before they've read the article, maybe having post comment there at all is a bad move.

There is a link back from Reg Hardware, but it's tiny (small vulture), and it's not on the front page. We'll do Tony some kind of trade at the border when we put a Reg Hardware link back into the Reg front page. (-:

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My Thoughts

I think the font size and font choice is absolutely fine, don't worry about it.

As regards to the scrolling, I don't mind that at all, I think you've come up with a good way of doing it - similar to the BBC infact as you've got some stories at the top, a bar of editorials or popular stories then a bunch of less well read / less important stories below. I think it works well.

...and the constant width? As a web designer I know the pros and cons of a fixed width -vs- dynamic width in a page layout - I think you've chosen well.

Above all: it looks good!

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Flame

Fixed width!

I very nearly stopped reading the reg with the new fixed width thing, and I still dislike it. I am delighted you restored the comment icons and the odds and sods link though :D

I find it harder to read stories now, they seem to vanish quicker! Unless your publishing more and pushing them aside :/

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Well, I like it

I think the redesign is nice and serves its intended purpose. I find the stories easier to follow throughout the day, in a logical manner (I still don't get the old sorting order whereas stories seemed to jump around randomly). Regarding the fixed-width, I do tend to disagree with its usage, given that it wastes space on large screens. That said, I am not particularly annoyed with its implementation on El Reg; I find it rather comforting, in the way it forces the site's organization and cohesion.

I still don't see any ads (must by my AdBlock and NoScript at work--attaboy!). Perhaps that in itself enhances--artificially--my perception of the layout. As I said before, I reject and oppose all ads in principle: I refuse to be subjected to them in any medium, to the extent that I can prevent it. But, as I also have said before, I will be more than willing to pay a reasonable subscription fee to gain access to the site, provided it does not bring with it additional navigation surveillance, or such common intrusions. I generally enjoy The Register and understand and respect the staff's need to eat (and occasionally drink beer). And I am most definitely not a "freetard".

As for the comment icons: Bleh. I never used them, and tend to ignore them when others do. I find it too Web 2.0-ish and social-networky for my taste. Thus, I don't care for them either way. But, of course, that won't stop me from criticising them: The old ones were too crude and cheesy; the new ones are too cute and cartoony.

Overall, I like the new look and hope the content continues the old tone and spirit of "biting the hand that feeds IT."

Cheers!

-dZ.

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Pirate

Arrr!!

Arr!! Fixed width is fer soft, sea swabbing bilge rats! Ye be making th biggest mistake of ye lives! Be ye damned to Davy Jones' Locker fer hiternity ye lubbers.

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Anonymous Coward

Control freaks!

"gives us greater control over the look and feel of The Register"

Wanting more control leads to an arms race where people install extensions and adjust preferences to get it back to how they want it. The user will always win this arms race eventually because the browser has the last say about what appears on the screen. You need to relax and accept that you can only describe your preference for how the site is rendered. I really don't think that you need to rely on "control over look and feel" to keep the loyalty of your readers; quite the opposite.

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Happy

Windows mobile..

.. really needs fixing.

If only 'cos there's no AdBlock on WM5-IE, and so you have a much higher chance of getting geeks to see ads if you can encorage them to browse on their mobile!

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I Like it

I like the redesign, look s alot cleaner, i never have my browser maxmized so it fits pretty damn well on my browser. as someone said i dont come here for the looks i come here for the flaming and the smart arse comments.

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What's wrong with people

I don't get it I really don't. As a designer, I sympathise with the worries and all that, but you sit and look at something every day you get bored with it.

I think the site looks great, and anyone who complains about anything that isn't a bug is a bloody gibbon who should go back to playing on myspace and reading real papers.

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Renders better on my K850i - Much faster too

Yes I read the register on my phone... we are all geeks here! (mostly)

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Fixed Width Justifications

Ok, so you've explained why you fixed the width on the title page (better control over your complicated layout) Not sure I buy that (could we at least see an example of how crappy the front page looks in a dynamic width layout?)

But could you at least make the articles dynamic width??

Of course, you could do something more annoying, and replace the gray area with advertisements so those of us with widescreen monitors would actually see more ads then those with low res monitors.

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No comment

I liked the old and I also like the new.

I think the Facebook comments were references to the fact that they have recently changed their layout amid much wailing and gnashing of teeth from the users.

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Coat

Stories no longer seem to have links

back to the home page.

Coat please, and where's the way out?

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