As you see, we've made a few changes to the Reg look and feel this week, and we expect numbers of you to go off on one (or indeed two or three). So before you do, we feel the need to assure you that it's all still there. No really, it is - it just looks a little different. So where is it? Current stories remain the core of the …
Too many grey space at the sides of this website. Anyway....
...I can now remove theregister.co.uk from IE8b2 compatibility list. All I have to do now is to get used to the slimmed down design that does not look good on my 22" widescreen LCD.
Can we get the older comment icons too?
Why fixed width?
... when you could have used max-width to preserve readability on large displays, while letting the site re-flow on small displays (eg my Eee701's 800 width which I'm guessing will require scrolling as the fixed width is obviously optimised for the 1024 width display I'm using at present)? You can always send fixed width CSS to broken browsers like IE6 and earlier. Really missed opportunity to improve things for everyone.
For the grey-background haters, excessive line lengths slow reading down. If you have your window maximised on a large display so you see tons of the grey background you probably have missed the point of having a large display, ie having lots of windows visible at once, not having to maximise everything to see what you're doing etc.
Oh, and the new icons are disastrous, much preferred the old ones.
Actually, I quite like it.
Although it does make you look more generic.
Would it be really too hard to have a wide-screen-friendly CSS styling option?
gag me with an icon
I'll chime in with the thunderous disapproval of the new icons.
And I'll disagree with the two posters who praised the new favicon. It's actually worse than any of the new comment icons. No matter how hard I stare at it telling myself "that's a Reg Vulture", it's still a headless man running with a briefcase.
The fixed width isn't too obnoxious with my current browser window size, though I'm sure I'll grow to vigorously hate it after a while.
Everything else I've seen of the new new seems OK.
Core dump icon just 'cuz nobody else has used it yet in this thread. Plus I'm chasing a mysterious core dump right now.
It's been said a few dozen times already, but...
Wonderful, The Reg now takes up only 1/3 of my monitor. I don't mind the articles taking up only a fraction of the width (reading is easier), but I'd rather the front page used as much of my screen as possible.
Don't see the problem
Im liking the new site... Fixed width is great sits perfectly on my screen and the font size is perfect!
People just gotta get used to it :P
I'll get used to the rest of the changes but the fixed width thing is bugging me, funnily enough for the opposite reason as everyone else.
I like to keep el reg in a relatively small window at work so I can watch a movie on ninjavideo while browsing articles. I need to keep this maximised now to be able to read it. You're decreasing my productivity and ability to multitask damnit!
Either revert Paris, or get rid of her - otherwise, for anyone new, all we've got is a 'dumb blonde' icon...
What *will* you do?
To simplify it in Sergio Leone style:
Good: new layout.
It will take me a few days to get used to it, but it feels more organized now. Bravo.
Bad: smaller fonts and soul-sucking gray borders.
If you really have to have a border, please make it somewhat smaller, and black. This gray reminds me of sci-fi stories in which hyperspace has absence of colour that makes humans insane. Dilbert's PHB (or Catbert) would have been proud of it.
Ugly, and I mean uglier than looking at Eli Wallach's face for the rest of the life: new icons.
Dear <supreme deity of your choice> in heaven, they are too childish. This is El Reg, not Disney Channel. Please, please, *please* give us back our old icons. I know El Reg can be reasoned with... Hell, even Orlowski sometimes lets us comment on his articles. :-)
We can always buy Webster Phreaky a ticket and send him to strike down upon thee with great vengeance and furious anger... errr, have a reasonable conversation with you. We know you'd prefer Dominatrix, of course. ;-)
Why don't you put up a questionnaire with "fixed width, yes or no", "icons, old, new or suggest new ones" and other questions? It might give you concise answers on what we feel, without having to wade through dozens of posts criticising or praising your decisions.
Black helicopter, as it's the only old icon left. :-(
Fixed width sucks
On a widescreen monitor. Why not reformat for two-column articles on larger screens?
Otherwise, I don't hate it but it'll take some getting useful. Reminds me of the learning curve for Office 2007: seems awful at first and it takes time to get used to it.
The new site is fine, but whilst the font used on articles is just about bearably small, that used in the comments section is unbearably small. I know I should probably get glasses, but one of the joys of the Old Reg was it's readability. Why are they different anyway?, surely what we have to say is just as important :-)
Oh... and your icons seem to have gone pastel/beige but I can live with that.
PS. The font size on the "Preview post" page is fine :-)
Re: Fixing the width
a) find the width of the user's window.
Note -- window means window, not screen. The width of the screen is irrelevant, its the width of the window that matters.
b) set the page width as "100%". Rocket science, that bit. B
c) determine the OPTIMUM number of columns for the width as determined in a). Thinking mainly of the home page here, obviously the story page has to be a single column. Nobody would be stupid enough to run a story in two columns, would they? Apart from Adobe Acrobat, that is.
d) ensure all paragraph text is fully re-wrappable, so that it properly fits the chosen number of columns. OK, there *should* probably be a MAX width -- though only if you can somehow make it a percentage of the point size *after* the user has enlarged or reduced font sizes according to their own needs.
This gives ALL the benefits of fixed width WITHOUT the drawbacks -- I think.
Hmm not sure...
Well the new icons are crap. The ads are a pain. Don't like the fixed width. But it does load way faster.
Will reserve judgment for a week or so.
<-the one with the old icons in the pockets...
If you wanted fixed...
... why couldn't it be the grey banners instead? OK, they do make the content panel look a little prettier, but on the larger resolutions they do look bad. And, I for one, generally prefer reading longer lines.
And the comments are fixed and an even smaller width, which looks rather odd to me.
Site has horizontal scrollbar when in small form too, or at least does for comments. The webdev toolbar tells me my viewport is 847x465 (Contrary to popular belief, sometimes some of us do browse the web in a shrunken window.... ).
What about posting
Borken yesterday big time.
Kept getting "you need a comment as well as a title" even though IT had lost the comment on submission.
Works on my P1i
Well, I think it's better. So far I can read it on a Symbian UIQ device without having to do lots of horizontal scrolling which was starting to put me off the Reg.
Whats up with the tiny 1024 width of the page? Im sure everyone has *atleast* 1280 buy now..
Apart from that no real gripes now that the odds and sorts bit is back :)
Works fantastic and look great...
... if you disable all style sheets.
Seriously, this is a step backwards in terms of design and indeed in terms of the way web design is heading. This is very much a late 90's rendering completely missing the point of capturing the eye, specifically of people on the move.
Too much is happening on the front page, way too much.
Panache and Identity
EVERY time I've visited The Reg in the last couple of years I've got a little rush of excitement BECAUSE of the design of your front page - it was just so very very comforting, appealing and easy-to-read. That sensation has gone. Like Superman ripping open his shirt and revealing an egg-stained string vest.
Could you still serve up the old design if users clicked on a 'give me the old version' button? I imagine El Reg must be masters of separating data and design by now so perhaps this could be an option? We are special.
I had a bad weekend - finally got things sorted out at 22:00 Sun night. Came into work and the AS400 is playing up; loads of calls from (L)users. Just trying to relax now and 2 of the sites that I log in to to help preserve my sanity have decided over the weekend to make major changes - I don't like!!
Having said that, I suppose I will get used to it - the icons are a bit naff tho'.
I read for the news, not the appearance. Make sure that you keep up the good work and I'll forgive.
Looks good to me
I'm one of those who thought it was weird how stories moved their way around on the page and never got it. I like this new look, and it does indeed appear to solve the problems you attempted to address.
I hope it works out for you, though I still won't accept the ads; I use AdBlock. I'd be willing to pay a subscription to El Reg, like with any other rag of interest, but I just don't like ads.
Don't mind the layout, but...
Could we have the old icons back please? These are soulless facsimiles of our beloved aliens, black helicopters and dead vultures.
Also, could Odds and Sods be returned to the main listings?
I like the new look. SHOULD HAVE GONE TO SPECSAVERS.
I didn't read all the comments above...
and I'm kinda late to the party obviously, but what is the gripe with fixed width layouts? Is scrolling really such a chore?
I'm viewing this on a 1680 x 1050 monitor, so if you have a site which is 100% width, I find it impossible to read if I set the browser window to full screen. In fact I'd resize the window to approximately A4 paper style aspect to read it.
I think the new layout looks nice, and you included a reg tombstone icon for the comments for all the people who are unimpressed to use.
This new icon because I think it looks happy.
And to think I usually check El Reg on a Sunday... it certainly gave me a shock with this new look, although I'm surprised you don't link this story on the front page.
Shocking, but, you know what? I think it's a nicer, cleaner design.
Good job guys.
Re: Don't mind the layout, but...
Odds & Sods now back, comment icons undergoing lightning revision.
Good job, like the design.
In regards to mobile devices, absolutely Fubar on my Windows Touch Plus, okay if I go through Google's mobile portal, but I don't really want to do that.
Can people also stop comparing to Facefcuk as well, there are many other sites out there that used a similiar layout before that atrocity of a site.
Icons - like'em generally but do miss some of the old ones, I also miss the thundercats and ulysses but they ain't coming back either so who cares.
I like it
apart from the font of course.
Not bad, but tweaks needed
Liking most of it, until I maximised the window, 1440 x 900 res just makes the site look silly, and what with widescreens becoming all the rage, this could do with rectifying.
Also, and I say this in nicest possilbe way....
WTF HAVE YOU DONE WITH THE PHOTO ICONS?!
Seriously, the icons were fine as they were, what was missing was more icons. The new ones look retro, but not in a good way. Any new readers will just be confuddled by the Paris Hilton references.
<quote>Fixed Width? Really? No-one on your staff knows CSS well enough to make this (admittedly nice looking -- if you have your browser sized to EXACTLY the correct width) work in most any browser width? Really? It's quite easy to do. You may want to spend a few minutes at http://www.w3.org/Style/CSS/</quote>
Have you figured out how to do columnar text flow in CSS 2, then?
That is like, the Philosophers' Stone in CSS design. Please share your technique. Especially with EVERY SINGLE MAJOR NEWS PUBLICATION ON THE WEB.
You are my God. I KEESS YOU.
Reg: Go ahead and lose the fixed width, but be prepared for the avalanche of complaints about marathon lines of text across 2000+ pixel width displays.
I like it...
Threw me at first when I did my first-cup-of-coffee-look and I did hit Ctrl+F5 a few times to make sure Monday wasn't playing tricks on my eyes.... but nope.... el Reg has changed.
and I like it.
I'm stunned as I loved the old layout but this layout works well and I am probably one of the few who actually do like the new comment icons as well.
Good work folks
Fixed width is a terrible choice
I still find that it makes the current incarnation of the BBC website a terrible fucking thing to read (well, that and their obsession with forcing useless flash players and fucking stupid page design), and I can't see it being any better here.
I don't overly object to you attempting to achieve high readability standards - though anyone who says "but X characters is optimal for everyone!" probably needs a fucking slap - but you just effectively removed my option of browing in an actual window rather than full screen. I quite like having enough screen real estate to have multiple windows on screen and visible at the same time, and not everybody has the wonder of a large widescreen which would now make that possible.
Also, new icons = shit.
Odds n sods is back, my baby :)
/me stokes odds and sods
...makes light work of the site not filling the screen - "Zoom" insted of "Text Size" for the win!
Gah, can you give us an actual coherent explanation as to why you've gone to a fixed width layout please? You mention that you have, but not WHY you have. Please do so, so we can actually take issue in a useful way and perhaps convince you of the error of your ways.
I have to say I have a lot of respect for the staff at 'El Reg' for actually checking these boards and caring about user feedback. Many companies I have seen in the past quickly take on a stone faced approach of "this is the new way we want it, and users will just have to get used to it!".
So huge kudos for you all for caring about your users.
After all these years of covering tech lapeses
Finally somebody has hacked and defaced the Reg site.
Let's see how long it takes el Reg to restore the backup tapes...
Grey bars too dark
I'm not overly chuffed with the move to fixed width - just compared the Google cache of the "old" Reg with the new one, and there's definitely lost space there. But if you simply must have fixed width, then at least change the colour of the grey bars at the sides - they are just way too dark and it really makes you feel hemmed in. The BBC News site goes for a very light grey and it makes the boundary between content and background fade away a lot. Simply lightening the grey would be a big step.
Oh yes, and some of the new icons are far too cutesy for their own good - I mean, even the skull and crossbones is grinning, for god's sake! Why is Paris made to look like a vaguelly intelligent, non-skanky blonde? And the flame icon is so "meh" it's totally at odds with the "steam coming out my ears" description. More like "I'm slightly surprised and am glowing luke-warmly"...
And definitely need a competition for a new masthead. Though I can understand you being hesitant of giving your readers a say in such a prominent branding element. And bring back the titles of the first few comments on the article page - they were good at drawing me in, as I'd see at a glance if there were some interesting comments.
Meh, I started this comment intending not to be all negative (really, I did!) as there are good things about the new design. But got bogged down in some details of the things I don't like. I can see why you wanted more control over the layout, especially to give more prominence to certain stories.
In a nutshell: lighten the grey bars a lot and make the icons less cutesy.
Re: Fixed width
What I've been doing so far is presenting an explanation or fix where it's relatively straightforward. We'll do a roundup of where we think we are, and of the responses, probably tomorrow, and we'll cover fixed width there.
Executive summary now though. We understood on the way in that there would be readers who would object strongly and loudly to the switch, but we felt that the gains we would make in ability to control the look and feel of our product would outweigh this. We still think that, but having now establshed the format (subject to some tweaking), we ought then to be able to look at how we can cater for larger screens and handhelds.
@They were never unique
OK fair enough, thanks for the clarification
"And we switched to fixed width? We'll sure as hell catch it for that. OK, fire away"
If you know it's wrong, why the fuck did you do it?
Marks out of 10
General new look: 8 out of 10 - not bad! Smoother, and more, um, perfeshnul!
Top banner: 9 out of 10 - like it!
favicon.ico: 10 out of 10 - EEEEEVIL ;-)
Fixed width: 1 out of 10 - come on, give us wide-screen peeps a chance! Try the CCS 2 multi-column stuff and if it breaks in IE then who gives a F&%$ - real IT people don't use IE! (puts flame-proof coat on...)
Icons: 0 out of 10 - BRING BACK THE *REAL* PARIS ICON!!!! Actually, bring back ALL the old "photo" icons. I haven't added an icon cos I don't like 'em!
Although I'm not so sure about the new icon set. They truly suck.
Broken on PDA
I just tried it on my PDA (set to view as fit to screen), and I get a couple of headlines then 3-5 blank screens worth, then another few headlines, then more blank screens and so on. Dreadful. It used to be bad to use before (lots of scrolling to get to the content) but at least once you got to the content, it was okay. Now you need to get through so many blank pages in the middle of a few headlines, before more blank pages....
"So i always read El Reg on my phone, the new design crashes my N95 out everytime i point to the site.
Its only on a news page, not the front page. So i get teased and then booted out.
My 6650d [the new flip one with 3G, not the old one] works OK on both the boggo Symbian browser that comes with it, and with Opera Mini - column resizing etc all seems OK on both browsers.
So, as far as I'm aware, both phones use the same browser/underlying kit [I'm happy to be corrected on this] to render web pages, I suggest your phone may tweeking.
Didn't say we knew it was wrong. Said we expected some people to complain about it. Absolutely on the money there. (-:
argh! you've reformatted the front page! i feel like the sanctity of my life and home has been violated by Gordon Brown. Oh wait, thats prolly nothing to do with el reg.
... The new page is much smaller. The old main page used to weigh in at 100+k, now we're down to 37k. Much better.
1) Yes - crap on mobile. Muchy scrolly, plus some stories get offset from the left margin (making a narrow page even narrower).
2) Fixed width is poor - if I don't like wide lines, I'll shrink my browser width. Even if you must set a maximum width for readability, the minimum width should be around the 200 pixel mark.
3) I notice the css is called "style_picker/design". Does that mean we'll get to choose from several styles at some point?
For a laff I tried blocking the css in AdBlock. Hey, now I get a fast-loading, any-width-I-like, but ugly page!
On the upside...
It does load faster and I'm quite happy with how the stories are arranged even if there do seem to be many fewer on the page. Given that there are consistenly only a couple of complaints you can probably consider the rest of the design to perhaps be a success.
Changing the icons just after putting half of them on T-Shirts seems a bit funny.
I'll get my... erm... Jedi Robe from the looks of it...
You broke my PDA
Your new layout sucks balls on my XDA Orbit. It looked fine before, but now I have the longest page in existence. Scrolling down for about 30 seconds makes the scroll bar move about 0.005 millimeters.
I tend to browse thereg and one other site on my pda about once an hour or so throughout the day to get my internet news fix, and you just made it really annoying for me!
Sort it out chaps.