back to article The Shock of the New: The Register redesign update 4

Readers, thanks for all the feedback. Here's a list of tweaks we rolled out today. Changed screen outside site background colour from white to grey. Top Art in stories - now editorially selectable - in response to feedback about relevance (see above). Reduced headline font size on Hero “story” at top of front page, articles …

How long....

Is it going to take you to put it back to how it was before whilst hoping people do not notice?

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Unhappy

Can I have my vertical space back, please?

That immovable thing at the top that says

``[vulture] DATA CENTER SOFTWARE [...] WEEKEND EDITION''.
The width is limited by the sidebars, and now I can't have the full height of the screen, either. I can find my way to the top of the page in numerous ways, none of them requiring a fixed area waiting to attack should I push my cursor out of the way, and end up there by accident. (Admittedly, the delay is a help if you're just passing through, but I'd like to see the whole thing go away.)

Maybe it's time to learn to do site-specific CSS. :-(

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Meh

Getting there

I see you've got ads in the blank space to the sides. That's good, so long as you drop the ad above the masthead and in the articles.

I also see that you've removed the useless pictures from some of the articles.

Woo, hoo. Progress.

Now nail the menu to the top of the page, get rid of the ginormous picture in the top tease, make all of the article_img pictures either small or get rid of them, and we can be happy.

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Hurrah!

Visited link colour back to noticeable.

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Much better with the gray. Now please just stop the topics bar (or whatever you call it data centre / software / networks etc) from being always at the top of the screen. When scrolling using page down you lose the top line of text and have to scroll back up to read it.

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Thumb Up

Ah... so far, so good. Much easier on the eyes.

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Still not compact enough. Too much scrolling. TONS of white space can be removed and end up with better readability etc. Go to four columns.

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This post has been deleted by its author

Silver badge
Happy

Top Art in stories - now editorially selectable - in response to feedback about relevance

Thank you, now when I click an article that interests me I'm straight into the content (and it's less obvious I'm not working :-) It was getting ridiculous, if the article had photos one would be duplicated at the top of the page so no value was added.

Thank you also for the grey background, much easier on the eyes.

I'd add my vote for 4 columns, though BBC News and The Onion seem to use the same width as New-Reg

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Pint

Next time

Why not ask first, I am sure there are folks here who are more than capable of reworking the site, we could have a poll on the member submitted site versions :)

Edit, lets expand on that idea and have an open source option, Vulture submitted content in an easy form for member sourced wrappers to use :)

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Silver badge

Nearly there

Just the ridiculously stupendously enormously pointlessly vast (and almost always irrelevant) image that occupies two thirds of the prime space at the top of each page to get rid of, or at least shrink to a third of the size, now!

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Pint

pictures ARE required

When you have lots of skin to show; or playmobile revelations. Have a beer; much better.

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Single page view.

One used to be able to view pages on a single page, for printing.

Please restore that feature.

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Silver badge

Thanks very much for listening, and thanks for the home page navigation at the bottom.

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Improvement - thanks! -

(Very occasional commenter, please be gentle... oh, what the heck, this is El Reg!)

Usual viewing environment: 24" 18:9 LCD. Every vertical pixel is precious!

Update 4's a considerable improvement on previous iterations - thanks to the design team, and a special thanks for making it possible to miss out the huge information-poor stock photos on the tops of stories!

As others have noted, I'd prefer a more information-dense front page. A typical old-school techie who grew up on green screens (once punched cards went away), I read very quickly (ALL CAPS less so) and it takes time to shift my brain between text and images, or even between significantly different text sizes. The current version gives me very little of what I want (text that I can process quickly to decide whether I want to view more detail), especially on a landscape screen.

I'd love to see the floating menu bar pinned back to the top of the page. As noted above, every vertical pixel's precious to me. Add in the design truism that ALL CAPS is harder to read at speed (check out the developer loathing of Visual Studio 2012 menus on Windows 8 if you think the vitriol here was bad) and my comment that I have to do a mental gear shift to read different text sizes, and you get the irritating situation that I've just lost some of the most scarce resource on my screen to something that I don't use and can't read.

All that said, *thank you* for continuing to iterate after release, and for being willing to take comments at all. A technical audience is one of the hardest to design for - there are many reasons for this, not all reflecting well on the audience - and rarely pulls punches on feedback.

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Silver badge

Re: Improvement - thanks! -

"every vertical pixel's precious to me."

And to me, upvoted for that specific comment. With the almost ubiquitous use of widescreen monitors, whether that be desktop, laptop or tablets/phones in landscape mode, building a site that "steals" vertical resolution while enforcing a reletively narrow horizontal width is just so old fashioned and 20th century. Especially since 720, 768 and 1080 seems to be the "standard" for most screens.

On the other hand, massively wide pages aimed at swipey touch screens where everything is a side-swipe away is equally as bad!

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Silver badge

Hmm

Perhaps I am feeling my age but why did you feel this demand to change anything. I had no problems and now I have this feeling I have t click more than before. A sort of an Firefox feeling for no reason at all. And I know I will accept it but still I feel Google has done it right in not altering anything at sign on while again making gmail more and more stupid.

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Thumb Up

Much Improved!

Site looks a lot better. Is El Reg applying the BOFH principle wherein you give users something totally crap to the point where getting back what they had before looks like an upgrade, "Like Windows 8 and Vista"?

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Anonymous Coward

Why doesn't the header row font change size?

When reducing the page zoom (using control mouse wheel), the page text gets smaller but the header (DATA CENTRE SOFTWARE etc) doesn't.

End result is that WEEKEND EDITION wraps on to the next line and is overlaid on page content, often making it impossible to read.

Please fix.

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Silver badge

Re: Why doesn't the header row font change size?

"When reducing the page zoom (using control mouse wheel), the page text gets smaller but the header (DATA CENTRE SOFTWARE etc) doesn't.

Please fix."

Either it's been fixed or it's a browser/OS specific problem. Firefox 34 on XUbunto 12.04 here and the menu bar scales on ctrl-scroll for me.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Why doesn't the header row font change size?

I'm using Firefox 34.0.5 on linux.

I concede that the fonts now change in sync with the page zoom. However, the wrap around still forces "WEEKEND EDITION" to show on the next line. Zooming to any size (greater or less than 100%) makes no difference to this symptom.

Additionally, when opeing a comments page (like this one), the right hand column is missing until I scroll down far enough for the "DATA CENTRE" header bar to be at the top of the screen, when the right hand column suddenly appears and the comments are shifted left.

I've tried disabling Noscript and Adblock without success. Similarly, starting Firefox in safemode makes no difference.

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Silver badge

I'm wandering away

Am I alone in finding that I visit and read far fewer stories than in the past?

For whatever reason this new look just doesn't draw me in, and I'm finding that I'm just not enticed to scroll down through all of the great swaths of white space.

In other words, because I can see only four stories in their entirety when I visit, I don't tend to look any further. More stories visible without scrolling = more pages visited.

I'd love to see how visitor metrics have changed.

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Silver badge

Re: I'm wandering away

Agreed! I know I'm reading less content. The layout of the front page really angries up my blood. I hate the "Don't Miss" positioning on the left of the page. It disrupts the natural tracking of my eyes, and I go back to the top and try again, and then stop reading. Either use the whole row for "Don't Miss" or remove it. Three headlines could reside there instead of one, the "Don't Miss" headline doesn't count as it is a regular story somewhere on the page.

The headlines also seem weaker, not as enticing.

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Meh

Scrolling

Still too much scrolling on these modern laptops where you are looking through a letterbox. White space may be stylish, but it conveys nothing.

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Anonymous Coward

This 'tardiverse...

...is an education. Shows how varied we are in likes and dislikes. For me the size of that pic at the top is overwhelmingly the most user-unfriendly part of the whole redesign.

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"Print"-button?

Did you just forget to sew the "Print"-button on or don't you like us?

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Time posted, not elapsed time please.

I'd find it very useful if on the front page you could revert to the time posted for each story, not elapsed time since posting. I read ElReg on various computers and know roughly when I last looked but with elapsed time I have to work it out and wonder do you round it up or down to the nearest hour.

I like the fact that stories now have posting time as well as date.

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Re: Time posted, not elapsed time please.

Agree. You get the proper times back by disabling Javascript though (currently).

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Silver badge

Link color

the blue/green/grey link for the category and the story type above and below the articles take on a psychedelic appearance when scrolling on my macbook air 13"(non retina). I've also noticed some weird text colorations related to spacing of the text.

No sign of the most comment tab.

Bin the drop down photo's connected with each category at the top. Unless you're going to fill them with "interesting" content, and in that case shrink the size a bit, and put the dropdown delay to 1.5 seconds. The dropdowns obscure some links.

Thanks for the changes already made, the grey sidebars help.

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Silver badge

Still not there.

"Top Art in stories - now editorially selectable"

Clear the message hasn't got through to enough editors. I tried removing the block on images from regmedia but quickly reimposed it; overall the site's better without any images than it is with these almost entirely irrelevant clonkers hiding the top of the stories.

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Silver badge

Front page font sizes

Any chance of knocking all the fonts on the front page down by 2 or 4 points each? I rarely, if ever feel the need to scale a page manually at my end, but I find the front page of El Reg works better with two clicks of Ctrl-Scroll Down. In the case of articles, one Ctrl-ScrlDn is about right.

For reference, 15" laptop, 1024x768

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The grey is a great improvement.

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bed

My tuppence worth

When using my laptop (1366 x 768) or desktop (1080), I don't spend much time looking at the menu other than to right click items and open in another tab - otherwise I read the 'm' version.

Too much white space on the front page, it could be more compact.

What is it with the images at the top of articles? Why are they so big?

Some of the images are not even relevant - Windows Server 2003 article has a pig.

Why are they there at all if not relevant?

The Christmas banner at the top has a white gap above it. Why?

Otherwise, well, it is the content that matters mostly, so keep keep working.

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User CSS

I've created a user CSS which restores some sanity to El Reg, there's well over 25 tweaks! Its currently aimed at FireFox but should be easily adaptable to other browsers that support user CSS overrides. You can find the code, a list of the main 25 changes and some screenshots over on the Reg Redesign forum thread (its currently on page 21(!)... For the moment!)

You can thank me later... Although I'm Almost certain the folks at El Reg won't! Lol

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Anonymous Coward

Re: User CSS

Yes, alright then Shades, thanks. Or a limited thanks anyway. The Adblock filters and previous userContent.css did much the same. In the longer term I would prefer the style sheet fix; except that when I disable it all New Years Day, if I find that massive image still there, I'll take that as a statement of the site owner's true regard for the readership and remove my Reg bookmarks, cookie and NoScript permissions and move on.

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Menu bar layout popping

The menu bar is a mess for me. It takes more than one line, which means it spills over onto a second line, which is overlayed onto whatever the text is:

http://tinypic.com/r/igvp74/8

On comment threads, the whole content column moves to the right to avoid it:

http://i60.tinypic.com/5lq4y9.png

until I scroll down, when all the content pops to the left:

http://i61.tinypic.com/jpua8l.png

It's very annoying to have the content jumping about as I scroll up and down.

I've enlarged some of my browser fonts to make them more readable (it's a 15" retina Macbook at 2048x1280 so native is a bit small, I've set it to smallest being 17pt), but I thought CSS was supposed to deal with getting the layout right?

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src

Stylish

I found a style for the "Stylish" web browser plugin that makes the redesigned site more bearable. Sad that it is necessary though,,,

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Anonymous Coward

Can you...

extend the grey background to the whole of the page please?

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some of us have high resolution screens and good eyesight ...

The laptop I normally use has a 3200 x 1800 screen. And this new layout only uses a narrow strip down the middle - less than half the screen. PLEASE design the layouts so that they make good use of whatever screen resolutions (and font sizes) people want to use.

The new layout is - for me - much worse that than the previous one. Much less info per screen.

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Too much white to too much grey and white. An improvement?

The simplest thing here is to make the text proportional instead of absolute. It was silly before, it's silly now. We have bigger screens, let us make use of them.

On a different tack, why not have the facility of duckduckgo and allow for changes in background and foreground, Even if you did take the sensible route of proportional columns, it would still be welcome.

But big pictures taking up most of the first page of a story are still annoying, as is the large text.

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Mobile site

I use the mobile site around 99% of the time (by choice even on a desktop platform), and must say I haven't noticed much difference; the El Chan links are broken still after being briefly fixed when I posted about this some months ago.

Please don't revamp the mobile site.

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Anonymous Coward

Could you revert the site to exactly what it was like immediately after the update so I can continue to write snarky comments against the old article.

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IT Angle

Curious - why no Linked In share icon?

I'm sure you've discussed this internally and the outcome is "no", but since I'm involved in making the same decision for various sites I'd be really interested in your reasoning.

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Gold badge

Re: Curious - why no Linked In share icon?

Linkedin button generated next to no traffic for us. As such it did not earn its place here.

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Thank you Thank you Thank you

"Visited and hover states swapped for better readability"

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Thank you Thank you Thank you

"Visited and hover states swapped for better readability"

Sorry for being thick but what are 'Hover states'?

I realise visited links appear in red but they still do and I thought that was a feature of the users browser.

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Silver badge

Re: Thank you Thank you Thank you

"I realise visited links appear in red but they still do and I thought that was a feature of the users browser."

The HTML/browser default is blue for unvisited links, purple for visited links IIRC (it's years since I saw a "naked" web page) and underlined for when the mouse hovers over the links.

On the Reg initial re-design the links were black for unvisited, dark grey for visited and red for mouse hovering over a link. Swapping the red mouse hover and the dark grey visited colours is the single biggest improvement over that original re-design.

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There's a new page to bitch?!

THE FRONTPAGE IMAGE IS TOO BIG.

You've been told this literally hundreds of times, the commentards UNITED to tell you this.

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Ahhhkay.

I now 'get' what it was about the old design that drew me in and made me want to waste my time here: It felt like opening a crude tabloid! BUT! A crude tabloid with vast treasures of knowledgeable people, real knowledge, all flung about with devil may care snarkifaction that belied the impression. The wall of cleverisms, headlines, could be appreciated in a scanning glance and made one want to go, "Oooh, that one and that one and that one too."

Then the league of commentards would have at it and supplement the main articles oh so wantonly that a semi smile never left my face as I read.

Now? The site is like a myriad of others and doesn't feel like it bites anything at all anymore.

It really was better before. You revelled in your difference and it was merely difference for difference's sake. No, it was different because it was smarter. The front page had IMPACT. It grated a bit but that what the fuck do want if your mascot is a bloody vulture?

Gee whiz, guys. :(

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Some good changes, but the main article picture still too big, means I can't see any other articles on the same page...

I use a macbook air for viewing the site and have to scroll to see more than the top article...

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