back to article OMFG, what have you done?

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 …

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Unhappy

Black border

I see some genius broke the black border on the page. Nice one.

It'll take some adjusting to but i'll get used to it.

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Linux

I like it, took me a while though

The icons might take a while, I for one liked the dead bird icon. Still the penguin is here.... now where is the one that celebrates the death of Microsoft?

And we need one of ballmer (really hasn't a clue of the planet he is one or the company he leads or the people he is trying to sell to) in a straight jacket.

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On the whole...

...I like it.

Nice to see the old Icons back though.

Some of the new ones were poo and kind of screwed up your merchandising I thought.

Why sell a T-shirt with the green /Coat icon when you'd replaced it.

Seemed a bit silly.

Good to see you've sorted yourselves out.

A-, could do better, see me after class etc.

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(Written by Reg staff)

Re: On the upside...

We've got somewhere over 50 links to editorial in the new design, and approximately the same number in the old. We think maybe the new front page is a little too lengthy as it is right now, so we might decide to run with a few less, but the numbers still won't be all that different.

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Fixed width causes me problems

New design basically ok but fixed width means I have to do more scrolling, paging and cursing. There is such an amount of wasted screen space in those big grey bars when you use a large desktop. Is the font smaller too? maybe I imagined that.

Please drop the fixed width - the idea of formatting the text in a browser to fit the size of the windows available is one of the fundamentals of browser design. To limit it to 800 pixels wide no matter how big the desktop is just plain barking.

In short - PLEASE drop the fixed width, I might as well have an 800*600 screen.

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A positive comment!

1st - Glance, EEK! And how many adverts?! and how small is the text ?!

2nd - Thought, where do I winge!

3rd - Oooh look, a link to a stroy about what they've done!

4th - Read said story, I'm happier now :)

5th - Post my own comment to say thank you for taking the time to say WHY you've changed things, so many sites just say woohoo look at our wonderfully new improved look, innit snazzy! Nice to know there was a reason to a number of changes that are potentially annoying :)

People never like change, me included to a point, but there is reason for this change and without the adds it's likely you wouldn't be here too. So I'm still undecided on the look, mostly because of the smaller font used on the homepage for all the stories, and I miss reading the title of the 1st few comments on each story so will read the comments less now, and likley post less comments.

My 2 cents / pence / euro's!

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Paris Hilton

good effort

>comment icons undergoing lightning revision.

Well, vulture central, you have done the right thing there. The coat, Paris, and the industry demons [1]. Good decision.

[1] I meant the alien. I notice you have restored the west-coasters too.

Paris, 'cos she likes the publicity/

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Anonymous Coward

Why does the vulture look like an octopus

Or like the ghosties in Attic Attack (you DO remember Attic Attack, don't you?)

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Paris Hilton

Fixed width complaints are rubbish

On my little portable, the new fixed width works very well. But can someone explain to me why a 1920x1440 screen means a 1920x1440 browser window? I have always found maximized windows to be unwieldly and inconvenient, especially when you have multiple windows open on the same screen, even going way back to another platform. (I promised someone I would not mention Amiga so much, so I will not mention Amiga here.)

My laptop has a screen resolution of 1024x768, so I now often find myself with maximized windows. But on my 1600x1200 monitor, windows stay sized around 1024x768, which allows me to see activity in other windows and easily move from window-to-window without making the trek to the task bar or ALT-TAB. FireSizer is very handy for this. Huge windows do not allow for taking in a chunk of information in a single glance. Even when scrolling the window I do not have to move my eyes or head about to find information; all of the information is contained within a single area which fits my field of vision and allows me to absorb it all at once and then focus on the specific items which catch my interest.

Paris, specific item which catches interest -- does require a huge window to free up hands from scrolling duties.

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Paris Hilton

@ all the fixed-width-for-readability-prats

if the site is too wide fullscreen on a widescreen, that is the fault of the idiot reading it fullscreen-ona-widescreen. Put it ina window if it worries you, but don't fuckup MY ability to read the site. fixed-width SUCKS, as do the new icons, as does the kerning in the new banner. The old site was MUCH more useable on both my 1280-wide laptop (opera9.52) and in opera mini on my phone. Also, this page currently fails w3c validator, and the site works better as of now with NO css applied.

Please do something about it

crappy new paris icon, cos you now need glasses to read the site

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Comments

My 2p worth:

- not enough white space. Everything is far too cluttered making the site hard to read. Recommendation: Increase the white-space margins around text blocks

- text font size too small. Found myself skipping bits of articles because I the text size is hard to read, I know I can change the zoom settings but why should I? Have a look at a side-by-side comparison of old v new, the ChannelRegister ones make good comparisons. Recommendation: increase the default text size by 1pt, preferably 2.

- adverts are intrusive and not techy-friendly. As mentioned above, more than a few techy people will read this with FF3 and no-script meaning the only ads you get credited for are the GoogleAds ones. I tried it with IE and the ads are so bloody annoying that it's distracting. On FF3 with no-script, the advert/right column stopped with 6 rows of stories to go, on IE, the advert/right column went below the stories. As also mentioned, I won't punch holes in my security setup to read one website, no matter how good although I don't use Adblock as I know sites have to make money. Recommendation: either use more GoogleAds or similar non-Flash/java adverts OR accept that you're going to lose revenue.

- "don't miss" banner should be at the top otherwise it will be missed by many :)

- icons. Pish. Really... just pish. And that's not Paris regardless of what the hover-over text says. Recommendation, either bring back the old ones or pay for some replacements that fit the new site requirements.

- fixed width. Done to death above. At least change the colour to a less claustrophobic side panel.

Overall: not a great fan of the changes, it just gives the site the image of any other Web2.0 bore-fest regardless of content. You need bigger, better, more readable and suitable for techies who whine a lot :D

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Law
Paris Hilton

Yey reg

Well done - not often do I like redesigns but you have managed to keep some reg-ishness about the design.

Providing the icons revert I'm all up for the change.

One gripe though - you could have added a "new comments" email notification for comments section - it's been the biggest missing feature I could see on reg since the introduction of the paris icon (obviously that was no-1 missing feature until it happened!).

Paris - because luckily I've been too busy to notice the dark time between when you removed her pretty face and put her back on again...

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Page Links

hahaha, what are the page links doing all the way over and down there?? I've just read 4 articles and thought they ended rather abruptly without making a point. mate has just done the same. the page links need to go somewhere near the comments and post comments bar. not in the second column at the bottom of the screen.

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Flame

@Fixed width complaints are rubbish

actually, the fixed width complainers (including me) actually heard that argument earlier. Fixed width sucks because YOU DON"T GET TO CHOOSE HOW WIDE YOU WANT THE WINDOW. It imposes a maximum width upon the (useable/readable) window. What is just right for you means scrolling sideways on a mobile/scc, and means HUGE, UGLY GREY BARS on anything widescreen. With the old layout, on a widescreen the frontpage articles shifted up so they were wider and more on-screen at once so you could scan for blue links to unread articles, then have a look at the title, fixed width ruins this, you now have to scroll FOREVER in order to find anything, and it's a waste of space. Widescreen monitors aren't just wide, they are also shorter (mine is 800px tall) so this fixed with crap means reading the frontpage now takes forever, i can't just open, glance, no new articles, close, i have to sit there and SCROLL DOWN FOREVER in order to check, and hence won't. Pissing off the readers is stupid, consider me (and anyone else with a widescreen or a small screen or a large screen) royally pissed off.

yours reading an ugly site with css disabled

Lee

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(Written by Reg staff)

Re: A positive comment!

There have been some people complaining about 'more' ads, so I think I'll try to clear that up.

We have ad inventory requirements, as do all ad funded publications. Because we have a fairly large readership, our ad inventory substantially exceeds those requirements. We'd only need loads more ad space if we slashed our rates and went gunning for vastly more low rate ads. And how dumb would that be?

Our rates are the same as they were last week, our requirements are the same, and we can fulfil them just as well now as then.

You're getting the ads in different parts of the page, certainly, but there aren't more of them. As a matter of fact some of you are seeing pages where one or more of the ad slots aren't filled, in which case the editorial links are simply sitting next to one another. People may be perceiving more 'ads' because we haven't quite got the format of the editorial images in the right hand column right, and you may be clocking them as ads.

We'll be working on that. But really, there are no more ads than there were before.

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Anonymous Coward

mobile? not anymore.

I've yet to see the new layout on a computer screen as i'm away from my desks. But, as I regularly use my windows mobile phone to read el reg, I can see the new pages in handheld form..... or should I say I can't see it!

The new layout is very bad for my mobile with formating totally screwed, text all over the place, text sized badly, HUGE white spaces and gaps and links that seem unconnected to text. All in all, take a look at the formating or give us a mobile version with all stories in chronological order plus subject area diversification if the reader wants it.... Please.

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Icons ...?

Just posted a comment on Reg Hardware and noticed that some of the 'old' icons (notably Paris, IGMC and good/bad Steve-o) were present and correct. Does this indicate a change of heart from El Reg or did I just catch a moment of transition?

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Icons!?

WTF!!?? What nitwit "designed" the new icons? And why were the El Reg staff allowed to keep their old-style logo icon? I won't be using any icon until you reinstate the old ones, or replace them with superior designs.

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V

Masthead / Footer / Uneasy balance

The implementation of the new header/footer (the slightly 3d bright red behind the Register logo) is a little weak. It's not the idea - that is fine, but it has been done in a way that looks a little "unpolished" and also slightly cramped. The large panels of grey on either side are perhaps a little too dark - it looks like you have looked at the BBC front page, seen how well it works, then tried to implement something "similar but different..." (Nothing wrong with that - as long as the "differences" add to the site. They don't.)

I don't like the black vertical line between the white of the page and the dark grey side panels. It makes the page look rather "flat". Also the dark grey within light grey of the "Don't miss" section at the bottom of each page is a bit fussy - particularly with white backgrounded puff-images.

I suggest: stop being afraid of being accused of excessive "inspiration" by the BBC and do what works rather than trying to be visually different for the sake of it.

I can understand the reasons for the structural changes and for the new layout. But visually the site currently lacks "p-zaz" and polish. It looks slightly "unbalanced" and "uneasy". It currently looks like "just another website" and lacks the distinction of the previous version.

I think this can be fixed easily enough with minor tweaks of the template.

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briefly

old icons much better

fixed width bad

javascript ads disabled

That said, I read El Reg for the content and humor (siC (sic)), the the page format is gravy (or not...)

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Dead Vulture

New look good, comment icons BAD

BRING BACK THE OLD COMMENT ICONS

Or at least the ones with Steve Jobs with Devil Horns

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time...

to write another custom style sheet...

...wonder if google has your old one cached?

...at least make the fixed width thing optional...

and SOOOOOO close to validating, oh well.

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Joke

I may not yet be particularly keen on the new paintjob...

...but at least it doesn't look like Vista. Good work not going with that design scheme!

I don't like the new emotes though.

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Silver badge

lighten up

that grey background please. The crisper look isn't unpleasing but the background isn't part of the page so it shouldn't be part of the page design - it should be as neutral as possible, if not invisible. Those grey bars look like the steel doors at the end of Get Smart sliding shut - I'm getting claustrophobic. and I fear for my nose.

Apart from that - what everyone else is saying. The font's too small for my tired eyes. I'm using opera so the only option I have here is to scale the page which is hardly optimal. And the icons. - I was never a fan of the old ones but this aint an improvement.

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How the mighty have fallen.

Fire up the old firefox browser, and lo and behold - welcome to your exciting new home page, brought to you by those awfully nice people at El Reg. Lilliputian text sizes and fixed width fonts and total lack of consistency between text size used in articles and comment sections to ensure you get your daily workout, banging away on that old 'ctrl+' key combo. Nice job, guys.

But hey, Firefox is an extensible browser so just install the NoSquint extension and fiddle around with the 'per site' settings until you find an optimum combination - or in the case of El Reg don't find one. Nice job, guys.

You also missed a trick with the redesigned icons - could have made them animated so that the site was fully Yahoo compliant!

On a more constructive note, surely this was an ideal opportunity to insist that posters use a unique user name so that they can be referenced in the comment section, or at the very least append a reference number to each Anonymous Coward.

Keep taking the tablets.

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Joke

@yeah, right: "view comments" link from the TOP of the article.

Excellent idea. That will make it even easier for people to post comments without reading the article first.

PS Re: Dave Harris: I've posted here with that name before, but not often, and I guess this is the first article which we've both been commenting to. I've now renamed myself from "Dave Harris" to "Brangdon", because I'd hate for anyone to tar us both with the same brush. (It doesn't look like old comments reflect the new name.)

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I can't help but notice...

...that these changes have quite significantly increased the advertising space on the home page. The new comment icons are pants. Sorry, but they are.

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Why do you limit the width?

You complain that you have to put all the stuff on a "very narrow window". It's your fault! Why do you limit the width? I mean current laptops screens are much more wide than high. In a wide browser window, the headlines titles can show in two lines instead of three, or one instead of two, allowing more titles to be seen at a glance, without being forced to scroll down. By limitting _yourself_ to a fixed width, you limit our ability to see more stuff in the browser window.

That said, the new look is really nice.

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Nuisance

Yuck. On my widescreen monitors I've got tons of wasted space to the grey bars. I could deal with the ads being bigger if you hadn't forced me to the fixed width. I'll give it a chance, but first brush with it has left me disturbed and annoyed. I may have to shop around for a new tech news site if it bugs me too much.

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Boffin

Look and feel

I like some of the changes, dislike others. Here's my logic for both, and what I would be interested in seeing.

Fixed Width: A bit frustrating, to be honest. I'm running at 1600 width, and I get about the center 50% of my screen with valid, usable text. Otherwise, it's devoted to two gray bars on either side of this used space. I'm fine with a cleaner look; in fact, this is growing on me a bit. However, might it be a better idea to stay with variable width, but just use percentage based widths? IE, 10-15% on either side is devoted to gray, with the rest being usable space? Still gives you a cleaner look, but allows more flexibility.

Front page: I like the headliner story method. The top one works great, very eye catching, gives a bit more detail. The two below a little bit seem out of place, but can work. They break up the flow, which could be a bad thing- might be a bit more useful to stick it straight under the first banner one, but that's definitely a stylistic choice. The banner space used on the right for ads and editorials is fairly nicely laid out, useful without being busy. The only real solid change I'd be interested in is (and I understand the complexity involved in this request) more stories to a line. having four stories to a line across instead of three would greatly help with how far the page needs to be scrolled to get to everything. However, the drawback is that those on smaller screens might not appreciate having to scroll left and right to see all the stories and the editorial lines. Would probably have to be dynamic, which could be a pain in the ass to recode.

Article page: Overall, no complaints. Still not the happiest about fixed width, but that's probably largely because my machine is running a very high resolution. The changes to the comments section are a bit of a mixed bag to me, partly missing the first little tag line of the comments, part of me being fairly amused at the new icons. I do like being able to see all the comments while writing mine; makes it easier to write replies.

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Heart

I like it

The site looks much less like amateurish HTML vomit now. And I'm glad the in-article advert has been moved to one side.

So thanks.

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Happy

Well I say

'tis good

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Tim

No you don't

"we felt that the gains we would make in ability to control the look and feel of our product would outweigh this."

Ah, but that's misguided website design. Did you hire a bunch of designers with magazine/print backgrounds, where they had control over the placement of every pixel?

I shun the look and feel of your product anyway, and read using Opera in "user mode," where CSS is ignored entirely. I forget why I started doing that years ago, but it was probably because you made lousy typeface choices, or something like that. That flexibility is another of Opera's key features: You land on some abhorrent site whose "designer" decided purple text on a black background was K00l? Just type Shift-g (i.e., capital 'G') and CSS is instantly disabled, rendering the site with your default typeface in black on a white background.

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Paris Hilton

I liked the new icons...but...

I did miss Paris

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@Brangdon

They already HAVE a "post comments" at the top of the article, so you can post a comment not only without reading the article, but without actually reading any other comments instead. I just wanted a "view comments" so I could see the comments without having to post one.

And I've decided that fixed-width is utterly pants. Stupid idea.

Thanks for bringing some of the icons back. Now to get rid of that "cute" flame icon. If I want cute, I'll beat it out of a pokemon with a crowbar or something.

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@Icons ...?

yep, they're back.

Try clearing your cache

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Good - apart from the obvious

In general an improvement. Masthead is prettier, the top/side/bottom areas work well, and the movement of the ad scripts to near the end of the page improve render speed.

Of course, fixed-width is unmitigated suck. But you're going to fix that, right? Yeah?

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testing?

what happened to serving different themes to different users to test results - in most cases ad revenue vs theme vs length of stay.

PS the fonts are ugly

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Flame

What a ridulous waste of screen space!

It *would* be OK, apart from the fixed width. With that, you've ruined a potentially decent update. To compound the problem, look at the amount of the limited width that's taken up with the stuff on the right! Special reports and jobs! If I want those, I'll go looking for them. I don't want them shoved down my throat on every page.

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Paris Hilton

fixed width... looks ok to me...

and yeah.. i've got a widescreen monitor... 2 actually.. one at 15" and one at 24", but i never browse in a full sized window, as i have multiple windows open all the time, all in slighly different positions, and it works well.. i probably have an inch of grey etiher side, which makes it look kinda nice...

my only gripe (apart from the icons, but some of them have returned!) is that the menu going across the top, doesn't fit right on an iPhone screen, however, the rest of the site looks ok, and is browsable, odds and sods is on a second line, and science is partially hidden by the search box...

well.. looks like i'm the only one complimenting, so i'll post anonymously in fear of flaming...

paris... just cos she's back!

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horrible

liked the old way better, a change is not alway better!

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Jobs Halo

Looks much better...

on my jesus phone!

well done those designer chappies. Oh and fixed widthtards float the browser, you can see all your work underneath just like us macbois always have,

multi-tasking you know it makes sense

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CJ

While you're at it...

... what would also be nice is an "Account Management" link. For a while now it's been easy to find the "create new account" link, but it's been really tricky to find anywhere to, for example, change your nick (or even your password).

(And while I'm at it, add another vote against the current icons (although they are growing on me), and a huge vote against fixed width and for a style sheet for mobiles)

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Alert

@Look and feel

but non-fixed-width fits more to a page automagically, as each article link+blurb becomes wider with less lines, so you have as many on screen at once as will fit. Four-to-a-line would actually _reduce_ the number of articles per visible page, because of the spaces between them. Works the other way too, with a really narrow screen/window, the individual links just become narrower and taller, with the same page layout of three-to-a-line. you should *Never* have to horizontal scroll, with the single exception being directly viewing high-res images *one-at-a-time* _After_ clicking a thumbnail.

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Flame

Uggh - Please change this assault on my eyes

My initial reaction on viewing this new design for the first time today was that I felt like my eyes were being assaulted, there was just to much stuff trying to grab my attention crammed into too small a space. I think this has already been said, but the effect reminds me of a tabloid newspaper (which this isn't) not a tech news website (which it is).

It doesn't help that this new design no longer fills my 1600x1200 screen, i'm having to do a lot more scrolling to read articles now, which isn't good for my RSI. Furthermore a fixed width design like this is likely to cause horizontal scrolling problems on small screens. I feel a 'fix The Register' firefox extension coming on if one dosn't exist already.

The boxes down the right hand side of the page, which on the old design had a nice balance to them now feel overpowering and distract the eye from the main content of the articles, which makes it more difficult to concentrate on reading the stuff I came to your website for. The grey box in the middle of the articles listing increases this sense of 'assault' on the eyes when viewing the main page. Dividing a block of text with something that isn't relevant to that text is a design disaster.

The end result of this new design is that my initial view of the front page now contains 70% less 'stuff that interests me', which isn't good for you guys if other people feel the same, website traffic and hence advertising revenue is going to go down. I read the Reg because it isn't like a traditional newspaper, if that's the road you want to go down, then you're likely to loose me as a reader.

A final thought : Was there any user feedback involved in this ? You seem to have decided with this new design to try and fix problems which to my mind don't exist. Please guys and gals, don't mess with success.

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finally - fixed width! :)

finally those of us with decent monitors wont be forced to squish everything up so the page isnt too wide to read.

most web devs never seem to use % widths as you never know what it will look like for everyone.

the new icons suck tho... glad the old ones are back too?

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Happy

How about

You move the right hand sponsered links, jobs blah blah into the mahoosive right hand grey border, then the article can fill up the fixed width thingy...oh and you could always make the font s bit bigger....but Im happy that *most* of the icons are back...

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Coat

@Alan W. Rateliff, II

"But can someone explain to me why a 1920x1440 screen means a 1920x1440 browser window?"

so you can hide the porn

door this way in this new layout

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Coat

bucking the trend here

but I like fixed witdth it means that that anoying advert is no longer in the middle of the story making it hard to track for thouse of us with readng difictleys

anon cos I do not want to be beaten to death by a mob of fixed width haters

p.s I like the new icons 2

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Might as well be gizmodo at this rate.

John Lettice said: "We've got somewhere over 50 links to editorial in the new design, and approximately the same number in the old. We think maybe the new front page is a little too lengthy as it is right now, so we might decide to run with a few less, but the numbers still won't be all that different."

Wait a fucking minute. So you said in this article that one of the main reasons for the redesign was that the main page was too busy, and now the new main page is too busy, so you might cut it down? How the fuck does that logic work?

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