Say Hello to Designer News 2.0

almost 5 years ago from Andrew Wilkinson, Publisher of Designer News

  • Jon MyersJon Myers, almost 5 years ago (edited almost 5 years ago )

    I could wax and gush about this design because I really love your work, and perhaps I’m off, but hopefully as business people with an insane passion for the design community, you will appreciate some brutally honest feedback that is without emotional attachment to the previous design.

    I don’t mind change, it’s just...

    As a user, the change must have value, utility and be appropriate for the psychological context it exists in. I do not feel any of these changes have accomplished any of those measures.

    In fact, the reverse has happened.

    I really enjoyed the easy readability and scanability of the previous design and layout.

    As a visitor hitting the homepage, the element of a news/ community site I am most concerned about in this case is the title. That's it.

    If a title catches my attention, I will click. That's about it.

    I assume most others initially consume news and participate in communities in a similar fashion. You love Sketch, you may click on a title containing the word Sketch.

    Thus, most sites designed for consuming news or participating in a community prioritize the readability of headlines. Even Reddit or HN upvote controls are more muted.

    Perhaps another signal would be comment count.

    We are human. We are drawn to crowds as they grow.

    “What’s everyone saying”

    We are human. I believe we are more drawn to enticing headlines than a chorus of loud numbers broadcasting over the headlines.

    While the chorus of icons in the previous design did add a little value, their repetitious use dulls my eyes, coupled with the loud priority and visual style of the upvote count blocking my scan path, it is frankly, a disincentive to even bother scanning to read the headline at all.

    Scanning headlines and having to stumble over that vote count on every line feels like work.

    This much priority and visual volume being broadcast by the icons and the upvote counts is surprising to me. It's difficult to block out and focus on the headlines.

    Upvote is useful. Perhaps it’s one of the best signals we have to collectively mine for quality, but then again - - it feels like a signal in a state of atrophy that is gamed and exploited.

    In the case of commenting, quality doesn’t always win over the “witty” “snarky” snipes that vacuum up the votes and create shallow communities.

    Maybe I missed it, but I don’t recall ever seeing “Best” “Worst” “First” “Last” sorting for comments in the previous design?

    If they did exist before, thankfully I never noticed them.

    Worst comment - wow, just seems - - negative and unnecessary.

    It feels counter-community to me. It feels counter-quality. It feels like a disincentive to contribute. It feels like troll fuel to gain up on others and punch with the same old shallow snark.

    As others have said, the actual readability of the content itself is in serious jeopardy.

    Everything is unnecessarily crowded. Line height is not to standard, and so on.

    I really appreciate you all picking up the torch for DesignerNews and carrying on the community. Thank you.

    I hope you will take some of this feedback for your consideration and look forward to more from you all.


    16 points
    • Stefan Rauch, almost 5 years ago

      Agree with “Best” “Worst” “First” “Last” being strange.

      Readability has gone backwards.

      0 points
      • Ian GoodeIan Goode, almost 5 years ago (edited almost 5 years ago )

        I like most of the improvements and some were sorely needed. Totally agree about the readability, finding it a lot harder to read comment threads now. The forced anti-aliasing makes the comment text extremely hard to read (I'm not on a retina display) and the commenter name, title, comment text, meta info all seem to blend together too well, not enough contrast between those elements, imo. I wonder whether this a conscious decision to nudge people towards writing longer responses?

        [edit] Just saw that quotes are 12px!

        So yeah definite round of polish needed on readability, but looks like things are in good hands going forward :)

        0 points
    • Daniel GoldenDaniel Golden, almost 5 years ago

      These comment filters/sorting options did exist in the last version of DN. The language was even the same. It was just less prominent and most of the options were hidden until you hovered over the default choice.

      0 points