The current design is perfect for scanning. This unsolicited redesign isn't.
Part of me was surprised with the conservative design sentiment and backlash this post received, but part of me had a feeling that a community as critical as Hacker News would reject the ideas presented in the article.
Actually implementing this design might be bad for Hacker News because the UI has become locked-in over time, but at least it challenges the status quo and makes for a fun weekend project ;)
Breaking apart each piece of data horizontally in the list item across the entire width of the screen makes it much more difficult to scan. Which is my primary use of the site. With this design, I find myself being able to only quickly scan the title & number of upvotes. This is prettier, but I'm not sure it's a better experience.
Totally agree. I need all the contextual information immediate when I see the article title to validate if its worth my time to click it. So grouping the time/comment/url closer together is more efficient than a long table row. Current Hackernews and DesignerNews article titles follows that principle.
Also I use this google chrome extension for HN: https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/hacker-news-%20/oieefcckcbbgniifdhhialgkmghahjgl
Ah good points Kyle. I think you might be right. It would be interesting to review the results from list scanning usability studies. I think this redesign will increase the rate of batch scanning, but perhaps decrease the ability to take in the entire context of the submission.
Agreed, as someone who goes to HN for the discussion as much as the posts, moving them to opposite ends of the screen significantly increases the time and effort it takes to use the site.
I guess my use case is different from others here, but when I scan the list, it's solely the titles, in which this redesign excels. Who submitted it, how many votes it has, and how old, is of little value for me.
I don't hate unsolicited redesigns as much as others on DN seem to, cheers for taking on a real project and putting your work out into the world. That said, here's some unsolicited feedback :)
I think dark interfaces can be easier on the eyes
Not necessarily, esp on text-heavy sites: http://graphicdesign.stackexchange.com/questions/15142/which-is-easier-on-the-eyes-dark-on-light-or-light-on-dark
When scanning the list, it isn’t immediately apparent what actions and links are connected to what item. There is very little space between each item and no visual distinction.
True, but they're in very close proximity. Moving them off to the side means a lot more eye movement to see the source of an article, which is something I check often before clicking. Article on reading horizontally vs scanning verically: https://www.nngroup.com/articles/f-shaped-pattern-reading-web-content/
In the redesign, I substituted “More” for pagination. Paginated lists provide context to where the user is and has been. The current version takes the user to another page of 30, so pagination wouldn’t be a big change. The only issue with the redesign is that it assumes an end. This can be remedied by substituting a total number for “of many.” That way a user will know where they are without providing an objective end.
True, but is this really a problem people have? I can only speak for myself, but I only read one (maybe two) pages of HN before closing (or refreshing hoping something interesting has happened). Without much depth to the page, "More" works well.
HN is an example of a page that's visually grubby but has a surprisingly decent UX IMO. Someone should write an article "Why Hacker News Is Better Designed Than You Think"...
This is great feedback Sam. These points are all valid. However, I believe that mental-models are influenced by design. People learn interaction systems regardless of their design merit. I think part of why the current Hacker News site is successful is because the design has become locked-in over time. This has —to some extent— influenced the substance of the interaction. Many websites and apps become successful regardless of design. Things like network effects, compliance, virality, etc. provided a user base, and users adapt to the UI in ways that dictate usage. Changing the fundamentals might not be a good solution in this case, but at least it challenges the status quo and makes for a fun weekend project ;)
By the way, I love what you guys are doing at FarmLogs. Keep up the good work.
While I understand the... importance of using a legacy "design", some kind of facelift should have happened a long time ago over there. Nice job putting it together.
Medium post has some valid points explaining the why.
But it's simple: usability — and with just a few lines of css, it can be a lot better. Probably won't happen though.
I would prefer them to keep same color to keep the branding.
I think the design of Hacker News Enhancement Suite is a nice compromise between the current version and this.