The Inside Story of Reddit's Redesign (wired.com)
5 years ago from Fernando Díaz
5 years ago from Fernando Díaz
I use Reddit daily, and I commend and have mad respect for the design team and their effort. I actually love the re-design and think they improved on an incredible amount of things.
Sadly, the overwhelming majority of the platform's user base will freak out if you change just the settings icon from blue to light blue. They are simply too adverse to change for this to be successful. They find it as an attack on their way of life. For a community that wants to be 'inclusive' and 'progressive', they cannot let their dear layout be tweaked or new features be added because it'll ruin their habit.
They are impossible to please and will act irrationally at this.
As a design community, we should support these efforts since the more these projects are successful, the more large companies and communities will want our services.
Yeah, I hate it when users complain that they're forced to relearn patterns for questionable means.
This behavior is never going to change, it's hardwired into us, as designers we need strategies to be able to introduce large design changes to a large community.
Having done a large redesign of a side project recently I can say it's very stressful. Even if the project is positively received for 80% of the user base that 20% that has issues often is the most emboldened and passionate and will have a huge voice.
You're right. I'm actually curious how the dynamic plays out for those who tilt towards the mobile apps, which appear to have a lot more latitude in terms of design and feature updates.
The fact that Reddit believes this is what is right for their site shows that they have truly lost the understanding of what their site actually is.
THE FIRST VERSION of Reddit worked more or less like a link aggregator. It was a place for skimming the news, sharing memes, passing around lulz. Shortly after it first launched, the site introduced comments to encourage discussion on those links. The first comment? It was about how comments would ruin Reddit. In 2008, when the site launched subreddits, Redditors objected again, complaining that the new feature reflected Reddit's "schizophrenic approach" to displaying content. More changes followed: a bigger "comment" button, new ways to sort posts, those momentum arrows. You can guess how well those went over.
It's funny that this is in the article.. It kind of jokes that people have pissed and moaned about most changes in the past. Here you are, doing it again.
I'm not here to say whether you're right or wrong, because I don't have enough of an opinion to back either standpoint up. But since you do seem to have an opinion on it - could you enlighten me? What are Reddit misunderstanding with this redesign?
In my opinion the largest switch Reddit is making has nothing to do with their redesign, but rather the way you can follow content on the site.
They're moving towards a model where you follow individual users rather than communities for content. Users with large followings have their posts immediately seen by their followers allowing all of their posts to have a better chance of gaining traction and climbing to the front page. Some users feel like this changes one of the most attractive points of Reddit - that your post isn't judged based on who you are, but rather the post content.
Of course this change is being dramatically overblown by users who feel a strong attachment to Reddit "the way it is".
I'm on Reddit a lot, and have yet to come across this. Where is this user following model surfacing?
Here's the profile for one of the most prolific redditors, GallowBoob.
If you're logged in you'll see a "Follow" button beneath his user photo. And if you look at the pinned post on his profile - you'll notice it isn't posted to any subreddit. It's posted to his profile - acting like the timeline on Facebook does.
This moves to a model that the user posts their content on their page - rather than contributing it to a community based on topic.
I don't see them favoring one or the other. Just giving you the option. I see no reason why people won't do both.
I use Reddit every day and this has never come up
I see lots of pinned posts on his profile, but they're all posted within different subreddits. Which pinned post are you referring to?
I remember a lot of moaning from people that Reddit was moving in this "user-following"direction, but I've seen no evidence that this is the case.
It looks like they have changed - I should have considered that.
Here's the post that's posted to a profile rather than a subreddit.
I don't think it's really debatable whether they're moving towards a user-following direction or not - simply because they've built it out and deployed it in the new profiles.
I do agree that this isn't an issue. I use Reddit daily and I haven't found any of these features to be an issue, and I think the people that are freaking out about them are being unnecessarily dramatic.
From reading the article, the impression I get is that Reddit wants to offer different viewing methods to better onboard and encourage new users to sign-up, whilst still keeping the same browsing methods from before, so as not to alienate existing users.
I don't have access to the redesign myself though, so it might be different. What's irked you about the redesign?
Oh and to switch between them:
From seven hours ago: https://www.designernews.co/stories/93250-reddit-redesigned-its-interface-the-inside-story
From thirteen hours ago: https://www.designernews.co/stories/93246-the-inside-story-of-reddits-redesign
I for one look forward to being able to actually select the sub I want without having to try and click some stupid micro link in a micro header bar and to be able to actually easily read content without it spanning the entire width of my browser.
Imgur is in the process of rolling out a redesign as well. I prefer the new design which is mainly evident on the front page before diving into stream of redundant meme dumps.
I had stayed away from Reddit for a couple of months and felt underwhelmed when i returned. From the screen grabs of the redesign I am excited about this design update especially since it will engage new users who may have been intimidated by the lack of accessibility to relevant content.
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