The bluish-gray lady
April 3, 2006 2:55 AM   Subscribe

Meet the new New York Times. After five years, the most popular newspaper on the web has gotten a facelift. Joining a recent web design trend towards optimizing for wider screens, they've gone for no fewer than six columns on the front page. And while I wouldn't look for a wiki any time soon, they seem to be giving a nod to the web 2.0 crowd with javascipty scrollable image bars and prominent links to recent video (hello, YouTube) and current rankings of their most popular, most emailed and most blogged articles (hello, Technorati). The new Times Topics aggregate articles (and multimedia) from across the site, along with background info (hello, Wikipedia). All the more impressive, considering the head of their design team (who also redid The Onion!) was hired just three months ago. Of course, Mickey Kaus will still see this as proof that Sulzburger should be fired.
posted by gsteff (92 comments total)

 
My opinion: it rocks. I like the blue, I like the fonts and I like the video. Probably the biggest thing I'll miss about the old design was the lead image... you see enough news images that are 1.6 times as wide as they are tall... it was nice to see ones with inverted proportions. But the new look seems to have less ad space, easier navigation (nested subsections now appear in the main sidebar, and the javascripted tabs used in various inline boxes save you from a page refresh) and more photos per article.
posted by gsteff at 3:06 AM on April 3, 2006


TimesSelect still sucks, and pages like this aren't resizing to my browser, forcing a horizontal scrollbar onto FireFox.

Overall, I think it does look better - more like an actual newspaper. Though I think the design is a bit understated with the light gray text for navigation on the left of the front page - I ignored it at first because it looked like a Google textad.
posted by tweak at 3:47 AM on April 3, 2006


it's horrid
posted by hnnrs at 4:00 AM on April 3, 2006


I'll have to see how I like the style when I read things today.

I do think, though, that I'd prefer to see the NYT work on substance more than style. The paper's quality has been sliding for quite some time. I frequently see even local stories in the NYT a day later than everyone else. And then there was Judith Miller, the redo of the Sunday book section to deemphasize fiction and other sagas.

And I've gotten used to not reading Maureen Dowd and Tom Friedman. I think it's a good thing.
posted by bim at 4:13 AM on April 3, 2006


so, wiki is an example of "web 2.0"?

*snorts*
posted by quonsar at 4:13 AM on April 3, 2006


Pretty much unreadable compared to the old format. I don't care that I have a new-fangled big monitor. It's just easier to only scan my eyes across a couple inches of text before going down to the next line, just like a regular newspaper.
posted by rxrfrx at 4:30 AM on April 3, 2006


It's busy looking but not cluttered; the eyes are allowed to breathe but for not too long. I can definetely live with the new NYT design, and I can see how it would look even better on a wide screen monitor.
posted by rinkjustice at 4:30 AM on April 3, 2006


It looks OK on my monitor. They seem to have done something to the photos to make them pop out at you. Looked at about six stories and didn't hit a single one of those stupid advertisement interruptus with the "skip this ad" button you have to click as soon as you can.

I do not miss Thomas Friedman. And I used to like the guy a lot about ten years ago.
posted by bukvich at 4:32 AM on April 3, 2006


It looks good but there's absolutely no logic to it. It's just amess of random stories in random places. It took me a while to figure out that the sidebar was a sidebar and not just one big advert for E-Trade. Blurgh.

(Also, optimizing websites for maximized windows is the worst thing in the world)
posted by cillit bang at 4:34 AM on April 3, 2006


Looks good to me, but I am missing the Lexuses and Olive Gardens.
posted by Wolof at 4:35 AM on April 3, 2006


They could make it lime green with pink blink tags for all I care, I'll read it everyday if they remove the goddamn useless registration process.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 4:40 AM on April 3, 2006


I don't like it, one thing I liked about the old version was the ability to check it several times a day and get a very quick snapshot of what they felt was important. Now my eye is annoyed a bit more, so I won't be checking it as often.

It's not terrible, but I kind of felt like their biggest advantage in relation to other top news sources on the web was the ability to focus your attention on 4 top stories and a picture.
posted by cell divide at 4:44 AM on April 3, 2006


it's OK, no revolution, but OK. it looks a bit like the LATimes now, though.
also, who gives a shit what little Mickey Kaus thinks?
posted by matteo at 5:06 AM on April 3, 2006


It takes me a few weeks to get to know a site after a redesign, but my first impression is that the text needs to be a little darker.
posted by sswiller at 5:21 AM on April 3, 2006


The flash video is a nice feature though.
posted by sswiller at 5:23 AM on April 3, 2006


hello youtube? hello technorati? Are these guys used for those features, and I'm missing it, or what?
posted by dabitch at 5:27 AM on April 3, 2006


Ack. Way too busy. I have a widescreen display on which it fits easily, yet I hate it.
posted by myeviltwin at 5:34 AM on April 3, 2006


Yay MeFi redesign thread! These are always fun. Collectively, we are perhaps the worst focus group ever.
posted by grrarrgh00 at 5:38 AM on April 3, 2006


Reminds me a bit of the look of the New York Observer (especially the hard copy). Coincidence, I guess.
posted by bim at 5:41 AM on April 3, 2006


Bah. It's still fixed width for a lowest common denominator of 1024px wide.
posted by furtive at 5:54 AM on April 3, 2006


First impressions: fonts too small (but maybe that's a default setting?), too busy, departs too much from paper layout--but I guess that's intentional, since they want you to buy the paper, too? I feel like I've just moved to DC or LA, or something...
posted by ParisParamus at 6:04 AM on April 3, 2006


WTF, NYTimes. Unless you're planning on buying me a 27" monitor, don't assume I want to read at 1024 wide!
posted by callmejay at 6:13 AM on April 3, 2006


So do they still require registration or do we get to keep pointlessly gaming it with bugMeNot?
posted by spiderwire at 6:17 AM on April 3, 2006


Looks dramatically better on a Mac (with Quartz text smoothing) than on Windows (even with ClearType).
posted by esoterica at 6:19 AM on April 3, 2006


So long as I don't have to mess around with bugmenot to read links from other sites, it's all fine with me.
posted by aeschenkarnos at 6:28 AM on April 3, 2006


I knew right away that the redesign was either done by the folks who redid theonion.com, or the NYTimes site heavily borrowed ideas.

This makes it very hard for me to take the site seriously... I see the pictures on the bottom of pages and it just FEELS like the Onion... only less funny.

Still, better than CNN's, I think. Is the Washington Post next?
posted by sdrawkcab at 6:32 AM on April 3, 2006


Khoi Vinh was *not* responsible for this design. Which is a relief, as far as I'm concerned, given my immense respect for him.
posted by adamgreenfield at 6:38 AM on April 3, 2006


Huh. I really like it. And I *always* hate redesigns at first.
They had me at the font.
posted by CunningLinguist at 6:41 AM on April 3, 2006


Reminds me of The Onion's last redesign
posted by 8 Bit at 6:48 AM on April 3, 2006


Khoi Vinh 's The Awesome Redesign I Didn’t Do
posted by kirkaracha at 6:52 AM on April 3, 2006


The one improvement I really like having is that I can check out the paper in the order the articles were printed, here. i like that.
posted by jrb223 at 6:58 AM on April 3, 2006


I still prefer the Annotated New York Times.
posted by monju_bosatsu at 7:00 AM on April 3, 2006


8 Bit and kirkaracha -- did you read the post?

I like it a lot, and yeah, at first glance I thought, holy shit, they're taking a page from the Onion.

But yeah, it will take reading a few articles before I really settle in and know what to think of it.
posted by ghastlyfop at 7:03 AM on April 3, 2006


Yuck. At first glance, its okay. As someone else said, "okay." Then I scrolled down and saw the mess that was the seperate news topics (National, International, Sports, Travel, etc) and just left the site. I'll continue to read it, but I feel that I'll probably spend less time doing so if only for the irritation of looking at the new setup.
posted by Atreides at 7:26 AM on April 3, 2006


The Onion redesign was so profoundly disappointing I don't even go there any more.

The NY times used to be the page that I showed off my Nokia 770 internet tablet with, because it rendered so magnificently. Now the content doesn't even fit on the 800px wide screen.

Where can I find this web redesign non-guru and shake some sense into him?
posted by mcstayinskool at 7:31 AM on April 3, 2006


I really like it, which is surprising, since I hated the Onion's redesign. But it's nice and clear and readable, looks more like the printed version - what cunninglinguist said. It's very clean and crisp. Two thumbs up.
posted by mygothlaundry at 7:42 AM on April 3, 2006


>To continue reading this article, you must be a subscriber to TimesSelect.

Haha, good luck with that.
posted by skallas at 7:47 AM on April 3, 2006


I like when sites do that nifty floating-column layout that allows content to take advantage of a wide screen or do the equivalent of line-wrapping for columns. Fixed layouts, not so much. Am I in the minority in that I don't usually have my web browser taking up the whole screen?
posted by mikeh at 7:51 AM on April 3, 2006


I'm surprised at all the hate here. I actually think this is the best major news page online now, design-wise. It is a bit overwhelming, but the above-the-fold content is all there. It's very classy and uses whitespace far better than the old design. The width is especially nice. 800x600 monitors have been cramping our collective style for too long.

More than anything, I'm happy to see, for once, a newspaper site that actually looks like a newspaper and not like a web portal.

That said, the stories are a little wide (it's easier to read text in narrower columns), but it's a manageable width (unlike, say, Metafilter).
posted by rafter at 7:54 AM on April 3, 2006


mikeh: "Am I in the minority in that I don't usually have my web browser taking up the whole screen?"

I never browse maximized. And so I should add, as a caveat to my above praise, that I did find myself dragging the browser window a little wider when I loaded up the new design. But only by 100px or so.
posted by rafter at 7:57 AM on April 3, 2006


Ooh, it's a total disaster on Mozilla 1.3 on my mac.
posted by bonaldi at 8:01 AM on April 3, 2006


I miss my op-ed pieces.

this doesn't impress me at all.
posted by Busithoth at 8:10 AM on April 3, 2006


I think the old way looked better aesthetically, but it seems I'll have an easier time finding what I'm looking for this way.
posted by lampoil at 8:14 AM on April 3, 2006


I like it, the front page is fantastic (and they're even using CSS for layout), but it feels like the design is only half done because I keep hitting stories laid out in tables using the old design, but some using the new one. I think I like the bigger text font on the old articles but I love the front page of the site.
posted by mathowie at 8:24 AM on April 3, 2006


This will trigger the redesign for all the main stream newspapers. I bet.
posted by matthewchen at 8:26 AM on April 3, 2006


Is the Washington Post next?

If there's any justice in this world, yes. I truly don't know how the Post continues to win awards with its godawful site. It's a mishmash of Web 2.0 (videos and del.icio.us), online Q&A sessions from '96, truly terrible display of articles (weird linebreaks, improperly escaped strings, and _ where there should be -), all slapped together into a layout from somewhere around '98. Please, WaPo, give us a redesign.

And my number-one peeve is with its terrible <title> tags. Having a page title just be "Metro" doesn't really help me find it in a sea of bookmarks.
posted by heydanno at 8:35 AM on April 3, 2006


Once again for those few stalwarts paying attention: the guy who redesigned the Onion's site (Khoi Vinh) was not responsible for this redesign. It was done by an out-of-house design firm, according to Vinh's blog.

And those of you with 800 x 600 displays, calm down. As with most news sites, you're still able to see all the news headlines without scrolling. If you want to see non-news promos and ads, click over to the right.

I don't know why I read these redesign threads, or worse, why I comment. But I'll have to invoke the train-wreck-can't-look-away principle. First reaction is always profoundly negative, but then nobody goes back and notices how the tough choices designers make now ultimately often change our behavior for the better.

Exhibit A - November, 2000. The IHT unveils an incredibly bold redesign that's light years ahead of its time -- incorporating JavaScript that points the way towards what we call AJAX today. The MetaFilter response? Actually mostly positive, until we get one of my favorite redesign-bashing quotes ever (sorry, Mars Saxman):
If only the designers had been a bit less ambitious. It's not a web site designer's job to upgrade the web browser, or even to pay much attention to the web browser. The web is an *awful* place to pretend to be a normal computer UI.
Five-and-a-half years later, no matter what you think of AJAX, it's become a cornerstone of the Web's future. More and more developers are eschewing software installations for Web applications, and users are following.

None of that is to say the New York Times' redesign is perfect or visionary or innovative. I like it, and I have my quibbles with it. But I'm certainly not going to make predictions about my or others' future behavior based on a one-time, 15-minute interaction with the site.

One last rant: Regarding registration. Honestly, most of the folks at the NYTimes probably hate it as much as you do. But the site has to pay for itself somehow, and TimesSelect alone isn't going to do it. If you're going to blame someone for it, blame the advertisers who insist on having the demographic info registration provides (however suspect a percentage of it is).
posted by grrarrgh00 at 8:37 AM on April 3, 2006


awards for its godawful site
posted by heydanno at 8:37 AM on April 3, 2006


If one more toolbag says "Web 2.0," I am going to start projectile vomitting on the offender.
posted by mrblondemang at 8:37 AM on April 3, 2006


koi vinh didn't do this? well, it was definitely inspired by the onion's redesign. both are great examples of how a beautiful, complex design style (ala subtraction.com) can be completely wrecked by lack of attention to detail. i can't stand the new onion, i hate this new nyt, but i love subtraction.com. i think the main problem with both the nyt and the onion is that they are now walking examples of what simple-minded folk think of as css-driven design -- a bunch of little boxes crammed together.

that said, the above-the-fold part of the design is okay. not great, but okay. where it all goes pear-shaped is right underneath the big flash ad (showing at&t for me) box, where things start to get way too "creative" with the grid system.

also, the use of ajax on the "inside nytimes.com" scroller widget is a bit weak. surely setting a fixed height on the containing div would prevent the annoying accordian flash when you transition between sections?

additionally, the left-nav, even if everything fits, seems uncomfortably narrow.
posted by dvdgee at 8:40 AM on April 3, 2006


The design is obviously done in 3 parts.

The upper third is mostly good, with enough space for 6 stories and an image (making it 7 stories); they might add one where the text about the redesign lays today in the upper right. On the left side appear most of the Times' sections. Also a clean add space on the lower right corner (1/5th of the page).
The 2 colors used for text, blue and black are a little too close.
Mostly clean and clear. I'd give it 9/10

The middle third is a mumbo jumbo of images (13 today), from which we learn a few things: more space for the Real Estate section (upper right), with an additional slide show to promote 6 ads; a big space (5 images/stories) for promoting multimedia (another big media thinking they'll strike gold the day they'll become all tv on the Web); an interesting horizontal gimmick for "inside nytimes.com", with a space for 6 images or titles and an additionnal 6 for those who will find the arrows.
Mumbo jumbo is not good (5/10) but the Times has always had top notch photographers and photo editors (9/10). So the images save this section but it still needs a clear hierarchy.
Over all, 7/10 for the middle third.

The bottom third looks like ... a bottom, or at least a dump for every remaining text that had to be somewhere on the home page. The main news section has fonts so small that they will lose right here every reader over 45. The blue and black problem becomes embarrassing with the small fonts. Somebody has forgotten that news are the main business of a daily. I'd give it a 6 for cleanness and a 3 for carelessness, which add to 4/10 for this lower, lower, lower third.
posted by bru at 8:50 AM on April 3, 2006


I like it. Looks like a newspaper and is easy to navigate.

I'm surprised at all the hate here.

Your first visit to MeFi? Some people here hate everything the NY Times is and does, others simply hate everything. Just ignore them (unless they actually have good points rather than reflex snark about registration and Times Select) and enjoy the thoughtful comments like grrarrgh00's.
posted by languagehat at 9:12 AM on April 3, 2006


And, on non-preview, bru's.
posted by languagehat at 9:14 AM on April 3, 2006


Interesting design, a bit jumbled and confusing despite the white, spare aesthetic. Definitely not pleasant enough to put up with the horizontal scrollbar. I suspect there were some bugs in the requirements for the redesign.
posted by majick at 9:16 AM on April 3, 2006


The IHT unveils an incredibly bold redesign that's light years ahead of its time -- incorporating JavaScript that points the way towards what we call AJAX today.

I still am no fan of the IHT three-column, no scrolling design. Good thing no one copied it.
posted by smackfu at 9:53 AM on April 3, 2006


8 Bit and kirkaracha -- did you read the post?
Sure. I didn't read the link to the blog entry that I also linked to because the sentence in the post implies that he's responsible for the redesign when he's not (as shown by the confusion before and after my comment) and the text of the link was "hired just three months ago," which I didn't read because it seemed more likely to lead to a three-month-old post about his being hired than it would to a current comment about the redesign.

posted by kirkaracha at 9:53 AM on April 3, 2006


Er smackfu: The Herald.
posted by bonaldi at 10:03 AM on April 3, 2006


The inside section headers ("World," "Health," etc.) are ugly! What is that, Arial?

I give it a B+. Like the wider layout, shoving big ads to the side, wider photos, and the navigation system. But it's the content that will always matter the most at the NYT, and I still love them for providing it (mostly) for free.

To those of you who browse at less than full-screen--a bit ridiculous to complain about sites that don't completely accommodate your idiosyncratic settings, don't you think? Like complaining about a car that goes too slow when you only press the gas pedal halfway down to the floor.
posted by _sirmissalot_ at 10:09 AM on April 3, 2006


I think I'd like the bottom third more if the headlines were in two columns instead of three, and in a slightly larger font.
posted by Prospero at 10:17 AM on April 3, 2006


It's idiosyncratic to want to see more than one window on my screen at once? You've got to be kidding.
posted by xil at 10:29 AM on April 3, 2006


the guy who redesigned the Onion's site (Khoi Vinh) was not responsible for this redesign. It was done by an out-of-house design firm, according to Vinh's blog.

No, what he says is that the strategy was done by an outside firm, but the design was produced by NYT's internal team.
posted by jjg at 10:30 AM on April 3, 2006


Reading the articles in ie7b2 is not a pleasant experience. Either the HTML is messed up or Microsoft doesn't want anyone to visit this website.
posted by blue_beetle at 11:00 AM on April 3, 2006


I don't understand this push to redesign sites to be hideous flashing mishmashes of 800 things on your screen at once. I like straightforward design, I like breathing room, I like clear focus. I like CBC.ca, for example, which was better before they added the ads, but is still quite good. I know exactly what are front and centre, because they're front and centre. There's white space here and there, as breaks between sections, without gigantic thick black or grey lines screaming to tell you there's a break.

Usability studies — e.g., tracking eye movement during regular internet use — clearly indicate that an internet user learns to completely disregard unimportant clutter. We hardly even see banner ads, navbars, headers, footers, etc, unless we're bored or we're looking for a very specific thing. There is one central column of content that will draw the eye and we will immediately focus on without much thought, and that will end up being a sort of 'home', content-wise. What's the central focus of the NY Times redesign? As I look at it now, is the lead 'Justices, 6-3, Sidestep Ruling on Padilla Case', or is it the Frist story? As I scroll down, what am I supposed to be looking at? The most visually striking thing is the large block ad on the right. Once you get south of the right-side ad, it just gets exponentially more senseless.

I like Mefi, too. Maybe I'm just old.
posted by blacklite at 11:00 AM on April 3, 2006


Wow -- this is the way to aesthetically ruin one's web-browsing experience... I'm all for AJAX, and the web 2.0 thing but that doesn't mean it should look like the front page was designed by a committee... In fact, AJAX and proper use of recent design principles would make it much easier to have a crisp, clean design that a reader could explode out to see all the crap they include by default there -- oh, and forcing one to scroll left/right is lame, just lame. And for reference, I've got a cinema display that I'm looking at it on and no, I don't want my browser window eating my whole screen just so the times' site looks like they want it to...

I give it a D (and remember, anything below a C isn't passing.)

I love the editor's note where they claim the new look will give them "streamlined navigation" yeah, streamlined like the streets of Boston.

Here's a hint -- if I can see give/take 10 different font/color/size combinations, you're probably abusing the type except in very specific or odd situations.
posted by incongruity at 11:19 AM on April 3, 2006


On second glance, I realized why the re-design looks familiar... If you scroll down enough, it almost ends up looking like the pages of link-spam that people try to use to manipulate search engines and the like.
posted by incongruity at 11:22 AM on April 3, 2006


A major disappointment. I much prefer the Post's site, and I'll now be spending more time there. My biggest problem with it is the use of Georgia. News, especially from the Times, should be in Times.
posted by dack at 11:33 AM on April 3, 2006


To those of you who browse at less than full-screen--a bit ridiculous to complain about sites that don't completely accommodate your idiosyncratic settings, don't you think? Like complaining about a car that goes too slow when you only press the gas pedal halfway down to the floor.

My desktop is 3,840 pixels wide. You seriously want me to browse at full screen?
posted by cillit bang at 11:53 AM on April 3, 2006


remember, anything below a C isn't passing

Um, not at any school I ever attended.
posted by jjg at 12:41 PM on April 3, 2006


Something funny: if you delete the middle third, the 1st and last one make together a classic and clean nytimes page (a bigger font for the last third would make it right).

It could be said that the confusion of the middle third showcases the cacophony and struggle confronting the editors and designers of nytimes.com: more images, more multimedia, more ads. Or: "Desperately Trying To Lure The Consumer Inside."

How such a big media company with so much intelligence, so much money, so many bright people can still ignore that "luring the consumer" is out, out, out and out? And how can you be proud of your readers' profile and treat them as if they are consumers in a Walmart? This is the ultimate failure of this redesign: not that it is not pretty or useful, only that it shows that nytimes.com has still no idea how to welcome, harness and use the formidable energy of its readers. The errors in this design don't come from the designers but from the publisher.
posted by bru at 1:16 PM on April 3, 2006


If you scroll down enough, it almost ends up looking like the pages of link-spam that people try to use to manipulate search engines and the like.

Google values internal links on important pages very highly. And it doesn't get (much) more important then http://www.nytimes.com
posted by cell divide at 1:21 PM on April 3, 2006


That font is totally fugly. How in the world does that improve anything? This is on a Mac in case it matters. Bleh.

BTW if people feel strongly about this, you can always let them know: feedback@nytimes.com .
posted by mpemulis at 2:57 PM on April 3, 2006


800x600 monitors have been cramping our collective style for too long.

Spoken like a graphic designer who still hasn't quite grasped the point of fluid web design. It's freaking 2006, if you make a page where have to sidescroll at all you're just pissing off the users by making content harder to get at. And you should be fired, because while it might look good on paper, the web is not a paper based medium! If you can't make it look good while being fluid, you're not a graphic designer, you're an illustrator. Why not just stick some freaking .gifs up there with shitload of longdesc tags?

Graphic designers have their purposes, but too often they demand to call the shots. There are valid technical issues arising from this sort of carry-on that graphic designers just don't seem to have the foggiest about. F' em all.

Other than that, solid D for site design. Left hand nav on the frontpage turning into tabbed top nav inside? The first two stories on the left have different sized fonts for their abstracts. I could go on, but instead I will just contemplate how much money they probably spent on this and be quietly ill.

And for the record, I surf at work fullscreen at 1024x768, but I have my bookmarks open for easy access to reference stuff, so I still have to scroll sideways.
posted by Sparx at 3:26 PM on April 3, 2006


Holy gee -- I have a 1600x1400 monitor, and it's still painful to read.
posted by davejay at 3:48 PM on April 3, 2006


No more direct access to the autos section? boo.
posted by NortonDC at 4:06 PM on April 3, 2006


Oh, there it is. But no visibility into the section from the front page--a demotion.
posted by NortonDC at 4:07 PM on April 3, 2006


It's freaking 2006, if you make a page where have to sidescroll at all you're just pissing off the users by making content harder to get at.

My counterexample (which may be controversial in and of itself: I don't follow design world infighting that closely) would be Paul Ford's Ftrain, which, along with all the others ways in which it is brilliant, has dealt with the multiple-resolution issue in an elegant way that makes me smile, and wish I'd thought of it first. I've been so tempted to copy it.

Mefi longtimers may know of my warm feelings toward deliberate horizontal scrollbars.

(Although I notice he seems to have changed the default to a more traditional page, which disappoints me, so you might have to hit Show [widen page] in the left-hand column to see what I'm talking about.)
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 5:35 PM on April 3, 2006


I hate having just the first sentence of the lede visible on the front page. I'm also distressed at the font changes. It doesn't look like the NYTimes any more! I'll get used to, I know, and I'll probably find stuff I'll like about it, but right now it just seems crowded, crammed together, and busy.
posted by BitterOldPunk at 5:42 PM on April 3, 2006


why is this even being discussed? why is form ever important when what is purportedly at stake is things like truth, relevance, the necessary stuff we allegedly need? Having worked for sulzbergian schlockfestschrifts I will disclaim objectivity and suggest that this is all these people ever think about. The actual stuff filling the neat designer niches remains worthless.
posted by urbanrubbish at 5:57 PM on April 3, 2006


Urbanrubbish: useability and accessability, important components of any design, means the 'true, relevent stuff we need' can reach more people. The front page has almost 300 markup errors, many of which look like they were aiming for a different doctype entirely. Try to use it with a screenreader, and it's a mess. No accesskeys even! And no quarter given to those people with handhelds or older monitors. Graphic Design 'Theory' wankery at its finest at the expense of usability and access. Amateur hour.

Stavros: Ftrain showed up wide as a house in Firefox. Horizontal scroll bars showing up on a personal site, well, what are you going to do? It's his call. Same with McCloudian webcomics - different case entirely. The NYT, on the other hand, is supposedly a professional news service. By turning off readers with sidescrolling and clutter and poor access they are shooting themselves in the foot, professionally.

All in my everso humble opinion, of course.
posted by Sparx at 6:56 PM on April 3, 2006


Looks great on Safari!
posted by nonmerci at 7:18 PM on April 3, 2006


The bottom third's font size is already larger than this morning.

It's alive!
posted by bru at 7:57 PM on April 3, 2006


"Oooh, I don't like it! It's too wide, the font's too small, the font's too big, it's cluttered, it's ugly, it makes me squint, it gives me pimples, it made me sterile, waah waah waah" really? who gives a fuck. if you don't like it, don't read it.
posted by fungible at 9:24 PM on April 3, 2006


who gives a fuck. if you don't like it, don't read it.

Irony? :>
posted by bim at 9:40 PM on April 3, 2006


Naah. I only read four or five comments before deciding to write that. So that doesn't count.
posted by fungible at 9:47 PM on April 3, 2006


Oh, OK. :>
posted by bim at 10:01 PM on April 3, 2006


Do the E-Mailed/Blogged/Searched tabs work for anyone? They don't work at all for me in Firefox or IE.

I'm very mixed about this redesign. The front page is just plain awful while the inside article pages are terrific.

Article pages are clean, well organized, and have the perfect amount of white space. The content is on the left, image ads are on the right, unobtrusive Google ads sit below the article, and the Inside NYTimes.com forms the footer banner right where it should be to generate interest in other sections of the online paper. I would have preferred the Most Popular sidebar at the top above the ads, sectioned off by the gray "Advertisements" header (which oddly enough sits in a section that pretty much has no ads). Font weights and styles are used properly and consistently to delineate differing sections of content. The top navigation is terrific and reminds me of the navigation employed at Newsvine.

Everything the article pages got right, the front page messed up badly. The top half starts off OK but once you hit the Multimedia section, everything turns to shit. One World and one Business article gets pulled in along with a few AP/Reuters clips and jammed in next to Multimedia for no reason (why the AP/Reuters article refresh time is set in red I can't figure out). The upper half sidebar is a mish-mash of random financial/real estate/auto/job hunting/classifieds tools, bits of content, external and NYT ads, and alternating styles of bold/not bold, serif/sans, links/non-links, buttons, bullets, and indents. Above that sidebar is a Get Home Delivery text ad sitting right next to the NY weather. Then the Inside NYTimes.com panel decapitates the top half from the bottom and then a whole other layout takes over. Each newspaper section with 3 articles set in serif - nothing new here - and then the rest is set in sans serif - wtf? More ads squeezed into every open orifice, Tetris style.

And the greatest travesty is the two flanking airTran ads set on either side of the New York Times masthead. Have a little more decency and respect for your own paper and keep that area off-limits for ads. If it wasn't for the URL, I couldn't even be sure I wasn't looking at the latest crap Web 2.0 portal.
posted by junesix at 11:12 PM on April 3, 2006


The International Herald Tribune's Design is still my favourite...
posted by dhruva at 1:21 AM on April 4, 2006


Have they finally put in useful message boards?

I once went to their science fiction board. As I recall it only showed one post at a time. I almost replied to the first post I saw before realizing it was dated about five years before; it started you at the beginning.
posted by Target Practice at 1:37 AM on April 4, 2006


-- did you read the post?

I think it is obvious that I didn't. I start to get dizzy when i see the words "web 2.0" and my brain shuts off.

although i think the post brings up a very interesting idea and that is if newspapers are going to go the way of news- sites as rubert murdoch said in a recent speech:

"newspapers will have to adapt as their readers demand news and sport on a variety of platforms: websites, ipods, mobile phones or laptops."

Are the new sharing and collaborative models affecting major print media? Well, obviously, I suppose, yes. Does that make NYTimes.com "web 2.0," imo, no.
posted by 8 Bit at 7:43 AM on April 4, 2006


I emailed the NYTimes about it not working on any Mac OS 9 browser.

So they told me to try using a different browser.

I told them that actually meant using a different type of computer, of which there are none in my office.

So they said to try disabling extensions, because nobody else had complained. I said it wasn't one particular mac, it was all OS 9 macs, all the time. They haven't got back to me yet.

(I also emailed Khoi, who at first said that they decided not to support IE 5, but when I pointed out that it was *all* OS 9 browsers, he said they'd look into it).
posted by bonaldi at 3:59 PM on April 4, 2006


Slate Jack Shafer loves the redesign so much he's thinking about cancelling his subscription.
Pages now spread out wider than Fat Joe's ass to exploit the vistas opened up by large monitors.
New York magazine's James Cramer says they should just make the whole paper digital-only.
posted by kirkaracha at 11:11 AM on April 5, 2006


Hah. Someone from fucking Slate is hardly in a position to talk about design.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 3:45 PM on April 5, 2006


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