NYTimes.com asks for feedback on its new home page

October 3, 2000 9:15 AM   Subscribe

NYTimes.com asks for feedback on its new home page
The New York Times on the Web previewed a new design for its popular home page today. The page widens the content areas to over 750 pixels, up from around 500. The page now presents special feature teasers, and links to NYT's hideously unpopular Internet "knowledge network" venture, Abuzz.com, along the enlarged right-hand margin. No word was given as to whether the site would abandon its free registration requirement. "Surfers" may register their opinions about the new design at newhomepage@nytimes.com
posted by rschram (16 comments total)
I think it's reminiscent of Hugo Blass's new fall collection!
posted by rschram at 9:16 AM on October 3, 2000

I find the front page to be very cramped. Everything seems to run together.

Someone needs a style sheet.
posted by ethmar at 9:34 AM on October 3, 2000

What I've always found strange about the new york times online is the discontinuity between the front page and article pages. The front is made to look like a newspaper, so it's got an old, stodgy appearance, reminiscent of newspaper's heyday (read: a long, long time ago).

The articles themselves however, look downright hip compared to the front page. The olde tyme newspaper branding is reduced to the point of almost being invisible, and the rest of the page is highly readable and tastefully designed.

Te new front page vs. the old front page is a pointless argument. There's just more crap on the page. I never read the front page, it's almost always just the articles that others point out.
posted by mathowie at 9:43 AM on October 3, 2000

I just find it profoundly upsetting that they can't be bothered to put in width and height tags on their images - the site re-renders about six times as each new image loads...
posted by barbelith at 10:18 AM on October 3, 2000

Bah. The one and only thing that would make the NYTimes more readable for me would be to drop that damn registration requirement. If they're such control freaks they have to know which articles I'm reading, they can just go screw each other.

-Mars, who stopped thinking the links to nytimes.com were funny a few years ago
posted by Mars Saxman at 10:38 AM on October 3, 2000

I wish there was a little more integration between the front page's appearance and the article template also. I think this new design is an attempt to 1) foreground useful features and things that cost money and/or make money for the paper; 2) maintain stodgy look in face of a growing assortment of online services.

I think the section index pages are getting an upgrade to be more like the front page sample. A new cartoons index is already in place

Personally, I like the stodginess. I think it's nice that a news outlet consciously avoids following Internet design trends. I do however wish that the web site would seek out a look that better distinguishes themselves from the paper, and better takes hold of the peculiarities of the computer screen. Those section headers are practically swimming in their anti-aliasing blur. I feel like I'm taking an eye exam. Bring back the font used for the "Page One Plus" button!
posted by rschram at 10:48 AM on October 3, 2000

barbelith: I just looked at their source code and saw height and width set for the images I saw....

as the code rendered for me, though, there's a line break in the middle of the image tag:
WIDTH="94" HEIGHT="10" BORDER="0">

so I'm thinking that the browser just isn't reading it....

posted by rebeccablood at 11:03 AM on October 3, 2000

sorry: that worked in preview mode.

imagine this:
line of code naming the image source
then a line of code naming the height and width.

posted by rebeccablood at 11:04 AM on October 3, 2000

That shouldn't be a problem. The browser just treats a line break like a space. Should work fine. However, I haven't looked at the code yet myself to see if there's anything else weird about it.
posted by litlnemo at 3:06 PM on October 3, 2000

not always. I've fixed more than one puzzling problem by correcting something like that.

posted by rebeccablood at 3:34 PM on October 3, 2000


people who don't get it make meaningless cosmetic changes, then ask random other people who don't get it to make random comments about it.

wake me when it's over.

oh wait, it was over five years ago. never mind.

where's my spinoza?
posted by Zeldman at 6:19 PM on October 3, 2000

That "old stody appearance" is also known as the most valuable brand in English-language news media, and the Times Co. has done absolutely the right thing.

Many other extraordinarily valuable news brands didn't stick with their core identity in their web ventures and have largely lost any power to extend their print brand power.

Time Warner probably gave up a billion dollars of brand equity by burying Time and People for years under Path Finder and Sports Illustrated under CNN.

Dow Jones has done a good job with Wall Street Journal, largely but keeping WSJ.com a strong mirror to the print WSJ.
posted by MattD at 9:19 PM on October 3, 2000

:::Time Warner probably gave up a billion dollars of brand equity by burying Time and People for years under Path Finder and Sports Illustrated under CNN.


posted by Zeldman at 11:15 PM on October 3, 2000

Amen. Amen. Amen. That's why I friggin' hate the Go network.
posted by Mo Nickels at 5:18 AM on October 4, 2000

Not to mention (Matt) that the New York Times' latest heyday is right now. No other news source gives nearly as much worthwhile and insightful information on a daily basis. I actually buy the Times every morning (old media! horrors!) and devour it on my commute and over lunch.
posted by werty at 6:51 AM on October 4, 2000

As far as layout goes, I think it is pretty decent. The color scheme is a little bland, but hey it's a newspaper right. There is a lot of stuff on the front page, but if you are a regular reader you will probably just use it to get to your usual sections and ignore the rest. In that sense, it works well; displaying a few top articles and allowing quick access to the regular sections.
I doubt the registration requirement will be dropped any time soon. After all, registered users sell advertising, and if you don't like it, there is always the local newstand.
What's with the abuzz slam? I've been using abuzz for a couple months now and I think the new look is much more professional than the old one. From what I can tell by browsing the new site, it is only "hideously unpopular" among about 20 people (out of who knows how many) that thought their consent was needed before changes could be made.
posted by rmiller7 at 7:09 AM on October 4, 2000

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