El Reg Redesign - leave your comment here.

December 19 Update no.4 - changes Changed screen outside site background colour from white to grey. Top Art in stories - now editorially selectable - in response to feedback about relevance (see above). Reduced headline font size on Hero “story” at top of front page, articles and forum pages. Masthead - entirely …

This topic was created by Drewc .

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    1. diodesign (Written by Reg staff) Silver badge

      Re: Jamie Jones

      "HUGE PICTURE: Also often not even specific to the article, but some general stock photo."

      I'll admit I was among those who suggested we make a better play of pictures. Perhaps they shouldn't appear on every article until we've either got a dedicated picture desk or they should be made smaller, or both. I don't make these decisions.

      It's sad because it wasn't our intention to use pics that, as one soul said above, have "fuck all" to do with the stories.

      "Time-format..... Is this being done to make it easier for people in different time-zones?"

      I guess so. More than half our readers are in the US, and we have a healthy number in APAC.

      So I think the main thing is that the in-your-face design we hoped would guide readers to the obvious big news – NATS cockups, Sony being hacked/sued, etc – and allow people to scroll down to peruse other stuff isn't working. There were worries that the previous design was looking like Ceefax.

      Sometimes a big story or a really decent analysis can get lost in all the other coverage. Social stuff needed to be more accessible rather than tucked to the side.

      What I'm trying to say is that there is method in the madness. It's the UK office's Xmas party tomorrow (Wednesday) and people are off and about for Christmas, so please don't get too frustrated if changes aren't made immediately.

      C.

      1. Joseph Eoff

        "Social Stuff"

        No, the "Social Stuff" doesn't need to be more accessible. It needs to be LESS accessible, as in "completely fucking GONE."

        Seriously, do you expect us to share articles on the state of the IT business on facebook alongside the pictures of somebody's lunch and someone else's grandkids? Seriously? This is where you want the Reg? Dumped in alongside the drivel posted on twitter? Do you have any statistics that say that the Reg users are even using the social media links at all?

        BTW:

        Congratulations. The front page pictures are starting to be related to the stories. There's actually a picture of an amazon Fire in the headline of an article on the Fire. Now if the blasted picture weren't so damned enormous...

        1. diodesign (Written by Reg staff) Silver badge

          Re: "Social Stuff"

          "Seriously, do you expect us to share articles on the state of the IT business on facebook"

          Sharing links about new all-NAND storage arrays to your grandparents is obviously a really dull idea. But a mid-range smartphone review, a laptop comparison, a story about scams targeting small biz, a piece about malware holding people's files to ransom, abuses by the government and cops, etc may fit within your social circle. Twitter, Reddit, LinkedIn, Facebook, whatever you want, or none at all. No pressure.

          But millions are sharing news via social.

          "The front page pictures are starting to be related to the stories."

          Fantastic. We're getting there. Not every story can carry a giant 650px pic, but some can, so a compromise must be found.

          C.

          1. Joseph Eoff

            Re: "Social Stuff"

            Sorry, missed your reply in the flood.

            Yeah, no.

            I don't have a "social circle" in the sense of belonging to facebook/twitter/whatever. On occasion, I will forward a link to an interesting article to someone via email - along with a short description of why I think the receiver might be interested as well as a "Hi, howyadoin" while I'm at it.

            I don't have any interest in the shallow "everybody is a friend" world of facebook and similar sites. Who actually reads all the self absorbed BS on those sites? NOBODY - they are all busy posting their own latest crap.

      2. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

        Re: Jamie Jones

        I'll admit I was among those who suggested we make a better play of pictures. Perhaps they shouldn't appear on every article until we've either got a dedicated picture desk or they should be made smaller, or both. I don't make these decisions.

        Thanks for the frankness. Hopefully those who do make those decisions are seeing the almost overwhelming dislike for the overly large and often irrelevant images. (although I note that has improved somewhat interms of relevance. I'm still seeing the odd story with the image repeated again a few line into the story but alt tags are being filled in more often now)

        "Time-format..... Is this being done to make it easier for people in different time-zones?"

        I guess so. More than half our readers are in the US, and we have a healthy number in APAC.

        Can the time stamp not be calculated based on the users local time? An absolute time/date would work for everyone in that case.

        There were worries that the previous design was looking like Ceefax.

        That doesn't necessarily implay "bad". Just changing the typeface and colours could have produced a sharper, cleaner and more modern design. The big problem for me is the larger fonts so I see less information on the home page. As a technically oriented site with technically oriented readers, higher information density is expected and welcomed by most. Also, while discussing the front page, can we change the mouse hover colour on the story links? For years, red has been for visited links and I've missed a few stories when scolling down because it turns red as it passes under the mouse pointer and my brain ignores it.

        Sometimes a big story or a really decent analysis can get lost in all the other coverage. Social stuff needed to be more accessible rather than tucked to the side.

        I don't have a problem with either of those, but the way to emphasise a big story needs to be looked at again. The main headline and image is just too big on a laptopor desktop screen.

        What I'm trying to say is that there is method in the madness. It's the UK office's Xmas party tomorrow (Wednesday) and people are off and about for Christmas, so please don't get too frustrated if changes aren't made immediately.

        Have fun :-)

        (But next time you want to have a major site make-over, don't do it just before the weekend and/or just before a long drunken holiday. I suspect that "someone", who may not have voiced it out loud, planned it this way so as to have an excuse to retain their vision of the future as long as possible, with plausible excuses, in the hope that people will eventually accempt it (Cynical? Moi? :-))

      3. This post has been deleted by its author

    2. diodesign (Written by Reg staff) Silver badge

      Re: Jamie Jones

      "It shows the 'brand loyalty' and passion this site has built up in people"

      BTW I appreciate and get that, and it's kinda a relief to see.

      C.

  1. BenjaminHare

    Rollback or User Option

    Are there any plans for a rollback? If not, are there any plans to allow users to customize the layout? Of particular interest to me; shrinking the pictures back to their former size, or simply disabling them completely. I appreciate all of the work your design team has put in, but the new layout is actually making it more difficult for me to consume the wonderful content on the site.

  2. Ketlan

    'Come on, Ketlan poster, keep up.'

    I don't see your point - unless it's just to be bloody patronising. Ketlan is actually my name, by the way.

    'Anyway, my previous posts attempting to engage with readers have been downvoted so I guess everyone here doesn't want to hear what Reg staff have to say.'

    Everyone here DOES want to hear what you have to say - the problem is WHAT you're saying. Try saying 'we're rolling back to the old look next week' and see how many upvotes that gets you.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      My guess...

      is that they have switched to a new CMS and CAN'T rollback without losing all the articles added since the switch over.

      I know at a previous company they were so confident the switchover would be a success that they only wrote scripts to export from the old CMS and import into the new CMS, and not scripts the other way round.

      It's either that, or they are just being stubborn little children.

      1. This post has been deleted by its author

  3. Roger B
    Thumb Down

    This has probably been mentioned already

    But, the site looks way to much like those wonderful Taboola adverts which is very very off putting. I think its the photo with the bold headline underneath that makes it look bad.

  4. MrWibble

    one other annoyance - the pop up on the author's name on articles, which the hides the article! can you put a delay on this as well please?

    Some of us still use mice, and when navigating the page, this type of pop up is extremely annoying.

  5. Joseph Eoff

    Ahhh...

    Much better. Doesn't fix the fixed width or the white, but at least it isn't as annoying - it is only ugly.

    Now if someone would comeup with a greasemonky script to fix all the white and fix the width.

    AdBlock Edge rules:

    [Subscription]

    url=~user~413605

    title=Fix the Reg

    [Subscription filters]

    theregister.co.uk##.gplus

    theregister.co.uk##.fbook

    theregister.co.uk##.tweet_link

    theregister.co.uk##script#bug.surrogate.1

    theregister.co.uk##script#bug.surrogate.38

    theregister.co.uk##div#ad-oop-spot

    theregister.co.uk##div#nav_pop

    theregister.co.uk##div#top_tease

    theregister.co.uk##.large_story

    theregister.co.uk##.article_head

    ||go.theregister.com/k/*

    Usercontent.css:

    @-moz-document domain(theregister.co.uk) {

    a { color: #101070!important; }

    a:visited { color: #A01010!important; }

    a:hover{ color: #FFFFFF!important; background: #3F455A!important; }

    }

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Ahhh...

      Have adblock installed but have no idea as to how to implement your suggestion. The site used to be good but now I only visit it the odd time. The idea of having to do all that scrolling is just driving me away and as for the new layout, my 14 year old son could design something better in minecraft, that would look nice and encourage users to stay. Back to the original question, can you post somewhere instructions on how us non-tech people can get rid of the pictures, change the colour and generally make the site more useful and (more importantly), more readable / useable? It would be really appreciated as I would like to continue reading the Register but I just cannot face it in its current condition.

      As an aside, the first time the site loaded, I totally shut down the windows machine as I thought the site had been hi-jacked, it looked so ugly and non-IT and followed none of their standards. Refused to visit until I got my hands on a Linux box and then discovered the disaster of the redesign that they had done. Pity somebody can't do a scraper to get us back to the old way (or something similar). I would much more prefer to use that then the current pile of sh1te that they have. It is just so ugly, it makes the ugly duckling look beautiful. H3ll, then monster out of any film / story is better looking and more sensitive than this sites current layout. What an unmitigated disaster - it is just so yuck (I believe the IT term would be "clusterfuck". Is this correct?

      As another aside, can anybody suggest a site to replace El Reg? If so, let me know as anything else would be better than this crap. Many thanks to the commentators who know what we need and not to the re-designers who are driving the readers aware in their droves. (pity we cannot compare W8 take up numbers with the drop-off in this sites usage - that would make interesting reading). Guess 18 pages of commentards complaining means nothing, just the same attitude as MS have. Oh well, time to move on.

      1. Mostly Human

        Re: Ahhh...

        Try http://www.theinquirer.net, started by Reg co-founder Mike Magee. At least the headline tabs are NOT ALL IN SHOUTY UPPERCASE.

    2. Extra spicey vindaloo
      Thumb Up

      Re: Ahhh...

      Thankyou for the adblock filters. have an upvote sir.

  6. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

    Is the story photo selection automated?

    Is there an automated keywords based system being used in some case to select stock photos for some stories?

    See the "More from the Register" section in this story...

    http://www.theregister.co.uk/2014/12/17/legality_of_coppers_facial_recognition_database_called_into_question/

    Three related stories with "Police" in the title and all with the same stock image.

    If this is the case, that would explain the almost total irrelevance of many of the story title images and whoever sold you that sofware made out like a bandit.

    1. diodesign (Written by Reg staff) Silver badge

      Re: Is the story photo selection automated?

      No, the images are uploaded and selected by busy humans.

      C.

      1. The Mole

        Re: Is the story photo selection automated?

        In that case they need better training to pick ones that are an appropriate size and quality not stretched and distorted like the eu flag.

        Better still make their lives slightly less busy and don't force pictures in for the sake of it. Its an old journalism adage that the picture should add to the story, just because you are digital doesn't make it any less true.

        All a massive picture of the EU flag (or other stock photo) does at the top of an article is waste space and forces immediate scrolling to read more than a line of the story - meaning you now only have 1 line to get my interest not the whole paragraph. It also pushes adverts off the screen reducing views and potential clicks.

        Currently I've not installed any ad-blocking and even occasionally click the adverts to support el reg. These images are annoying me so much that I'm seriously tempted to block out all images to make the site usable again.

        1. diodesign (Written by Reg staff) Silver badge

          Re: Re: Is the story photo selection automated?

          "In that case they need better training to pick ones that are an appropriate size and quality"

          Problem is that the site used to be 535px wide and most of the teaser art was about 200px wide. So a lot of our internal pic library is <650px. Then the width was increased to 650px in the redesign. It'll take time to flush the smaller stuff away and populate the library with hi-res images.

          C.

          1. Joseph Eoff

            Re: Is the story photo selection automated?

            Easy fix - make the picture size SMALLER so it doesn't cover half the damned page, then you won't need hi-res images.

          2. Mage Silver badge

            Re: Is the story photo selection automated?

            Stupidty!

            No image bigger than 200 pixel

            Most 64 x 64.

            You need Hires images like you need a hole in the head.

            This isn't the BBC!

      2. Mage Silver badge
        Mushroom

        Re: Is the story photo selection automated?

        I'm amazed that:

        1) You can admit it

        2) You have not yet shrunk the images, yes I know I'm not on 19.2K dialup since November 2005, but postage stamp main images and icon sized subsidiary images are better.

        I can recommend a range of free or cheap image editing tools and point you to a tutorial. Because the site is still absolute rubbish.

        1. diodesign (Written by Reg staff) Silver badge

          Re: Re: Is the story photo selection automated?

          Yes, all right, David Bailey ;-)

          We've got images up to and beyond 650px, some 2000px, some 185px, some 200, some 450, and so on. It's not all sub-650px. This comes from optimizing images for a site serving 20+ million page views a month. We're gearing up for bigger and better image use, just give it time.

          Edit: I swear every downvote makes me not want to spend my time here.

          C.

          1. Joseph Eoff

            Noooooo!

            "We're gearing up for bigger and better image use, just give it time."

            NNNoooooooooo!!!!!!

            I've just killed all the damned oversize, useless images with adblock, and now you tell me you want to add more of the damned things?

            We keep telling you "get rid of the pictures," you keep saying you are listening to us, then you go and say you are going to add more (and bigger) pictures.

            Are you just fucking with us then?

            "We're listening...... NOT. Hahahaha!"

          2. Joseph Eoff

            Re: I swear every downvote makes me not want to spend my time here."

            Quote diodesign: "Edit: I swear every downvote makes me not want to spend my time here."

            Then fix the fucking problems.

            I guarantee you, everytime you fix a problem and post a notification of it, you will get so many upvotes it will more than make up for all the down votes.

          3. jake Silver badge

            @ diodesign (was: Re: Is the story photo selection automated?)

            "I swear every downvote makes me not want to spend my time here."

            Might want to ask yourself "How can we fix this interface so I don't see negative comments about the current piss-poor version?", instead of ignoring the user-base opinion.

            That persistent menu bar & "must see" pop-ups should be the first to go ...

            1. Anonymous Custard Silver badge

              Re: @ diodesign (was: Is the story photo selection automated?)

              I swear every downvote makes me not want to spend my time here.

              We feel the same way about oversized and obscuring stock pictures that don't add anything to the site or stories...

          4. Vic

            Re: Is the story photo selection automated?

            We've got images up to and beyond 650px, some 2000px, some 185px, some 200, some 450, and so on. It's not all sub-650px

            A copy of mogrify - which will cost you the pricely sum of £0.00 - will give you all that art in whatever format/size you want. The big upscales might look a bit shit, but that's the last of your problems.

            A script to do the whole damn lot to all the sizes you've planned will take less than an hour to write. I'll even volunteer to do it for you, for free.

            But - as has been said so many times - you're trying to fix a problem that is entirely of your own causing. Reverting to the old format makes the whole problem go away...

            Vic.

      3. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

        Re: Is the story photo selection automated?

        "No, the images are uploaded and selected by busy humans."

        Thanks.

  7. Joseph Eoff
    FAIL

    Not again...

    All aboard the fail boat...

    The length of the fron page seems to be controlled by javascript. If you deactivate javascript, then the fron page is 12 screens long (has articles back to 12 December, thats 5 days.)

    With javascript, it is only 4 screens long and only has articles up to 1 day old.

  8. This post has been deleted by a moderator

  9. Joseph Eoff

    Better ABE Rules

    [Subscription]

    url=~user~413605

    title=Fix the Reg

    [Subscription filters]

    theregister.co.uk##.gplus

    theregister.co.uk##.fbook

    theregister.co.uk##.tweet_link

    theregister.co.uk##script#bug.surrogate.1

    theregister.co.uk##script#bug.surrogate.38

    theregister.co.uk##div#ad-oop-spot

    theregister.co.uk##div#nav_pop

    theregister.co.uk##div#top_tease

    theregister.co.uk##.large_story

    theregister.co.uk##.article_img

    theregister.co.uk##div#social_btns

    ||go.theregister.com/k/*

  10. Lizard

    I've read through a lot of the feedback on the redesign, I haven't yet noticed any positive comments..

    Are El Reg planning to do what your legions of loyal followers desire are roll back to the old site design?

    TBH, I can't believe there was no beta test of the new site design prior to roll-out to gauge users reaction.

    At least when Google maps had their update there is the option to revert to classic maps.

    The Register used to be my home page for all browsers - not anymore!

    BRING BACK CLASSIC REGISTER!

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Well done on the re-design!

    No, seriously.

    I have never before seen such a show of unanimity amongst the commentards of this (previously) fine organ.

    Bravo!

  12. Joseph Eoff
    Thumb Up

    Thumbs up

    You should have done this earlier. With the new design to motivate me, I've got a set of adblock rules and usercontent.css that actually makes the site easier to use as compared to the old one.

    There's things I could do to make me like it even more, but now that the pain is (much) reduced, I'll probably stick with what I've got.

  13. Mage Silver badge
    Meh

    Almost a solution

    This version of El Reg

    Perhaps with icons.

  14. Mage Silver badge
    Headmaster

    A hyper link compromise

    200 pix header images and smaller.

    Make them clickable to THEN load a full size / larger one. You are NOT running the BBC or a Porn site.

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    1998 called...

    They want their story line back:

    What The Register did:

    http://ars.userfriendly.org/cartoons/?id=19980905

    How most of us feel:

    http://ars.userfriendly.org/cartoons/?id=19981017

  16. The Quiet One

    I wonder how much of the site traffic is just people;

    1. Coming to see if they have rolled back yet

    2. Coming to this thread to have a laugh at the vitriolic comments

    That's the only reason I come here now. It's laughable no roll back has been done yet, I am starting to think someone forgot to take a backup before they launched the new site.

    1. Mage Silver badge
      IT Angle

      At worst ...

      They can fix most of the stupid BBC style on bbc.com by using SMALLER Images. Not bigger.

    2. chivo243 Silver badge
      Pint

      Are you over my shoulder

      @The Quiet One

      These are the only reasons I have returned since Saturday.

      Upvote for the back up comment, I'll be sharing this tomorrow in the office.

      So for constructive criticism:

      I saw El Reg front page on an iSlab the other day, it looked "normalish". I did not navigate the site.

      Please bring back the "Most Commented" tab. I used it almost daily. It usually contained the most lively discussions.

      Please add a few more icons to the mix on the comments page. The Tin foil hat would be a place to start. Possibly a PHB(like the guy in Dilbert) would be nice, as well as the BOFH and PFY, I'm sure those icons would get lots of use.

      And maybe the possibility of adding two icons to a post, you know for effect like big fat pictures at the top of each story.

      And would it kill you to let us have a sig? Limit 40 keystrokes? Less? More?

      I would like to know what post was last up/downvoted as well. Not just a running total of all votes. Maybe a notification you have a reply to a post would be nice, doesn't have to be email or anything, just a little balloon next to your name at the top of the page?

      In the end, I'm having trouble seeing where El Reg is going with this new approach. Do they get more mobile traffic than desk/laptops? Do they really want to be a discussion forum? Or just a content delivery vehicle? I'm just not seeing a clear cut reasoning for the change.

      Here's a smile :-} and have a pint as well, I think we all need it!

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    No change

    Despite hundreds of comments and thousands of up votes supporting them, El Reg have done the square root of fuck all to back this out.

    This is a massive 'up yours' to the very loyal fan base of this delightful tome, but I for one will no longer put up with this pile of shit.

    1. FartingHippo
      Thumb Down

      Re: No change

      It looks a bit different and so you're flouncing off into the sunset? Get a grip.

      1. John Mangan

        Re: No change

        @FartingHippo

        - The site owners can change the site any way they please. It is their site.

        - Visitors to the site can decide that the site does not meet their needs, is too irritating to look at, makes their eyes bleed, whatever and not come back.

        That is not 'flouncing off into the sunset' it is exercising choice.

        However I think the general tenor here is that:

        - we presume that the site owners want to maintain (or even grow) the number of visitors to the site.

        - most posters find the site content DOES meet their needs but the site is making access too difficult/irritating/whatever.

        Said posters have tried to convey this to the site owners (with varying grades of bile/sarcasm/pleading/threats of violence) so that all parties can come to some accommodation that meets everyone's need.

        However I, and others judging from the posts, are detecting a subtext of, 'we think it is fine and we don't know what you are moaning about' from the site owners.

        They keep referring to the 'shock of the new' as though IT people are the most hidebound in the world and seem to be unable to grasp the 'shock of the crap'.

        As others have pointed out; in terms of comments alone this is the single most important story on this site and has been for over a week! More commentards are united on this subject than has ever happened before.

        The site owners can choose to let the site wither in terms of page views/ad revenue/etc. and visitors can choose to visit no more.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: No change

        "It looks a bit different and so you're flouncing off into the sunset? Get a grip."

        Not into the sunset, no.

  18. This post has been deleted by its author

    1. storax
      Mushroom

      Re: el Reg has lost control of the story

      You're right about DrewC.

      But diodesign deserves all the crap he's getting. The original posts on this thread were *full* of insightful comments, pointers from IT professionals who normally get *paid* for their analysis. What was diodesign's response?

      "I'm right, all of you are wrong, and now you've hurt my feelings. If you don't like what I have to say, then I think I'll have to ignore you all. Boo hoo hoo."

      <switching focus to El Reg staff>

      The colorful and downright insulting comments are meant to *GET YOUR ATTENTION*, and they don't seem to be working. Hence the increase in vitriol.

      We're royally pissed off because your truly wonderful site has become neigh-all unusable.

      I'll post a considered comment later, but for the moment I'll down vote everything diodesign says short of an abject apology. Who the hell do you think your readers are, anyway? A bunch of neophytes?

      1. diodesign (Written by Reg staff) Silver badge

        Re: Re: el Reg has lost control of the story

        "I'll down vote everything diodesign says short of an abject apology"

        I'm sorry.

        C.

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