I’ve stayed away from reacting to Mashable’s new redesign until the dust settled and my emotions cooled down. Now I can soundly express my take on it.
If you look deeper into the site design, you will appreciate the new features, responsiveness, ability to share portions of text…etc, but on the surface Mashable completely LOST ITS CHARACTER. In fact, the site now looks so generic, that there is nothing about it that speaks Mashable brand. The brand has been completely undone with the redesign. The old site had a certain character to it, and I wish it would have been rolled over to the new design.
I think I understand what Mashable was trying to do with the redesign. They were trying to simplify, make content flow logically, and that the “content is king” rhetoric is clearly portrayed. But because this ideas was overdone, what you see now is nothing but content. In a way Mashable has become a tabloid for articles thereby hiding it’s character, identity, or brand.
As far as the display of articles is concerned and grouping of (trending, new, and hot) The eyes no longer flow with the content and there is absolutely nothing to rest your eyes on. So to properly read Mashable content, I developed a zigzag method. I start with the New column, work my way down, then I zip up, work the middle column, and then zip back up to work on the last column. Otherwise, you are completely lost in the information overload pool, you cannot jump with your eyes effectively and not get lost. The previous design had none of these eye scanning problems. Oh, and speaking of the “What’s Hot” column, why are the images so big? So much real-estate is eaten up with those gallery sized images. I understand if the images were actually of substance but they rarely are, most of them come from stock agencies, and I do not find anything interesting about them. Stocky means generic. If you are going to place such a large image, please make sure it is a masterpiece.
My last gripe is about tweeter like endless scrolling. Why? The old design allowed me to jump to page two or three, but with this one, if I refresh the screen I have to scroll down to who knows where to find where I was in the process. Page navigation actually gave you a sense of where you were, now that has been discontinued, you no longer scroll down too far. Another problem with the endless scroll is that before, you could just quickly scroll down to the bottom of the page because you knew where the comments were so that you could quickly leave a comment. Now you cannot do that, because you will miss the comments section on your way down as it is placed between the article and back to articles sections. This gripe is maybe small potatoes but for seasoned users it means relearning what you already got used to in the previous version.