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Thread: SI.com's new look

  1. #1
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    SI.com's new look

    Been about a week since SI.com changed their layout. Presumably for tablets or iphones or something. Anyway, I think its pretty bad but I usually check it from a laptop or desktop. What do others think?

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    Owner MVP Brock Beauchamp's Avatar
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    I love it, though I still think they're cramming too much information on a single page. It's miles better than ESPN, who was recently awarded my personal "MY GOD PEOPLE ACTUALLY USE THIS SITE?!?!?" award for the tenth consecutive year.

    I'd *love* to do a fully responsive bootstrap version of Twins Daily but it's beyond the scope of a single person to manage.

    Harrumph. I'm not crazy about a fully responsive site, as I believe mobile devices (phones, primarily) should call a leaner, sleeker version of the code to minimize load times and data usage. But a hybrid responsive site that calls to tablets and desktops while delivering a slimmer mobile version for phones, that's something I'd *love* to implement.

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    Senior Member All-Star JB_Iowa's Avatar
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    I think its an abomination.

    And judging by a lot of the comments on the site, so do many others.

    But then, I'm also primarily a laptop user.

    I'm much more verbally oriented than I am graphically oriented and I like a lot of white space on the page.

    So when I see all the graphic links, it just boggles my brain. I know they are great on mobile devices but it is just too d*mn much clutter for me.

    Also, I used to like that they had the 30 mlb teams on the bottom of the mlb home page and then those would link to a page with story links about the team. If they still have that, I can't find it.

    I've gotten more used to it but I don't think I'll ever like it.
    Last edited by JB_Iowa; 07-10-2014 at 10:12 AM.

  4. #4
    Owner MVP Brock Beauchamp's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JB_Iowa View Post
    And judging by a lot of the comments on the site, so do many others.
    The most well-organized and smartest team of developers could design and develop a site that changed the internet forever and a huge portion of the userbase would call it an abomination.

    Then those users would adjust and by the time the next version rolls around, they'd love the current version (that they hated just nine months ago) and call the new version an abomination.

    People prefer what they know over what's actually progressive and good.

    See every iteration of Facebook as proof of this concept in action. Show someone 2011 Facebook today and they'd scoff at its lack of functionality, bad layout, and poor UIX. Yet at the time of its replacement, they swore up and down that it was the best thing ever and that it didn't need to be changed.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Brock Beauchamp View Post
    The most well-organized and smartest team of developers could design and develop a site that changed the internet forever and a huge portion of the userbase would call it an abomination.

    Then those users would adjust and by the time the next version rolls around, they'd love the current version (that they hated just nine months ago) and call the new version an abomination.

    People prefer what they know over what's actually progressive and good.

    See every iteration of Facebook as proof of this concept in action. Show someone 2011 Facebook today and they'd scoff at its lack of functionality, bad layout, and poor UIX. Yet at the time of its replacement, they swore up and down that it was the best thing ever and that it didn't need to be changed.
    Sure, people don't always like what's new. But that doesn't mean that everything that is new is good. ESPN changed their forums a few years ago and it was such a disaster no one came back and they eventually closed them down.

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    Owner MVP Brock Beauchamp's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gunnarthor View Post
    Sure, people don't always like what's new. But that doesn't mean that everything that is new is good. ESPN changed their forums a few years ago and it was such a disaster no one came back and they eventually closed them down.
    Well, yes. That was gross mismanagement on every level. They deleted data, removed functionality, put in place a terrible moderator system that was half-baked, and basically gave every sane person a reason to leave forever. There were few actual "improvements" in that redesign and a whole slew of mistakes.

    Different situation here. SI.com, while I don't like the fact that it's fully responsive (see my comments above) or that its webfont doesn't render well on cheap Windows machines, does a lot of things right:

    - It works better on more devices
    - It uses modern functionality like lazy loading to speed up load times
    - It's very finger-friendly

    There's a lot right in that design, even if I think it's still too busy for its own good.

  7. #7
    Senior Member All-Star JB_Iowa's Avatar
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    Brock,

    Part of it for me is the whole font size problem (that we've talked about before).

    If you sent a zoom size that keeps the main story graphics boxes at a reasonable size, the links on the side of the page are so small that they are difficult to read. Then if I click into the story, I again find that I need to change the zoom because the font in the story is too small.

    So I end up leaving the zoom with the graphics boxes too big because it is the lesser of the two evils.

    The whole font size thing is a real issue. I like the size here at TD but if you have contacts at the Strib, there's is so darn small, it always needs an adjustment to zoom.

    Overall, the pages on the new si.com are just too cluttered for me. I suspect that for people who grew up on video games, etc., it's just fine but it isn't the way my brain processes info.

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    Quote Originally Posted by JB_Iowa View Post
    Brock,

    Part of it for me is the whole font size problem (that we've talked about before).

    If you sent a zoom size that keeps the main story graphics boxes at a reasonable size, the links on the side of the page are so small that they are difficult to read. Then if I click into the story, I again find that I need to change the zoom because the font in the story is too small.

    So I end up leaving the zoom with the graphics boxes too big because it is the lesser of the two evils.

    The whole font size thing is a real issue. I like the size here at TD but if you have contacts at the Strib, there's is so darn small, it always needs an adjustment to zoom.

    Overall, the pages on the new si.com are just too cluttered for me. I suspect that for people who grew up on video games, etc., it's just fine but it isn't the way my brain processes info.
    And that's a fair complaint. I'm a HUGE advocate of HUGE fonts. You'll notice that Twins Daily will never be accused of using too small a font because I think it's a horse**** decision to make people squint to read your damned site.

    And spoiler alert: a new Twins Daily is coming. If you think the fonts are big now, just wait awhile. They're only getting bigger.

    I have two design theories on fonts and how to choose the right one:

    1. First and foremost, fonts should be clean and easy to read, everything comes second.
    2. There is no second point.

  9. #9
    Senior Member All-Star JB_Iowa's Avatar
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    Please be careful about enlarging them too much.

    That's part of my complaint -- there is just so much variation from site-to-site.

    I actually like the size they are now. Larger on headlines or something? Fine. I don't think I'd want to see much enlargement in the bodies of articles.

    But I do appreciate cleanliness on fonts and the size now is really comfortable.

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    The body copy font may be slightly larger but it's roughly to the same size. What I tried to eliminate was some of the smaller fonts around the site. I either eliminated that text entirely or upped the font size.

    My goal is cleaner, larger fonts all around. If I don't feel information is useful to a large number of users, I eliminate it entirely. The new design is much cleaner than the current site, which I put together in just over a week. It was a mad-dash just to get it together and I've never been happy with the design, even though it was a massive improvement over what came before it.

  12. #11
    Senior Member All-Star JB_Iowa's Avatar
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    Thanks for all your work!

    Looking forward to seeing the new site.

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    I'll say this, it loads very slowly on my work computer, which has IE 2 on it*

    Ok, really, it has IE 8, I hate this place sometimes.
    Lighten up Francis....

  14. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by mike wants wins View Post
    Ok, really, it has IE 8, I hate this place sometimes.
    I refuse to bugfix IE8 at this point.

    My god, MS has done all they can to hamstring the internet. Such awful business practices over the past 10-14 years.

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    Senior Member All-Star crarko's Avatar
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    Yup. Ugly with a yoog. But also yup, ESPN is still worse.

    edit - Fox Sports may be the worst of the lot.
    Last edited by crarko; 07-10-2014 at 05:24 PM.
    Mystery creates wonder, and wonder is the basis of man's desire to understand. - N. Armstrong

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    I'd like to thank SI for alerting me to NEVER use the font: "iwan-reschniev"

    Good God. It looks like crap on my 2560 resolution monitor. I had to move it to a retina display before it even looked "meh, only kinda crappy".

    Really an AWFUL font choice. I thought it was my Windows machine at work but no, my high quality Mac monitors at home also render it badly.

    (it's the font used in "menu" on the top left)

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    Twins Moderator All-Star diehardtwinsfan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brock Beauchamp View Post
    See every iteration of Facebook as proof of this concept in action. Show someone 2011 Facebook today and they'd scoff at its lack of functionality, bad layout, and poor UIX. Yet at the time of its replacement, they swore up and down that it was the best thing ever and that it didn't need to be changed.
    Yeah sorry... facebook still sucks. It's sucked for a while, which is why I don't visit much. I'm not a big fan of a news feed where they try to decide what I find interesting...

    As for site designs, I think there's something to be said about not doing massive overhauls (or at the very least letting users try it out and give useful feedback **AND INCORPORATE IT** before the overhaul). I stopped using Twinkie town and just about all of SB nation b/c of that. It's a terrible design.

    People develop viewing habits based off of site layout. Developers should think long and hard about changing anything that will affect those habits.

  18. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by diehardtwinsfan View Post
    Yeah sorry... facebook still sucks. It's sucked for a while, which is why I don't visit much. I'm not a big fan of a news feed where they try to decide what I find interesting...
    It's a big switch but predictive behavior is where the internet is going. In the long run, Facebook had to move to a predictive model. Peoples' feeds would have turned into Twitter feeds, which renders the service nearly useless. It works for Twitter. It wouldn't work for Facebook (and even Twitter is stumbling traffic-wise while Facebook marches on).

    Quote Originally Posted by diehardtwinsfan View Post
    As for site designs, I think there's something to be said about not doing massive overhauls (or at the very least letting users try it out and give useful feedback **AND INCORPORATE IT** before the overhaul). I stopped using Twinkie town and just about all of SB nation b/c of that. It's a terrible design.

    People develop viewing habits based off of site layout. Developers should think long and hard about changing anything that will affect those habits.
    The problem with feedback is that it's really hard to find a capable focus group. Most people, to put it bluntly, give absolutely **** feedback. I'm all for focus groups and feedback from intelligent people who can parse information and understand "why something was done" instead of "it wasn't that way before".

    The internet is still pretty new. Both developers and users are still figuring things out. In time, I think the radical shifts in UIX will slow as we realize what works and what doesn't.

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    Twins Moderator All-Star diehardtwinsfan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brock Beauchamp View Post
    The internet is still pretty new. Both developers and users are still figuring things out. In time, I think the radical shifts in UIX will slow as we realize what works and what doesn't.
    I hope so, but I've been saying the same thing about Microsoft platforms for years now and it doesn't seem to matter. I'd call the OS far more developed than the internet these days and they still do a massive UI over haul every few years.

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    Quote Originally Posted by diehardtwinsfan View Post
    I hope so, but I've been saying the same thing about Microsoft platforms for years now and it doesn't seem to matter. I'd call the OS far more developed than the internet these days and they still do a massive UI over haul every few years.
    Microsoft has their heads up their asses. There's no other way to put it. I can't remember the last time I used a new piece of MS software that didn't leave me scratching my head for one reason or another.

    And I use a lot of software. Much - maybe even most - of it doesn't make me scratch my head at all.

    Apple is a much better representation of consistent, clean, and usable UIX. Google has joined them at the top of the pack in the past 2-3 years as well. They've done a fantastic job of cleaning up their interfaces and making them more consistent (still a lot of work to go, though).

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    Junior Member Rookie hvs's Avatar
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    My biggest problem with the new SI.com site (and I have many), is that it seems to be designed for grazing content but not really for seeking out content. If you are actually looking for a specific article, it is really hard.

    Another big issue with the site is that they broke basically every old link to their archives. Try searching Google for old SI articles and you will often be dumped onto a broken SI page.

    Oh, and stats pages are useless: http://www.si.com/mlb/player/joe-mauer

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