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You're Invited: Take a Look At Slashdot's New Beta

slashdotblog (2739829) writes | 1 year,22 days

User Journal 69

The Upshot:

Welcome to the first Slashdot blog post in quite a while — it's a big one. Launching today at beta.slashdot.org is the biggest redesign that Slashdot's ever seen, and you're invited to help shape it. (We've put a lot of work into the look and feel, trying to make the site easier to navigate as well as nicer looking, but between true bugs and imperfect ideas, we know that this isn't the end-state: that's why it's a beta! Feedback is welcome!)

What's new (or improved)?

Most obviously, the look of the page is different. We've tried to create a simpler, cleaner experience for login, submission, and navigating the site in general. Slashdot's main page is slightly simpler (but adds some pictures to ponder, too). Most importantly, we've upgraded the ways you can view the page, with three layouts you can choose from: besides the default (the "Standard" view -- that's where you'll see the pictures and brand-new layout), you can view in Classic mode (closer to the Slashdot you're used to), or Headlines mode for quick scanning. Some other changes:

  • You'll see more content, in the form of community-promoted stories, in the "All Stories" view. That means more brain candy in the form of submissions (ones you might have had to search harder for before, because they hadn't been selected by the editors as regular posts) bumped up the food chain to your view of the page.
  • For every user, there's a more informative (and just prettier) profile page to track your comments, conversations, and karma. Now, your profile page (at your option) includes a mini bio, too.
  • There's now a handy shortcut (the "Most Discussed" link) to reach the stories where the most comments are landing, whether you want to dive into the discussion as a participant or just to skim.
  • Under "Topics" in the menu bar, you can jump straight to the most active topics, too, to see what subjects are driving the most conversations.

Along with these, there are lots of smaller improvements, too, that we hope you'll find useful.

What's the same?

  • Under the hood, the same Slashdot editors are still assembling a stew of reader-driven and original news, and still bringing you original reader-participant interviews, Ask Slashdot crowd-sourced questions, and more.
  • Your submissions and suggestions are still the most important ingredient in the site. Please tell us what you think of the beta; we can't take every suggestion at the same time, but if you run into puzzling paths, borked links, or anything else that doesn't behave as you think it should, please let us know.

A big thanks to all the engineers who have worked for months to integrate the pieces that go together to make this upgrade possible. Remember, as a beta, this is an ongoing project, not The Last Word, so look forward to continuing progress as we respond to your feedback. A round of thanks, too, to our users who provided valuable feedback during the alpha stage of this redesign. We couldn't have done it without you! Note: You can sign up to be a beta or alpha tester for any new initiatives on Slashdot or be notified about any cool stuff we're working on.

The Upshot:

Welcome to the first Slashdot blog post in quite a while — it's a big one. Launching today at beta.slashdot.org is the biggest redesign that Slashdot's ever seen, and you're invited to help shape it. (We've put a lot of work into the look and feel, trying to make the site easier to navigate as well as nicer looking, but between true bugs and imperfect ideas, we know that this isn't the end-state: that's why it's a beta! Feedback is welcome!)

What's new (or improved)?

Most obviously, the look of the page is different. We've tried to create a simpler, cleaner experience for login, submission, and navigating the site in general. Slashdot's main page is slightly simpler (but adds some pictures to ponder, too). Most importantly, we've upgraded the ways you can view the page, with three layouts you can choose from: besides the default (the "Standard" view -- that's where you'll see the pictures and brand-new layout), you can view in Classic mode (closer to the Slashdot you're used to), or Headlines mode for quick scanning. Some other changes:

  • You'll see more content, in the form of community-promoted stories, in the "All Stories" view. That means more brain candy in the form of submissions (ones you might have had to search harder for before, because they hadn't been selected by the editors as regular posts) bumped up the food chain to your view of the page.
  • For every user, there's a more informative (and just prettier) profile page to track your comments, conversations, and karma. Now, your profile page (at your option) includes a mini bio, too.
  • There's now a handy shortcut (the "Most Discussed" link) to reach the stories where the most comments are landing, whether you want to dive into the discussion as a participant or just to skim.
  • Under "Topics" in the menu bar, you can jump straight to the most active topics, too, to see what subjects are driving the most conversations.

Along with these, there are lots of smaller improvements, too, that we hope you'll find useful.

What's the same?

  • Under the hood, the same Slashdot editors are still assembling a stew of reader-driven and original news, and still bringing you original reader-participant interviews, Ask Slashdot crowd-sourced questions, and more.
  • Your submissions and suggestions are still the most important ingredient in the site. Please tell us what you think of the beta; we can't take every suggestion at the same time, but if you run into puzzling paths, borked links, or anything else that doesn't behave as you think it should, please let us know.

A big thanks to all the engineers who have worked for months to integrate the pieces that go together to make this upgrade possible. Remember, as a beta, this is an ongoing project, not The Last Word, so look forward to continuing progress as we respond to your feedback. A round of thanks, too, to our users who provided valuable feedback during the alpha stage of this redesign. We couldn't have done it without you! Note: You can sign up to be a beta or alpha tester for any new initiatives on Slashdot or be notified about any cool stuff we're working on.

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

Yuk! (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,22 days | (#45005185)

Hideous!

Re:Yuk! (2)

ColonelZen (837294) | 1 year,21 days | (#45007105)

Amen, brother. What is it with the people who think it's got to be flashy and and jump all over the place? And did plain old html suddenly become the cultural equivalent of cooties? Does it friggin have to be java-script/DOM webbie callbacks? Good grief, I find that irritating. Even odds says the slash folks are positioning for a corporate buyout and are going for the flash to get the cash. -- TWZ -- TWZ

Re:Yuk! (1)

foma84 (2079302) | 1 year,21 days | (#45007783)

Still, it's a great improvement over alpha.

Make it work without JavaScript (1)

Compaqt (1758360) | 1 year,21 days | (#45015633)

For a site which has innumerable technical readers who are clued into exploit and privacy issues, you've got a lot of people who prefer running without JavaScript. Not to mention folks who just plain prefer the web without the gimmicks.

Slashdot has worked heretofore without JavaScript, so please make the extra effort to make sure it works without it going forward.

WHY (5, Insightful)

rea1l1 (903073) | 1 year,22 days | (#45005225)

Why do websites not want to fit my screen? Where are the news summaries?

Re:WHY (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,22 days | (#45005277)

Indeed. I applaud the owners for wanting to redecorate be please don't limit us to such a narrow column. I never thought I would say it but it makes the 'old' site look good!

Re:WHY (2)

captainpanic (1173915) | 1 year,21 days | (#45012197)

If anything, increase the information density a bit. Instead, you put a circus on my screen, and removed all the stuff that matters (the text).

max-width: 32em (2)

tepples (727027) | 1 year,21 days | (#45006961)

Why do websites not want to fit my screen?

When a column of text is more than 80 characters (about 40em in CSS terms) wide, it becomes harder for the eye to find the start of the next line without skipping or repeating a line. That's why I've tended to set max-width: 32em on text columns. Besides, if you're on a 1920x1080 or 1920x1200 monitor, you can divide it into two 960px wide windows using the "Snap" or "Tile" feature of your window manager.

Re:max-width: 32em (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,21 days | (#45007555)

This, it is far nicer to have tall and thin columns than having short and fat ones. The fat ones are a real eye-sore and I can't even bother to read any site designed like that, seriously. (or if I really want to, I force the width smaller)

But the design itself is so limiting compared to the current design.
Hell, why isn't it making use of a always-visible toolbar? Whatever happened to that CSS display:whateverItWas where an element would be in a static position until the screen scrolled off it and it would become hooked to a position instead?
There are other ways to do it with simple JS, in fact maybe even CSS now using calc. (or just use a fixed sidebar, not as if anything is being used)

Why websites want to have this huge border crap at the sides is beyond me, especially an INFORMATION-heavy site.

Also, dropdowns are terrible, pls no, please just stop that. Menus are ONLY good for things accessed infrequently. (such as accounts, less used settings and stuff like that)
Everything else should be either text or icon toolbar / sidebar.
There, now you have things to fill the left side.
Now make that middle wider, or make the current sidebar wider.
There, perfect design.

Something like this.
Slashdot Beta Ideas [minus.com]

Re:max-width: 32em (1)

JohnFen (1641097) | 1 year,21 days | (#45008295)

Hell, why isn't it making use of a always-visible toolbar?

Personally, I'm really glad that it isn't. Always-visible toolbars are egregiously terrible.

Re:max-width: 32em (1)

JohnFen (1641097) | 1 year,21 days | (#45008237)

When a column of text is more than 80 characters (about 40em in CSS terms) wide, it becomes harder for the eye to find the start of the next line without skipping or repeating a line. That's why I've tended to set max-width: 32em on text columns. Besides, if you're on a 1920x1080 or 1920x1200 monitor, you can divide it into two 960px wide windows using the "Snap" or "Tile" feature of your window manager.

Sigh.

This may be true for you, but it's not for me. I hate hate hate column width limitations like this. It's even worse when in a newspaper-like format of multiple narrow columns next to each other. (So your suggestion of multiple windows is pointless to me.

What I strongly prefer is that the column which contains the articles becomes as wide as my window width allows it to be,and the text flows accordingly. Then, people such as yourself who prefer narrow columns can have them by narrowing the window, and people like myself who want them wide can have them too.

Re:max-width: 32em (1)

VortexCortex (1117377) | 1 year,21 days | (#45011337)

The fix
ot ton si
make the
eb snmuloc
more narrow.

That's counter productive, and places needless physical limitations on text when the solution has been known since ancient times,
.em tsugsid sepa ytrid nmad uoy ,lausu sA .rennam tneiciffe erom a ni sdrow nmad eht etirw dna dear gnikcuf ot nreal ylpmis nac uoy

Re:max-width: 32em (1)

captainpanic (1173915) | 1 year,21 days | (#45012209)

If you blow up the pictures of the articles so that less than 2 articles fit on my screen, it becomes harder for the eye to quickly scan multiple articles at once...

The stuff that matters is the text, and there's awfully little text on the screen at one time.

Re:WHY (1)

im_thatoneguy (819432) | 1 year,21 days | (#45008059)

Agreed. Too narrow. It's well designed to fit onto a 1024x768 monitor... even if you aren't using a 1024x768 monitor.

NO!!!! (1)

ogar572 (531320) | 1 year,22 days | (#45005285)

I am seeing this new design pattern everywhere and it's just horrid. Update functionality and not design.

Enough with the AJAX, please. Just make it work. (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,21 days | (#45008193)

I am seeing this new design pattern everywhere and it's just horrid. Update functionality and not design.

This. (Here's my screenshot and comments [imgur.com] )

The redesign in classic mode is unbelievably foul. The black-on-grey text is unreadable. The requirement for Javascript is perverse. The dorky slider bar was ugly and confusing, but it was at least functional.

The original Classic Mode with its bug of not showing the next page if a thread had more than 100 posts in it was never fixed. I guess fixing actual bugs wasn't as sexy as farking around with the latest AJAX crap.

At the moment I'm unable to figure out how to load all comments with a single mouse click, or even two mouse-slides and a single click. It's just a never-ending PgDn/LoadMoreBullshitAJAXComments with no way to know how many comments have been rendered and how many more asinine mouse clicks I have to go.

tl;dr: Anything called "Classic mode" should not require Javashit. At all. If you're not going to fix classic mode, don't break it. Anything called a UX redesign can use Javascript, but it needs a single-click method of loading the entire damn thread and presenting it in one tab. Not all of us have 24/7 connectivity. Sometimes we just want to pop open a dozen tabs of /. content and PgDn through them at our leisure, whether we're in the back seat of a car in the middle of nowhere, or crammed into an uncomfortable airline seat at 30,000 feat.

Exactly like Digg.com did!!!!! (1)

ron_ivi (607351) | 1 year,21 days | (#45009379)

Stunning how closely the new design is mirroring Digg's changes when they crashed and burned.

Both in look, and with the emphasis on editor pick (== paid ads disguised as content).

Lots of emphasis on huge images; just making it harder to skim the content.

I hope there's a text-only mode I can switch to in the new UI.

Re:Exactly like Digg.com did!!!!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,21 days | (#45012509)

Unbelievable how terrible having huge pix can be. Then again, I read slashdot for the text, not for viewing the pix...for those who just like to look at pix, the new design must be great.
On a coincidental note, the captcha today was, "manure."

Option for public terminals (2)

Amorymeltzer (1213818) | 1 year,22 days | (#45005515)

The "this is a public terminal" option was prominently displayed but is no longer there. That's a minor and simple piece of the site that could have a major impact for an individual.

Poll now REALLY unscientific (2)

Amorymeltzer (1213818) | 1 year,22 days | (#45005535)

I know the poll was never really valid, but now when I vote it takes me to the results, and presents me with the same poll but I'm not blocked out. Voting again immediately does in fact update the numbers.

How to kill a website in a single bad design (4, Insightful)

discord5 (798235) | 1 year,22 days | (#45005711)

Guys, as much as I'd like to be constructive, I find it hard to be. Seriously... WHAT THE FUCK?

Please have a look at this story [slashdot.org] and then look at this one. [slashdot.org]

The difference between the two is that one has a commenting system that's moderately useful, and the other one makes reading comments a terrible experience. Why did you pick that narrow section for the sites only redeeming value? Nobody comes here for the content, it's rehashed shit from other websites we've already read (probably twice given the fact that stuff gets reposted at least twice). We come here for discussing that stuff, not for the vapid slashvertisements and terrible stories.

You've lost your way, slashdot. You're slashdot, an elaborate forum disguised as a news site with terrible rehashed content given a spin. Kill the forum aspect, kill the site. Enjoy your asset, I hope you didn't pay too much for it if your only intent was to sink it.

Re:How to kill a website in a single bad design (3, Insightful)

Hadlock (143607) | 1 year,21 days | (#45007075)

Agreed, slashdot is a forum, as content density approaches 0, so will your users. This site redesign looks like it was designed by, and for users of Instagram. Which is about the polar opposite of the targeted crowd.
 
We want high information density, not less. Go look at a programmer's workflow, it is also high information density in tiny, tiny font (if he has good eyes). Hiring someone from the University of Low Information Density is going to kill the site unless your plan is to drive air-headed PHBs to the site for a temporary traffic bump at the cost of losing your long-term users.... which was why you bought the site in the first place, right?
 
Maybe you could cut your losses and sell slashdot to the community for $250,000 and call it a day? Buying slashdot was a terrible decision from the get-go. Killing the patient to save the arm does nobody any good.

Re:How to kill a website in a single bad design (1)

Teancum (67324) | 1 year,21 days | (#45010249)

Maybe you could cut your losses and sell slashdot to the community for $250,000 and call it a day? Buying slashdot was a terrible decision from the get-go. Killing the patient to save the arm does nobody any good.

I, for one, would gladly chip in $50 into that effort. I'm not entirely sure what sort of non-profit entity that could be established to properly run a site like Slashdot, but between the hardcore geeks and even a few lawyers that show up from time to time and post here I'm sure we could get something put together.

Besides, I think Reddit is sort of taking what steam Slashdot once had. It isn't a perfect match and of course there are other social media sites, but Slashdot has been my #1 source of geek news for quite some time. Increasingly I'm finding it doesn't have quite the edge it once had and stories are increasingly stale.

Re:How to kill a website in a single bad design (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,21 days | (#45008987)

I really hate the new design, but someone might like it, maybe on a tablet??? As indicated by the "classic" view there are options for other views. But give us a real classic like right now good clear viewing pleasure option. If we log in we can have the right flavor slashdot for us. For me it will not be the new beta...

Re:How to kill a website in a single bad design (1)

ilotgov (637717) | 1 year,21 days | (#45009151)

I totally agree to this.
What on earth got into you dear slashdot? Do you like to be just another run-of-the-mill site like so many other gizmo-tabloid sites.
I like and read slashdot every morning because it is highly concentrated information on one page. The new design dilutes the information with interleaving pictures on the front page.
If you like to change anything and keep your web developers busy look at http://www.cnx-software.com/ [cnx-software.com] as a good example.

You've broken comments; BADLY (5, Insightful)

Specter (11099) | 1 year,22 days | (#45006153)

There are at least four glaring problems with how you've redesigned the comments:

1) You're wasting at least 33% of the usable screen space for comments. I understand you need to put in some ads but after that you should be using the entire screen to display comments. The new format is hard to read and actively penalizes longer and better formatted comments. Like other posters have said: I come here for the discussions, not the stories, and this is a major turn off.

2) You've dropped the visual cues as to how far down in the thread you are. This is particularly bad in long threads because as it is designed today when I spot a flame war I can pretty easily visually skim past it to the next relevant comment. I can't do that in the new format.

3) You moved 'load more/all comments' to the end of the comments! WTF! I don't want to read down to the end of the screen, load more comments, and then have to go back to the top and try to figure out what's new. Now, you're saying to yourselves: yeah that's not how it works. Now we just add more comments onto the bottom which brings me to problem four:

4) You've removed the ability to filter on moderation rating in the story. It looks like now you're just barfing out the first X comments, regardless of moderation, and the loading X more when I hit the button. I understand how this makes #3 simpler but it's a pain the ass if on one story I want to follow the high level threads and the next I want to read at -1 so I can moderate.

Additionally: I'm really concerned that every comment has a moderate link. Be really careful here. /.'s moderation has warts but it's far and away better than any other moderation system out there. Break this and you break /.

Also on the user page you took away the ability for me see how my comments got moderated (vanity) and also to track replies to comments that I've made (breaking current functionality).

Comparing current to Beta it also looks like you increased the size of the ads. I don't like it but I can live with it.

Overall, this is much much worse.

Re:You've broken comments; BADLY (1)

boarder8925 (714555) | 1 year,22 days | (#45006641)

Specter's nailed it. Maybe you should have them consult on the design instead of whoever's working on it now.

Re:You've broken comments; BADLY (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,22 days | (#45006661)

It's so goddamn ugly I just might stop trolling here...for good! Sweet Jesus, what the fuck were they smoking?!

-- Ethanol-fueled

Re:You've broken comments; BADLY (2)

PouletFou (1221320) | 1 year,21 days | (#45007267)

Completely agree with Specter. There should at least be an option to use full-width in the home page.

Re:You've broken comments; BADLY (1)

guanxi (216397) | 1 year,21 days | (#45007287)

4) You've removed the ability to filter on moderation rating in the story. It looks like now you're just barfing out the first X comments, regardless of moderation, and the loading X more when I hit the button. I understand how this makes #3 simpler but it's a pain the ass if on one story I want to follow the high level threads and the next I want to read at -1 so I can moderate.

Additionally: I'm really concerned that every comment has a moderate link. Be really careful here. /.'s moderation has warts but it's far and away better than any other moderation system out there. Break this and you break /

I haven't tested it, but if true it would be a real blow to the site's usefulness. By default I read at the 5 threshold; I don't know how much time I'd spend reading without being able to do that. As Specter says, the comments and moderation system are by far the most important parts of the site.

Re:You've broken comments; BADLY (1)

TubeSteak (669689) | 1 year,21 days | (#45007835)

Also on the user page you took away the ability for me see how my comments got moderated (vanity) and also to track replies to comments that I've made (breaking current functionality).

This x9000
These two links should not show the same thing:
http://beta.slashdot.org/~Specter/ [slashdot.org]
http://beta.slashdot.org/~Specter/comments [slashdot.org]

compare

http://slashdot.org/~Specter/ [slashdot.org]
http://slashdot.org/~Specter/comments [slashdot.org]

And while they're at it, can they make the default posting style Plain Old Text?
It acts just like html, except you don't need to put in line breaks and links are automatically linkified.
This will lower the barrier for people who post a wall of text because they don't know any better.

Re:You've broken comments; BADLY (1)

PapaBoojum (232247) | 1 year,21 days | (#45008573)

The new design treats the comments as an afterthought. Speaking for myself, I come to slashdot mainly FOR the comments and discussions. The articles are just the seed for the discussion. Why do we need a big honking picture on every story? Won't the story link have relevant pictures?

This new design is simply butt-ugly. Ugly enough to make want to come to slashdot a whole lot less.

Re:You've broken comments; BADLY (1)

Soulskill (1459) | 1 year,21 days | (#45008647)

Thanks for the detailed feedback, it's very much appreciated.

Re:You've broken comments; BADLY (1)

Tackhead (54550) | 1 year,21 days | (#45011857)

So what's the plan going forward? I've had a couple of hours to cool down and formulate my objections more objectively.

1) Images: Meh, I can take 'em or leave 'em. I can understand users' frustration, but they're trivial to block client-side.

2) Whitespace:

Narrow the spacing between lines.

It's like reading in doublespaced/triplespaced form.

3) Whitespace. I think people have
told you the fixed-width column
was too narrow. But just in case,
here's another reminder.

4) Content and presentation of article summaries:
(From the click-to-expand department)

All that whitespace, and you can't even display the full article summary? Because some web designer said all summaries had to fit within a maximum number of vertical pixels before requiring a mouse click? And you(...rest of this objection after the jump ... *click*)
believed him? Really? :)

5) Comments. User numbers (UIDs) need to be displayed. They're a useful indicator age of account and therefore useful for helping mentally filter trolls/shills. (Umm, sorry, noobs, but if your UID indicates an account created in the past day or so, it takes me a while to accept you as a regular ;)

6) Comments. Timestamps need to be timestamps. Sometimes it's critical to know who was the first to make a joke or link to a reference. "A few minutes ago" or "An hour ago" isn't enough. Going further out, "Two years ago" is meaningless if you're talking about things like whether someone called a corporate takeover or tech development before or after the news actually came out. To illustrate the problem by way of example, "1 year ago" could mean at any time during 2012, 2013, or 2014, for any time period from 8 months ago to 18 months from now, and is no longer useful for gauging whether someone successfully predicted the eventual fate of Blackbrry. Slashdot is an easily-googlable source of record, and it's *vital* to know on what day it reported on something.

P.S. Just because you read it on a blog doesn't mean it's true. http://graysky.org/2013/09/blog-timestamp/ [graysky.org] And even this author notes that for some publishing, the timing is highly relevant. If you want to be the blog of record, your content is such content.

7) Comments. Needs filtering or a one-click-load-all-comments button.

D1, its bugs notwithstanding, could do this with three middle clicks into new tabs of about 100 comments per tab.

D2 could do this with two drags over the slider and a load-all-comments. (or a load-500-comments and then a load-all-comments).

D3 doesn't seem to be able to do this as far as I can tell.

8) Black-on-grey is less readable than black-on-white.

Sorry, OS X people, this is fail. I can tolerate this only because I can manually override it client-side. It's horrible and makes the site unreadable, but, well, it's something even an idiot like me can forcibly override client-side in 5 minutes. It's hardly the worst defect of the redesign.

9) Floating DIVs. Really? *REALLY?!?!* Some of us use something other than mice or greasy fingers on touchscreens to scroll.

10) Auto-refresh. There's a preference to disable this, right? Right?

11) Will D1 be preserved? I felt that D2 was something I could adapt to, and on occasion, I prefer its presentation to that of D1. This is unusable, and I will leave if it goes through as presented.

12) Like most UX redesigns, I know that the overwhelming flood of negative feedback will be ignored. We're just the users. We don't know a thing about design, and it's the designer's attitude that matters, not whether it's usable or not.

This means I'm likely to be leaving for other places soon. I'm not sure where I'll go yet, but I'll find a community somewhere. Fark's fun but nontechnical. Digg's dead, and good riddance. Reddit requires too many mouse clicks to do anything. HN is clean, elegant, technical, informative and so bone-dry sterile that I can only go there once a day.

Thank you for 15 years of providing a place for funsightformative coments. There was truly no place like this. I respect that the Dice sale was as good an exit as you could have made under the circumstances (I thought SlashBI might have actually gotten some traction given some time), but failing to prevent their UX people from killing Slashdot was a pretty ignoble end to what was once a proud website. Good luck in your future endeavors, but if there's no D1/D2 preservation, I'm afraid I won't be riding this train to wherever it's going.

Signing off,
5-digit-club, with 43 achievements, 2^9 +5 comments, 2^8 consecutive daily reads, embarassingly low 2^2 metamod score; I suppose I'd have metamoderated more often if the UI for that hadn't been broken in the upgrade to Slashdot 2.0, (I still don't know if +/- means that the comment was good/bad, or if the moderation done to the comment was fair/unfair, and yes, that distinction is important in the case of "+1 Funny" vs "-1 Flamebait" because the mod missed the joke) and maybe it's fitting that Diana Moon Glampers: UX Designer [slashdot.org] was my last +5.

(P.S.: Does anyone know how I can tell how many comments I've posted in total? I'd like to know before I go.)

Re:You've broken comments; BADLY (1)

Teancum (67324) | 1 year,21 days | (#45010299)

Nailed it. I especially hate the user comments section now, not to mention that one of the things I have liked in the past about Slashdot is that Rob Malda actually took the time to look up the official HTML spec and make a really usable site. Yes, "times have changed", but that doesn't mean you need to try out every one of the latest gizmos and gadgets in HTML just because they exist.

Slashdot has also been typically one of the few sites I've been able to load when my bandwidth is poor, and now that is no longer the case with this Beta. I'm not saying that you should design the site for a 9600 baud dial-up connection, but you also shouldn't need a gigabit connection either.

I also love the borders around the comment boxes to know how many comments deep something is getting, which includes seeing in an obvious manner where the really juicy arguments are happening. All of that is now gone!

This isn't just complaining because it is different, these are reasoned complaints because it just sucks. While you don't necessarily need to perfect, it is very important to not suck if you are doing something this drastic. Heck, I wasn't a huge fan of the last time Slashdot did such a major overhaul of the site, but at least it didn't suck that badly.

Specter Plus (2)

mynamestolen (2566945) | 1 year,22 days | (#45006561)

I agree with Specter and would add: The system is already poor on a number of points and this doesn't fix them. 1. I'd like to see a system where the best comments, from the category I select as user (I'm interested in informative, not funny) rise to the top. 2. I'd like to see a category for "already said above" and if modded thus it a down-vote (would stop ppl endlessly saying the same thing without bothering to read comments already made). Somehow, even if I set my level to five, I still get repetitive dross. Also, will you be supporting unicode?

Re:Specter Plus (2)

basscomm (122302) | 1 year,21 days | (#45008649)

2. I'd like to see a category for "already said above" and if modded thus it a down-vote (would stop ppl endlessly saying the same thing without bothering to read comments already made).

It's been a while since I had mod points. Has the 'redundant' mod option been removed?

Generic blog design (1)

a2ms (1722742) | 1 year,22 days | (#45006607)

Sorry, but the new design looks very generic, like any other mediocre tech blog. I feel like I am seeing too many images instead of the summaries, I like slashdot because I can just open it and read to the point, now I have to scroll through useless images. Also where are the controls for filtering comments? and the scores for each comment seems to be gray-out, which in my opinion makes the moderating system irrelevant. Finally the design seems to be optimized for small screens, but in a big screen with a big resolution, I fill that all the text in the article and comments is crammed into a column which is about 1/4th of the screen. I hope you consider the feedback and make changes accordingly.

Re:Generic blog design (1)

wooferhound (546132) | 1 year,21 days | (#45010765)

And
the summaries are incomplete and there is a READ MORE button, that takes the Suck Factor off the top of the scale for me. Post the summaries in their entirety, always.

Re:Generic blog design (1)

wooferhound (546132) | 1 year,21 days | (#45010903)

Plus
Now I cant get more than 50 comments to a page, on the new site or the old one. The Load/Check New Comments button does not do anything.

Some feedback (1)

jones_supa (887896) | 1 year,22 days | (#45006705)

The main page looks refreshing and nice. Tree structure of comments is now harder to follow though. The classic version with clear borders around comments and ample usage of horizontal page was much more comfortable. I hope the main page autorefresh has been removed (or an option to turn it off), I always find it annoying in the current version. Now would also be excellent moment to roll in the long-awaited Unicode support.

Nice functionality, but too generic visually (2)

guanxi (216397) | 1 year,21 days | (#45006957)

My first response is that the functionality is clear and intuitive, but it has lost its visual personality; it looks a lot like other websites. My amateur eye would attribute it to losing much the weight of the green, the horizontal stripes that were the background for each headline, and the curved borders.

Re:Nice functionality, but too generic visually (1)

guanxi (216397) | 1 year,21 days | (#45007071)

My first response is that the functionality is clear and intuitive, but it has lost its visual personality; it looks a lot like other websites. My amateur eye would attribute it to losing much the weight of the green, the horizontal stripes that were the background for each headline, and the curved borders.

I should add to my own comment ...

I'm not saying you shouldn't change or that you need to keep those old visual elements. I'm suggesting that it should be more visually distinctive from other websites (conveying that Slashdot is a special, unique place), and that you might remind old readers more that it is still Slashdot.

Re:Nice functionality, but too generic visually (1)

guanxi (216397) | 1 year,21 days | (#45007207)

I'll add one more idea:

Part of Slashdot's personality, to me, is that it's an idiosyncratic place, with its own perspective and ways of doing things, and it's a bit old-school with its long history. Those things give your site character; there are lots of tech blogs out there that don't have any and they don't stand out.

The appearance reflected that; I'd be careful about making it too generic.

Eye Noise (1)

andywest (1722392) | 1 year,21 days | (#45007231)

There is way too much visual noise. The images (and I mean images, not icons) are unnecessary and distracting. I would suggest you remove them and find some way to do without them.

Re:Eye Noise (4, Informative)

Soulskill (1459) | 1 year,21 days | (#45008675)

If you'd rather browse without the images, you can click on the icon at the top right of the story column [imgur.com] and switch it to 'Classic' view. Sorry that wasn't made more clear!

Re:Eye Noise (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,21 days | (#45009113)

The UIDs seems to have disappeared in the new layout. Where do I click to get them back?

Re:Eye Noise (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,21 days | (#45011055)

"Sorry it wasn't made more clear"

I fail to see how you could have made that less clear.

Re:Eye Noise (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,21 days | (#45015647)

Calling it "classic" is an insult for those of us who still use the classic (D1) discussion system.

All this seems to do is hide the pictures using CSS; and glitchy too: they visibly load on each refresh, then hide.

Re:Eye Noise (1)

andywest (1722392) | 1 year,21 days | (#45017145)

Found the broken-square symbol and tried it. Now the beta looks much better.

Copying Everyone Else (1)

The Atog Lord (230965) | 1 year,21 days | (#45007447)

Again and again, we see user interface designers copying the popular and trendy interface elements of the day. I have always been able to rely on Slashdot to maintain a good website design, but it appears that this beta abandons all of that to follow the grazing herd. The banner atop the screen insists on stalking me, even as I scroll away from it. The enormous right column dominates the entire page with its worthless blank space. And worst of all, the designers have followed the recent fad of covering the entire page in jittery hover-text, making the website feel unstable and jumpy. In summary, I think that these changes to the design of Slashdot will make it more "hip," more "tendy," and definitely less usable. Not unlike what happened with Digg. I would really hope that, if Slashdot does have the poor taste to execute these changes, they will at least give long-time users such as myself the option to use the "old" and far more solid page design.

terrible (1)

datapharmer (1099455) | 1 year,21 days | (#45007741)

The new design hurts my eyes. Seriously. It is difficult to read and cluttered while there is a ton of white space and ads on the site. Give us an option to spread the information across the screen since we have widescreen displays! I hate having to scroll that much!

Oh, and instead of trying to give the site a facelift how about fixing the fact that the headline for Message 27171508 keeps showing up under the right column but when I delete all or delete it it comes right back and whenever I try to view it by clicking the headline it just says "Message 27171508 not found". I filed a ticket about this as have many others:

https://sourceforge.net/p/slashcode/bugs/4474/ [sourceforge.net]
https://sourceforge.net/p/slashcode/bugs/4545/ [sourceforge.net]
https://sourceforge.net/p/slashcode/bugs/4469/ [sourceforge.net]
https://sourceforge.net/p/slashcode/bugs/4454/ [sourceforge.net]
https://sourceforge.net/p/slashcode/bugs/4438/ [sourceforge.net]


FIX IT!!!!

Totally useless narrow layout (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,21 days | (#45007957)

Now the site takes at least 5x as much space vertically per story and fills only about 1/3 of the width of my browser window. Just like many other useless sites. If I want things narrow, I'll have a narrow browser window and the site should adjust like the old Slashdot does. Sure, the new site adjusts even narrower, which is good, but this ridiculous limit on the max width because some dingbat's eyes can't scan more than 32em is just plain wrong. Modern monitors are squat and wide so you should accommodate them as well as folks that like vertical orientation.

Narrow = less usable (1)

bill_mcgonigle (4333) | 1 year,21 days | (#45008241)

Looking at classic view of the home page on both layouts, I've got three full stories/summaries on my screen on the old layout and one story and half of the headline of a second story with the new layout.

I'm running a 24" LCD panel at 1920x1200 and there's only room for one story/summary - making me scroll a lot doesn't seem like progress. If anything, a redesign should allow us to have more content on the screen (don't be an also-ran, channel your inner Tufte!)

Granted, it's shinier.

There goes the neightboor (1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,21 days | (#45008381)

Ugly "metro" like design? really?

I dont hang around for news... arstechnica is for that
for informed discutions: are there better specific "on topic" forum pages
but, for all around nerd gallimaufry... slashdot was as discution centered and free of image fluff, as the ajax non sense can permit.

Rats! dam blog magazine graphics design... slashdot "has been" >:-

I like it (1)

Ragzouken (943900) | 1 year,21 days | (#45008403)

I like it, but pleeeease do not keep the moderations in all caps

Older/newer links (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,21 days | (#45008433)

The "Older" stories link should be on the right and point to the right (forward) and the "Newer" stories link should be on the left (pointing back), since the newer stories come first (earlier) in the list.

Drowning in whitespace (1)

harvestsun (2948641) | 1 year,21 days | (#45008869)

Seriously. This is not just bad, it's unusable. Even with my 1080p monitor, only 4-5 comments fit on the page at a time. And with no ability to collapse/expand? What were you guys THINKING, seriously. The whole point people use this site is for the comments, and you've made the comment system impossible to navigate efficiently.

This is horrible for portrait monitors (1)

elusive_one (2525924) | 1 year,21 days | (#45008875)

Lots of people use portrait monitors and the redesign makes the site horrible to use. So much wasted space! It's also just ugly with it's digg a version or two back/metro style. Slashdot. The new Digg. This boat is sinking if they move forward with this change.

why do web designers hate their users? (2)

mothlos (832302) | 1 year,21 days | (#45008885)

As mentioned elsewhere, you seem to think that people don't actually use their screen real-estate. You are throwing away nearly a quarter of my browser's horizontal space for empty regions which fail to contain my gaze in the information I care about. You then go and give two-fifths of the used space to the right-hand side-bar which contains your adverts, yes, but it also means that the region remaining for the story summaries is inadequate. If I have the images on, many summaries require scrolling to get through.

The stalking header bar is useless. It contains links to things which I might want to utilize upon visiting, but when I am paging down to read stories, I'm not suddenly going to think, "I need to submit a new link." or "I can't remember what site I am on and need a link to it.". It just steals vertical space in a world where people have an excess of horizontal space on their screens. Stalking elements also break the idea of a web page of being a page which the user is examining through, which is not only creepy, but it makes it more difficult to maintain a spatial awareness on the page.

There is insufficient visual hinting regarding the boundaries of stories. Visual hinting allows people to more efficiently navigate information by ignoring what isn't important to them. In particular, the story titles are in a font which takes up too much space (too many stories have multi-line titles) and the font weight is so low as to not give them sufficient contrast. Speaking of contrast, the light grey frame is far too weak to create a box for the story. You also are trying to use white space to organize the data within a story element, but it just means that nothing in it anchors the reader's gaze requiring constant reevaluation.

Comments are just fucked. You have thrown out a somewhat successful threading system for an unnavigable mess. Even more than stories, the ability to skip comments is essential to find the parts of a conversation the reader finds interesting. The lack of width and size of overhead for each comment, plus the fact that auto-minimizing of comments isn't functional makes it just a stream of awful.

For all of the slamming of skeuomorphism and seeming praise for iconocentric user interfaces which gets promoted on this site, this pedestrian redesign to look like an AOL blog site is utter crap. Are there improvements to be made to the old design? Absolutely. It would be less offensive if this particular redesign was actually trying something new instead of regurgitating the crap which is already out there.

Re:why do web designers hate their users? (1)

Stumbles (602007) | 1 year,21 days | (#45009621)

Agree about your horizontal/empty regions ala the Wordpress look which I really, really dislike.

Contrast (1)

mrclevesque (1413593) | 1 year,21 days | (#45008991)

At first scan,

I immediately changed to classic view because the new view involves too much scrolling to scan the stories and I want to see the text, so headlines only is no good.

I feel there is not enough contrast between each story's background and the page background. It doesn't take a lot, a bit more contrast would do.

How do I manage what comments I see ?

The page width in the comments is not wide enough.

The right column is too wide (but story and comment width seem ok if I reduce the width of my browser : the right column appears to go to the bottom of the page).

Best,
MArc

Why remove the tags? (1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,21 days | (#45009399)

I really like the tags, not because they are especially accurate or something but because they give a quick first impression of the community.
Take the 'the Netherlands' tag in a story about Belgium; the tag alone made me read the comments.

The death of a community (1)

SampleFish (2769857) | 1 year,21 days | (#45010347)

I remember watching the Tech Republic die after they did a similar site redesign. Sure, the website still exists but the community left. That site used to be all about a huge community of geeks who would just sit around talking about how they solved problems. Now it's a vapid wasteland. Slashdot is a fun way to read the news but after this redesign I predict most people will permanently move to Reddit.

Nine out of Ten Slashdotters agree... (1)

Alsee (515537) | 1 year,21 days | (#45011945)

Slashdot Beta, worse than New Coke.

-

a tad late for april fools! (1)

smylingsam (312959) | 1 year,21 days | (#45012425)

Well, im not certain what to say to you all. You've all done allot of work. To me this seems like the wrong work, but you certainly did it well. I don't understand why you would take such effort to change what was not broken, and I just hope you've thought this through because you all are taking quite a risk.

I wish you all the best of luck. Ill be rooting for you. Perhaps a facelift will help the site stay relevant and thrive. I'll try to keep visiting if you roll this change out . Really Ill try. I promise to even try to use the new features. However you should know how many site redesigns I've seen over the years and that its changes like this that alienate me.

Seriously though, I hope you know what you're doing. I am trying not to be rude about this, nor do I want to say ill leave the site because ill try not to. Over the years, Slashdot has held allot of value for me, but the proposed change may lessen that value.

  I cant help but feel that the oatmeal comic at http://theoatmeal.com/comics/design_hell [theoatmeal.com]
  should be considered a cautionary tale for your review.

p.s. poster really is dyslexic and I did not bother with a grammar or style checker. deal.

HuffPost? ETOnline? What Is This Beta? (1)

markstrelecki (1378435) | 1 year,20 days | (#45018535)

We can look at Huffpost or ETOnline if we want a visually bloated presentation. The /. we know and love is compact succinct and test-based. Long may she ever be.

Slashdot replaced Usenet for a reason (1)

Reziac (43301) | 1 year,19 days | (#45036247)

I spent 14 mod points on the main discussion, so I'll drop my comments on the Horrible Beta here:

Slashdot was basically the geek crowd's replacement for Usenet. Slashdot came along about the time Usenet became unusable due to spam and trolls. Slashdot succeeded largely because the format was plain and functional -- basically it worked like a glorified newsreader (and the mod system does a good-enough job culling spam and trolls). What it looks like ... well, Usenet wasn't pretty either, but it was efficient for discussions. In fact, someone in the main discussion suggested offering Slashdot as an NNTP feed, as the world's only living replacement for Usenet.

NO ONE COMES HERE TO ADMIRE THE VIEW. We come here to discuss stuff, just like we did on Usenet. If you turn it into a blog with comments -- that encourages the one-shot spam and troll comments, and the ranters, but it KILLS the back-and-forth discourse that fuels discussions.

As it stands, Slashdot is easy to use, quick to peruse, and functions well to fill a niche that nothing else does anymore. It doesn't force us to use the software of YOUR choice, either -- Slashdot's current interface scrapes by in even the most primitive browser. I don't have to install an update just to talk to people. (Nor would I.)

Change it to be just like every other site, enrroute changing it so only the latest and greatest browser displays it halfway correctly (the "no images" icon is absent for me too) and most of us will leave. If there's no rapidly-appearing replacement that's just as discussion-friendly, we'll dissipate into the ether and be lost.

But Slashdot won't keep us.

I say that with sadness. I've been here since 1998. I've had a paid subscription since 2000 or so. There is NO other site that has kept me this long, and NO other site that I've given money to. But if it becomes the inefficient, discussion-unfriendly mess of Digg or any of a dozen others I've tried and left over the years, there's no reason to waste my time here.

In fact, given how annoying the beta interface is all around (and I wandered around as best I could), if I were new here today, I wouldn't stay long enough to post a single comment, and I'd never be back. I'd sure as hell never subscribe.

People who want discussions DON'T WANT OTHER CRAP IN THE WAY. It's that simple. KEEP it simple.

Fonts (1)

Reziac (43301) | 1 year,19 days | (#45036319)

Try increasing font size to 130% or so (which some of us with aging eyes must do to read the screen comfortably). All the undisplayed comments become a continuous unreadable mess, impossible to tell what belongs to which.

This problem is commonly seen in bad Wordpress styles, too. Hmm...

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