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Designer on Slashdot Overhaul Plans

CmdrTaco posted more than 8 years ago | from the hey-wait-is-he-calling-me-stupid dept. 469

EdwardianDandy writes "Web designer Khoi Vinh, whose firm Behavior is responsible for the redesign of the Onion, argues on that an upcoming contest to overhaul Slashdot's look will yield interesting results, but the outcome will suffer because the underlying architecture is off limits." Normally I don't post stuff "About" Slashdot here since I find meta naval gazing very boring, but this article has many good points about architecture and design, even if his whole premise is based on a contest that we haven't spent more than about 5 minutes thinking about, and is mostly just meant to be a fun way for users to contribute themes to Slashdot. If Khoi wants to enter the contest, we'll consider his designs along with everyone else's. (I'm sure we can't afford him tho). And if he (or anyone) wants to make changes more substantial than cosmetic CSS, I'd consider them too. The upcoming Slashdot Redesign contest is intended to be more about design than architecture, but good ideas are good ideas.

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Slash Light (5, Insightful)

(1+-sqrt(5))*(2**-1) (868173) | more than 8 years ago | (#13816525)

A small request: whatever we finally decide to do, let's keep Slash Light.

Re:Slash Light (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13816811)

One major thing that brings me back to slashdot, is how easy it is on the eyes. You aren't assaulted with multiple columns of content or gaudy, interleaved ads. It's right to the point, top to bottom. The front page of the onion looks like a bomb went off in the middle of some content. You have stories all over the place. Slashdot also isn't like other tech news sites where you have 20% story, %80 related links or other fluff. It's story, user reaction. Given that most of the site's content, and the whole idea of the site is based on community, anything other than a chronological top down design would ruin what slashdot is.

If it's not broke, don't fix it.

Her own? (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13816543)

"it's now possible for any enterprising designer to develop a new, production-ready (or nearly ready) 'skin' for the site completely on her own."

I told you guys! Once we shaped up and went CSS the females would be all over us! I'm talking SKIN!

Re:Her own? (1)

LiquidCoooled (634315) | more than 8 years ago | (#13816585)

thats because CSS is for girls.

Men use hand crafted HTML bolted together with blood sweat and perl.

Re:Her own? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13816719)

bolted together with blood sweat and perl.


Anyone done work on this already? (2, Interesting)

Short Circuit (52384) | more than 8 years ago | (#13816545)

Mind showing off your work-in-progress?

Re:Anyone done work on this already? (1)

rosewood (99925) | more than 8 years ago | (#13816818)

Why would someone do that? Considering the rewards here, I would keep my code VERY controled. I know, open source love and all but don't be silly.

Question for oldies. (5, Interesting)

Almond Paste (838493) | more than 8 years ago | (#13816548)

How old is the current design? Is this the originial design from whenever this site started? Enlighten me!

Re:Question for oldies. (4, Informative)

bram (490) | more than 8 years ago | (#13816665)

more or less.

The menus and blocks around the content were added later.
Also, now with the css and stuff there are gradients where there weren't.

Overall it still looks the same as in the beginning. Although a bit heavier. :)

The onion redesign isn't very good (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13816551)

I find the new Onion design too busy and hard to navigate. The old design was simple, clean and the Infographcs and American Voices were easier to read. Maybe that's just my opinion...

Re:The onion redesign isn't very good (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13816574)

I agree. The new design blows. I rarely bother to read it any more.

Re:The onion redesign isn't very good (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13816614)

Agreed. The new Onion design is apparently optimized for maximum number of ad presentations rather than user readability.

With the old format, I poured over almost all the Onion. Now I barely scan whatever they have on the front page on my way to read the Horoscopes, and that's the only section I access.

Too bad. It was a nice site. If slashdot goes down the same path, too bad. At least my job productivity will go up.

Re:The onion redesign isn't very good (1)

parkrrrr (30782) | more than 8 years ago | (#13816615)

Also, the new Onion page doesn't work with Firefox and Flashblock. Something about the code they use to place Flash conditionally pukes and spews code fragments all over the page.

At least someone finally pulled their head out of their ass long enough to get rid of all the stupid little Flash section headers.

Re:The onion redesign isn't very good (5, Insightful)

froboy (580500) | more than 8 years ago | (#13816736)

"isn't very good" is a kind, kind way of putting it. It went from a simple and easy to navigate site to an overgrown mess in the course of a couple months. One of the greatest tragedies of moden web design is the endless need to make sites more complicated and seemingly "busier." A vast majority of what I see on webpages could be just as effective with simple HTML rather than the mess of flash/java/shockwave, etc... that is needlessly being thrown around these days. I agree that it is time to shake things up a bit here at slashdot, I only hope that the powers that be opt to stick with a relatively simple design so that content does not get mired down in window dressing.

Annoying intro ad at Onion (1)

jurt1235 (834677) | more than 8 years ago | (#13816803)

So if we let Khoi go ahead, we will have to click "skip ad" everytime we enter too?
The onion is unreadable anyway, but I guess that is the trend: Make it unreadable so people will accidentilly click on the ads?

The Onion is dead. Long live The Onion! (4, Insightful)

Marx_Mrvelous (532372) | more than 8 years ago | (#13816841)

Agreed, I used to read The Onion religiously, but now I don't bother anymore. The new site is a disaster, and it's all about generating revenue through obtrusive ads. The "new" Onion is a corporate shill. I'd be ashamed to be associated with that site, let alone advertise that I created that trainwreck of a perfectly good (great!) site.

Re:The onion redesign isn't very good (4, Insightful)

Dr. Digg (143072) | more than 8 years ago | (#13816848)

The Onion's previous format really fit; now - well, yuck.

It's another case of a self-proclaimed expert forcing their own perceived expertise on the end-user without bothering to take the end-user into account. I've run into a couple of these. While the good ones can be good, the bad ones lack insight and just move on making the same mistake. Unfortunately, they also have a tendency to move up the corporate ladder.

Re:The onion redesign isn't very good (1)

LnxAddct (679316) | more than 8 years ago | (#13816871)

Yea, The Onion is worse than any of those horrendous web portals I remember from back in the day. You're eyes have to scan the entire page to figure out where content is. You've got to do too much reading just to figure out what is worth reading and what isn't. On slashdot it is simple, right in the middle of the page is the blurb followed by a link to comment, there may also be links in the blurb. Even better, you are given a concise title that lets you know if the blurb is worth reading. Your focus is kept on th center, it is where the meat of the site is, one quick scan down the titles on the page and you can decide what is worth following up on, the titles are clearly marked as well. On the onion, the site is literally plastered with sections just full of links, crammed into small spaces, horrible placement, seemingly random, and little to no description. But in all honesty, the guy who wrote this story doesn't have an impressive site either, it looks like some amateur web design is getting to big for his britches.

Re:The onion redesign isn't very good (1)

jadeonly (923761) | more than 8 years ago | (#13816894)

I agree. Maybe on reason copying a news site doesn't work is that on the Onion I like to read everything whereas on a news site I only want an article or two. The new onion doesn't make reading everything as easy as it was before.

Yellow grid (1)

autolycos (720587) | more than 8 years ago | (#13816552)

That's not printed on the paper. That's proof that your mother was right. You'll go blind doing that. It always starts with the yellow grid...

Thinking about this... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13816553)

Where did I put my ten foot pole?

Naval gazing? (2, Funny)

rpresser (610529) | more than 8 years ago | (#13816555)

When did the Navy get involved with Slashdot?

Re:Naval gazing? (1)

GoatMonkey2112 (875417) | more than 8 years ago | (#13816604)

It was around the same time they started growing oranges.

ASp alert, beware of the hole! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13816647)

The third link is an ASP site. Beware when clicking on the click, it may already have been "redesigned" by the time you get to it!

Several years ago (1, Funny)

wiredog (43288) | more than 8 years ago | (#13816682)

Slashdot published a story detailing how the use of Windows NT 4 resulted in an aircraft carrier being towed back into port. Ever since than, the US Navy has been infiltrating the Slashbot Army.

Now the Annapolis Grads are ready to make their move...

Those darn vowels are so annoying. (0)

Futurepower(R) (558542) | more than 8 years ago | (#13816697)

It's a variation of stomich pondering.

hands off! (5, Insightful)

DustyCase (619304) | more than 8 years ago | (#13816557)

I hope this guy keeps his hands off of /. because the new Onion design gives me a headache. Swapping a clean, streamlined design for a USA-Today ripoff isn't my idea of progress.

Re:hands off! (3, Insightful)

Waffle Iron (339739) | more than 8 years ago | (#13816815)

I just compared the new layout with an old version of the Onion on the Wayback Machine. IMO, the worst thing about the new layout is that the Onion is supposed to be a collection of jokes. For some reason, looking at a two-dimensional grid of jokes just doesn't work very well.

The old layout basically had a single column of story headers, so you saw the jokes in a linear fashion. You read one, chuckle, maybe open the story in a background tab, and move on to the next one. In the new layout, I find my eyes darting all over the page as I try to skim all the headings. It's too distracting. They also only allocate a fraction of the old space for a text summary, so it's harder to get a good idea of whether the story is any good. When in doubt, I usually don't bother clicking.

Re:hands off! (1)

Myko (11551) | more than 8 years ago | (#13816847)

Nor is the 10 second page load it took me to get all of the content...

Me thinks the articles author thinks too much (2, Insightful)

grasshoppa (657393) | more than 8 years ago | (#13816559)

Seriously, this guy needs something else to worry about.

As I see it, the founders didn't decree anything: There are rules to any contest. And given how much backend work el founders probably wanted to do ( ie: none. If it ain't borked, don't fix it ), this makes perfect sense.

Rococo (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13816573)

Please stay away from Flash and whiz-bang javascript features. Nice and minimal, efficient delivery of content over purty visual bloat, please.

A ship, looking at ships? (-1, Redundant)

jfoust2 (43840) | more than 8 years ago | (#13816588)

Ah, Slashdot: Smart enough to use the big words, not smart enough to spell correctly. (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13816594)

is ridiculously obnoxious to view. Everything's too compressed and diffifult to find. There's nothing eye-catching or particularly aesthetically pleasing about the site any more. Also, it's so homogenized that I don't feel inclined to wade through all the same-sized font headlines to find funny stories. It frustrated me so much that I subscribed to the printed version instead. Unless /. is planning on going print, let's not do anything drastic...

I hope he does a better job than on The Onion (1)

The Grassy Knoll (112931) | more than 8 years ago | (#13816601)

It's far more cluttered than it used to be. Not every online paper needs to look like USA Today (or whatever).

Also, does anyone like the re-design? Almost exactly the same problem...


Re:I hope he does a better job than on The Onion (1)

earthpig (227603) | more than 8 years ago | (#13816862)

i have the same problem with Salon also. It's harder to navigate than before and looks unfriendly. just like the onion

Aha! (5, Insightful)

Zaffo (755234) | more than 8 years ago | (#13816602)

So he's the one responsible for befouling my precious Onion.

I realize the debate over homogeneity and efficiency of content/ad presentation is one that will never die, but there's something to be said about the sentimentality attached to site layouts. It's like that old pub you love going to getting remodeled with gear from Ikea or something. There's nothing inherently wrong with it, but it also doesn't feel right, either. :(

Re:Aha! (5, Insightful)

Nqdiddles (805995) | more than 8 years ago | (#13816667)

Just doesn't feel right at all anymore.
The first time I saw the redesigned site I was really confused. Trying to sort the ads from the stories in a page that looks like it's in the middle of rush hour!
Please slashdot! Don't let that guy anywhere near your site!

Random thoughts... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13816603)

The Onion can afford him but, Slashdot can't? Who's making off with Slashdot's cash?

Naval gazing? Taco finds looking at ships boring?

Why do people always make excuses? "I don't usually..." "I don't mean to disturb..." I don't want to butt in..." and yet they always charge on in.

Why the hell do I read this site anymore? More over, why do I post my pearls for the cretins. Someone will probably answer to tell me that it's spelt Perl...

Re:Random thoughts... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13816780)

It's spelt Perl.
And you can keep them to yourself.

Not a nub. (2, Insightful)

Helgunn (923078) | more than 8 years ago | (#13816607)

When I stopped being a nub and actually edited my prefences and figured out what everything is, I made /. good for me and now I have no problems or confusion. :)

so.. (3, Interesting)

ianmassey (743270) | more than 8 years ago | (#13816613)

In effect, the site's information architecture *IS* up for redesign? possibly? thus negating the limiting factors of the original contest announcement? I agree with the article for the most part, in that good design is generally reliant for usability upon a solid foundation of content structuring underneath, but I think that in Slashdot's case, a hell of a lot of good could come from just scrapping and rewriting the "look and feel" from the ground up. Setting aside complaints about timeliness and originality of content lately, I think that Slashdot's main problem is that if anything, the information it contains is TOO categorized and divided. You could spend an hour just familiarizing yourself with all the various "sections", and that's not even considering shit like "Ask Slashdot" and other regular types of submissions/articles with their own special little names that would confound a newbie to the point of exasperation. There's no good way to simplify a juggernaut like slashdot, there is simply too much out there, and it has too large a community for any 180 degree changes in how it works. I think the best that can be done is a dramatic re-think of the UI, and a reliance on site search to get at the older innards.

Re:so.. (0)

lpangelrob (714473) | more than 8 years ago | (#13816877)

Absolutely... there's a lot of links over there on the left that don't belong on the main page, and the concept of sections and topics when you're submitting a story seems to be either ignored or changed during the submission anyway (in my experience). Why is there "3 more" or "2 more" under sections -- I've never seen them, nor is there an apparent way to get to them... which must mean they're unnecessary.

Hell, why is the BSD section even still around?

Taco, you're absolutely right (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13816620)

Meta navel gazing IS boring.

Navel-gazing (4, Interesting)

Speare (84249) | more than 8 years ago | (#13816625)

Normally I don't post stuff "About" Slashdot here since I find meta naval gazing very boring,

This brings many things into sharp focus. Lack of ethical caching of small sites. Lack of basic story duplication review. Lack of basic grammar review. Lack of basic journalistic fact-checking. Troubling comments that charge karma backlash to those who defy the editors. Lack of awareness that Slashdot is expected by its subscribers and would-be subscribers to behave like the professional corporate concern which it is, and not an unpaid hobby blog which it may have been in the distant past.

Come on, Taco. Some regular "navel gazing" is how things improve over time. Is Slashdot worth so little to you?

Re:Navel-gazing (5, Funny)

RobotRunAmok (595286) | more than 8 years ago | (#13816721)

D00D, leave my boy Taco alone!! He said "naval gazing." He was talking about taking the afternoon off and watching the Coast Guard maneuvers off the shore of Lake Michigan.

Guy works hard, wants to slip out early, watch some cool ships sail around, what's the problem?


Re:Navel-gazing (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13816724)

I find meta naval gazing very boring

How about proofreading, Taco? Is that also too boring?

Re:Navel-gazing (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13816735)

good points, but I doubt he will even read them

Re:Navel-gazing (1)

tgd (2822) | more than 8 years ago | (#13816741)

LNUX: Real-Time ECN: 1.35 +0.00 (0.00%) 18 Oct at 9:54AM ET

Yes, its worth so little to him.

Re:Navel-gazing (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13816767)

>Is Slashdot worth so little to you?

Have you see the history of VA stock?

Re:Navel-gazing (2, Insightful)

goldspider (445116) | more than 8 years ago | (#13816830)

Great post, first rate!

I think most of the issues people have with Slashdot have nothing to do with the design, but rather the underlying mechanics that run it.

The CSS upgrade was a great idea, if long overdue. An upgrade to the professionalism of the site owners is also long overdue.

No this isn't a personal attack on the editors; rather it is a challenge to them to improve Slashdot by paying closer attention to the important details that the parent so thoroughly pointed out. Slashdot is good; but they can make it great with a little diligence and effort.

Re:Navel-gazing (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13816902)

Lack of awareness that Slashdot is expected by its subscribers and would-be subscribers to behave like the professional corporate concern which it is, and not an unpaid hobby blog which it may have been in the distant past.

You (the subscribers) knew, or should have known, what Slashdot was when you subscribed, and have no grounds for complaint. You sound like those women who marry someone despite their known flaws, then after living with said flaws for a while, it's all "boo hoo, i thought I could change him."

Slashdot is what it is - like it or don't. If it changes in a way you like, great. If it doesn't, too bad. But you don't have any reason to expect jack from it, other than unfounded reasons you invented yourself.

Random pattern of yellow dots (1, Funny)

Junior J. Junior III (192702) | more than 8 years ago | (#13816632)

I think that /. should include a new background that has a random pattern of sub-1mm yellow dots in it, for the tinfoil hat people so they can feel safe about printing articles posted here.

Wider screen layout at least (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13816636)

less of the need to page down with our new whiz-bang wider monitors/multihead rigs nowadays? 2 columns or 3? Not too cluttered (think TheRegister).

Just a thought

Why Have A Contest At All??!! (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13816640)

In spite of what this site looks like and acts, this site is run by paid professionals and paid by a for-profit company.

So why in the world would you need readers to submit redesigns for you? At the company I work for, we wouldn't ask clients to help us with our business for free. It's not productive and is just being cheap.

If Microsoft or any-big-evil corp ran a contest with a negligible prize to help line their own pockets, they'd get ripped to shreds on slashdot. Taco, stop being a cheapass and pay for professional designers.

Re:Why Have A Contest At All??!! (5, Insightful)

going_the_2Rpi_way (818355) | more than 8 years ago | (#13816718)

Notice all the "we"'s in the replys. People feel like they own or are a part of Slashdot. You can't buy that kind of loyalty and letting stakeholders play a role (or think they're playing a role at least) in determining the direction of the site is a small price to pay.

It may be a business, but they're the keepers of this community. If they lose their way and get all evil and shit, Google will start their version and all us fan boys will run over there instead to bad mouth MS and warn everybody about the latest Firefox hole.

ugh (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13816643)

he's one of those his/her alternation nutters:

And thanks to the well-advertised wonders of CSS, it's now possible for any enterprising designer to develop a new, production-ready (or nearly ready) 'skin' for the site completely on her own.
i have absolutely nothing of interest to say about his opinions on slashdot's competition, but he's a nutter

Let's go for the "retro" look (1)

WormholeFiend (674934) | more than 8 years ago | (#13816652)

Text-only website, yea!

Re:Let's go for the "retro" look (1)

BushCheney08 (917605) | more than 8 years ago | (#13816684)

Yeah, cos I see far too many graphics and images all over a typical page, especially when I'm running the adblock extension... *rolls eyes*

In Soviet Russia, (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13816657)

Commercial sites redesign YOU!

Leave it alone (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13816664)

I can read slashdot just fine. If it isn't broke, then don't fix it. I only wish The Onion had taken this advice, because their flash-based design is nauseating.

No Changes! (4, Interesting)

Evil W1zard (832703) | more than 8 years ago | (#13816669)

One of the things I like about this website is the simplicity in viewing it and I really wouldn't want to see much changed. The only thing I would say to change is to kill some of the white space between posted articles and user comments, but that is really a minute nitpick... Slashdot has enough of a following that changing the site won't hurt numbers of visitors IMO but hopefully if they decide to go with a new spread it won't wind up being visually unappealing...

Slashdot's design is scandalously bad. (4, Interesting)

windowpain (211052) | more than 8 years ago | (#13816675)

Here I am posting a comment and I can't view the story I'm commenting on. That's ridiculous. And it takes too long to learn how to use Slashdot because the most important information is buried among a lot of trivia in the FAQs.

If Slashdot were a person it would wear taped together glasses, a pocket protector and floods.

News for nerds indeed.

Slashdot software broken, bans entire subnets (5, Informative)

SumDog (466607) | more than 8 years ago | (#13816678)

So yesterday I was at home trying to post a comment and I got the following:

Due to excessive bad posting from this IP or Subnet, comment posting has
temporarily been disabled. If it's you, consider this a chance to sit in the
timeout corner . If it's someone else, this is a chance to hunt them down.
If you think this is unfair, please email with your
MD5'd IPID and SubnetID, which are "fbc83eaaddf909965a32494c3cf14021" and "
0681b6883c7b099b59889c08cb34313a" and (optionally, but preferably) your IP
number ">" and your username "SumDog".

So I emailed them telling them the problem. I was a subscriber, with decent Karma and I don't troll (although I bet this will be modded as a troll sadly). The response I got was:

> On 10/17/05, Robert Rozeboom wrote:
>> It looks like you share this subnet with a troll, sorry.

The next day, I am still unable to post from home. I have to ssh into work and use lynx to post a comment. I e-mailed him again and got this response:

I;m sorry but I can't unblock your subnet.

Again from Robert Rozeboom. I actually support slashdot, bought a subscription (yea I know it's only $10) and I can't post from home because someone who uses a Comcast cable modem is a troll?! What the fuck?!

They don't bother to check the individual user, but instead ban an entire sub net. There were several comments I wanted to post yesterday but couldn't, because I didn't want to sit with a damn ssh terminal in lynx retyping my user name and password for each comment (I had cookies turned on in Lynx, but it didn't remember my authentication).

If I had done something wrong, I could understand. If there was some way I could fix the problem I would. But even if I unplug my cable modem and get a new IP, it will still likely be on the same subnet. I can't change providers, I don't have DSL or any other broadband in my area (not to mention the reconnection and setup fees are insane unless they're running a special offer)

Before slashdot worries about polishing up the look and feel of their site, they should go back and fix underlying problems with the code, maybe even add spell-check and require users to type in words from images (a.k.a reverse turing test) to prevent abuse from bots.

Re:Slashdot software broken, bans entire subnets (1)

(A)*(B)!0_- (888552) | more than 8 years ago | (#13816787)

"(a.k.a reverse turing test)"
To prove that you're not a human?

Re:Slashdot software broken, bans entire subnets (1)

rednaxela (609701) | more than 8 years ago | (#13816796)

Use Tor. []

Re:Slashdot software broken, bans entire subnets (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13816825)

The subnet banning isn't new, the editors know what they're doing and they aren't changing it.

It's just typical hypocrisy from the editors when they bitch and scream how DRM technologies annoy and frustrate legitimate fair users, while the piracy will still go on. It's exactly what slashcode is doing now. Their filters, timers, bans, blacklists have been expanding all the time, and entrapping more legit users every day. Meanwhile, trolling, and crapflooding still exists.

Subnet bans are ridiculously amateurish with all the different proxies real trolls can use. And don't get me started with their idiotic comment filters. Talk about kiddy stuff.

Re:Slashdot software broken, bans entire subnets (4, Insightful)

brianvan (42539) | more than 8 years ago | (#13816836)

This is a terrible customer service experience you're detailing, and it's the exact type of customer experience that is frequently mocked here on Slashdot when the (other) big corps engage in it.

You subscribed to a paid service but you can't get the free part of it. How lame. I'm sorry, but they don't deserve to have your money anymore. You should ask for a refund.

I'm not trying to pick on Slashdot here. I'm being fair. Even if there is a technical problem, you owe it to your customers to be direct and accommodating about it. I know this is an isolated incident, but this is no way to run a business. It's completely unacceptable and unprofessional.

Re:Slashdot software broken, bans entire subnets (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13816897)

Slashdot could easily fix this by using a username whitelist in addition to the ip blacklist. But I won't hold my breath.

Please... Please.... (1)

mustafap (452510) | more than 8 years ago | (#13816690)

Don't *ever* change to a format like the Onion. Ever. I beg you.

Not to mention the fact that they are media tarts, placing an full page advert on the link, probably only because of the slashdot effect. The format is a mess.

Should have used XML + XSLT... (-1, Flamebait)

Naikrovek (667) | more than 8 years ago | (#13816696)

I'm quite sure the immature among you will see this as flamebait, but it really isn't.

Instead of HTML+CSS, perhaps XML+XSLT would have been a better choice? I'll leave the "why" up to the reader, but I think it would have been a much better choice.

Re:Should have used XML + XSLT... (2, Insightful)

Bogtha (906264) | more than 8 years ago | (#13816864)

Instead of HTML+CSS, perhaps XML+XSLT would have been a better choice?

No. XML is a set of syntax rules, not a document format itself. When people say "XML" when the context implies a document format, they invariably mean "an ad-hoc data format I've just made up on the spot that uses XML syntax". It's meaningless data. <myspecialheading> means nothing to anybody but you. Everybody knows what <h1> means though. Do Google apply XSLT? Do all browsers? No and no. They are left with the XML, which means nothing.

If you really want to manipulate your pages with XSLT, publish XHTML so that at least there's a decent fallback and your documents actually mean something on their own without being translated into whatever format your XSLT produces.

Horrible changes so far: (1)

Pope (17780) | more than 8 years ago | (#13816703)

What the fuck is up with people who make the underlines of hyperlinks DISAPPEAR when you rollover them?! It's one of the stupidest things you can do, design-wise, with a web site. Just change the colour of the text if you must, but don't go changing the friggin' underline for no reason.

Oh, and the reply box is too tall now. Why have the Name and URL info on separate lines? Hell, even displaying the URL info in the reply box makes no sense: I know what site I put in there, why bother displaying it?

Dynamic threading (1)

Vryl (31994) | more than 8 years ago | (#13816705)

A la Kuro5hin.

Re:Dynamic threading (1)

BushCheney08 (917605) | more than 8 years ago | (#13816785)

I've never been able to get a full grasp on how Kuro5hin comment threading works. Granted, I only ever go there once every week or two, so it's not like I'm reading the site all day every day. I'm sure I had similar issues sorting out how /. works, but it's been so damn long that I don't even remember...

Why is the architecture off limits? (1)

Futurepower(R) (558542) | more than 8 years ago | (#13816727)

From the Slashdot story: "... the underlying architecture is off limits."

Why is the architecture off limits?

Why change? (1)

Donniedarkness (895066) | more than 8 years ago | (#13816730)

Is something wrong with Slashdot as it is? It's quick, easy on the eyes (while still not being boring)... what else do we need?

Too little, too late (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13816731)

Re:Too little, too late (1)

CmdrGravy (645153) | more than 8 years ago | (#13816880)

Nonsense. /. maybe losing its edge but it's not losing it to digg by the looks of it.

That article you have linked to is simply a lot of people parroting "Yeah, digg is cool" and the other articles I have read do the same thing along the lines of "Yeah, what the article said - that was cool man". They say that ./ now sometimes only gets 200 replies to an article whereas dig seems to have trouble managing more than 20.

Where is the debate ? Where are the interesting viewpoints ? What is the point ?

Re:Too little, too late (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13816904)

... says ...

Load quickly, read easily, & colour changes (1)

digitaldc (879047) | more than 8 years ago | (#13816750)


Make the page load quickly, it should be easy to read and possibly have the ability to change colours randomly or manually. Maybe have a scheme where the background is black and the text is yellow/green/white?

The top and left menus may need to be overhauled with more concise headers and more descriptive subsections.

Maybe have 2 kinds of polls, one is a fun poll and another more scientific poll? Poll on things that might matter such as preferences of computer equipment/brands/configurations? Poll on subjects that are timely and forsee future trends in the industry.

Have a bigger links section to reference guides and useful tools.

And finally, whatever you do, do not make it look like this: []

Change the look? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13816752)

Am I the only one who thinks the shitty look and feel of slashdot is part of the site? Making the design more up-to-date might detract from it...

But.. theonion redesign sucks! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13816755)

It has a bunch of javascript links that won't work for users who refuse to run javascript. 'statshot' is now a javascript link. That was done.. why? I'm sure it must be doing something *REALLY* cool (besides just displaying the item), right?

The links along the left side of the page have no labels or descriptions.

So I'd like to send out a big "DUH" to the web 'designer' and to theonion.

Ugh, microfonts (4, Insightful)

Bogtha (906264) | more than 8 years ago | (#13816759)

They call themselves "the definitive authority on web publishing and print", and yet their own site uses teeny tiny 10px fonts? Free clue: design is about balancing form and function. When you use tiny fonts, you sacrifice function. If you forget the balance, it's not design, just art wanking. A 10px font size for the main body of text is not acceptable for something to qualify as well designed.

Re:Ugh, microfonts (1)

Red Flayer (890720) | more than 8 years ago | (#13816828)

"A 10px font size for the main body of text is not acceptable for something to qualify as well designed."

I don't know of any browser that doesn't let you change your default font size.

Hell, if you have a scrollwheel on your mouse, you can change font size in Firefox by holding CTRL and scrolling the wheel...

I don't care what the colours are... (1)

RiotXIX (230569) | more than 8 years ago | (#13816761)

So long as there's a picture of cowboy neal's pondering visage next to every story (throw out those damn colourful icons).

Here are a few to template: al_pokemon2.highlight.jpg []
Cowboy Breakfast []
Cowboy neal salesman protection stance se%20Vapormeet%20(Michigan)/cowboyneal_playing_gui tar.jpg []
'Good Times'

Ideal Slashdot Design (1)

earthstar (748263) | more than 8 years ago | (#13816781)

In this age,it is difficult for any one single design to satisfy everyone.
Anyone who has used Winamp 5 , knows how easy it is to change the entire theme of the player.

I expect slashdot to have such a wide array of themes to color to choose from, so that each user can see slashdot in the way he/she likes to , instead of complaining about colours "hurting eyes"

user css (1)

spottedkangaroo (451692) | more than 8 years ago | (#13816790)

Please could we have a desciptive class="" on everything significant and user uploadable css?

Pretty please with sugar on top!??!

Use WebGUI! (1)

gsperling (625206) | more than 8 years ago | (#13816793)

Just switch Slashdot over to the best CMS out there.... WebGUI: The Web Done Right! []
This is not a paid advertisement.

Meta navel gazing is exactly what's required (5, Insightful)

$RANDOMLUSER (804576) | more than 8 years ago | (#13816799)

Why aren't the simplest things to improve the site even considered?
The ASCII-goatse guys need to be IP-banned for life. The GNAA guys need to get a life. The "overrated/underrated" metamod loophole needs to be closed. Storys need to be checked for duplicates, at least a week back. Summaries should summarize. Third grade rules of grammar and spelling should be observed in summaries. Storys should be assigned to the category they belong to. Corel cache links should be supplied for sites that obviously can't take the strain - particularly if they have shown that they can't in the past. Roland Pipaquele (sp) and the Amazon recommendation link trolls should be executed. Storys should be accepted/rejected in a timely manner, and we shouldn't be seeing people posting "I submitted this 20 hours ago, and was rejected".

I could go on, but I'm sure I've said enough already to be scored a troll-for-life, so I'll quit now.

Not sturdy enough? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13816817)

I have some good friends that are "designers" and I've worked at a couple software shops that really pushed and lead with "design" (now, I'm a fairly senior engineer and we're not talking architecture) am I the only one that has noticed this trend? You want some new colors and some graphics cut, so you bring in a graphics artist who happens to double as a "designer" and the next thing you know she/he is advocating changing tons of code and maybe radically altering the way the whole thing works for some increased "robustness" that a "designer" is telling you about.

Now slashdot serves up tons and tons of pages, the threading and what not works fine, it's not the sexiest looking in the world but in what regard that you care about is it not "sturdy?" I mean I don't even read but a handful of the top rated comments anyways, this isn't the AP wire news or something really important. It's like these guys all went to the same consultant's guide to selling class, I've never dealt with one, even on payroll (full time employee, no overtime) that didn't up-scope every damn project from cutting graphics and mastering some production colors into some major overhaul of the look and feel and ultimately even behavior of the product. Seriously, I've seen the simple easy money, easy release turned into a bloody nightmare multiple times.

Then they spin it, "well, I can do graphics design and the artwork but I'm really a 'designer'"

You just want to dust off the website, maybe step it up a little to keep up with the Jones' and the next thing you know you're buying new servers, investing in some new technologies, buying a copy of robohelp (cause I need help with /.) dealing with the fact that you serve JSPs but this designer really only knows PHP. The $10k easy graphics and colors job turns in to this quarter million dollar bungle, that's 6 months behind schedule and doesn't really improve anything but someone's portfolio. I've seen it a dozen times.

Design? Decoration (1)

jadeonly (923761) | more than 8 years ago | (#13816822)

The upcoming Slashdot Redesign contest is intended to be more about design than architecture
Architecture follows design, design isn't painted on. What you're talking about is decoration. If I may wander off topic a bit, (on Slashdot? No!) "design after architecture" thinking is one of the main reasons there's so much bad software.

The new slashdot sucks - slow as hell (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13816837)

I'm using a modest notebook.. AMD K6, 500~ mhz, 192 ram, on board graphics etc.. Not super modern, but fast enough for my purposes. Theres no reason why browsing a TEXT based forum should be so friggin slow.. Before the change, scrolling through the comments went as fast as I could push the key. Now, there's a 1-2 second pause each time I hit pgup/pgdn. Maybe theres some option somewhere to bring it back to normal, or maybe slashdot is gonna start selling super-premium blazing fast accelerated service for only 19.95 a month - browse slashdot at lightning fast speed!


Can't afford? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13816844)

Rob- how's the porsche running? By the way, thanks again for the beer and pizza at the original slashdot party!!

GAH (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13816855)

I'm so damn tired of hearing about Zen Garden. "OMG OMG CHANGE TE STYLES WITH CSS TABLES BAD MKAY OMGGG" Who the fuck cares.

A small nit which made me wonder (1)

maxwell demon (590494) | more than 8 years ago | (#13816866)

In normal reading, every non-top comment has two links: parent, and reply. This makes sense.
When you click reply, the comment is shown again above the input textbox, which still makes sense.
Below the comment, there's one link. And this link says: reply.
Now why should I want to use the reply link, when my reply form is already right before my nose?
Noreover, why remove the link to parent (which, unlike the reply link, I actually would use from time to time)?

Not that it's a big problem, not clicking a pointless link is more than easy, and if I want to get to the parent, it's just one extra mouse click (once on the comment number to get a normal display of the message, where I then have the parent link). It's just that it looks stupid to me every time again to see a pointless reply link on the reply page, while obviously the coders have done some work to remove the (actually useful) parent link.

mod dowN (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13816893)

Usenet. In 1995,

onion redesign it horrible. (1)

Suppafly (179830) | more than 8 years ago | (#13816898)

Is it just me, or does everyone think that the redesign of the Onion is horrible. The stuff you like to read is made really small and the stuff you don't care about is really big. There is way too much stuff on the screen and a lot of the good stuff is below the fold.

It's not just that people are used to the old and are mad that it changed, it's that the new design really really sucks.

Good work Khoi (4, Insightful)

rho (6063) | more than 8 years ago | (#13816899)

Your Onion re-design makes me have to scroll horizontally in Safari now! Not much, but my browser's about 1024x768. I'm not sure we should be listening to shit-all this guy has to say. Multi-column layouts just OWN for online newspapers. No, really, it works SO WELL to toss out 15 years of Web development and say, "You know, NEWSPAPERS ARE THE NEW BLACK!"

Anyway, regarding TFA, that was the biggest load of "Web Designer" horse crap ever shoveled into HTML. Slashdot has been ASS UGLY since 1997. Yet, it's been hugely successful. Why is this? Gosh, it COULDN'T be because of the CONTENT--could it? Not only has Slashdot continued to provide what it's here to provide, it's remained remarkably stable, UI-wise.

"Rethinking" the architecture is daft. Slashdot has a codebase built to encourage good comments and hide bad ones, but to accept everything that's not scripted spam. That's the architecture. "Rethinking" that is like "rethinking" the design of the nuclear reactor in a submarine while crusing at 20 knots 800 feet down.

Please keep your Web Designer hands off Slashdot, thanks.

Ignore him! (4, Funny)

zenmojodaddy (754377) | more than 8 years ago | (#13816901)

The Onion makes my eyes water.

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