Friday, September 26, 2008

dealnews Redesign

Hi folks! I have just a few quick comments about our redesign.

The main reason we implemented this redesign was to remove the right sidebar on dealnews so we could use that space for other purposes, now and in the future.

This redesign was shown to the heavy dealnews users that make up our User Advisory Board. It received extremely positive ratings, far more than any redesign we ever launched. Nice.

You can compare the old and new here:


The changes may seem dramatic since we changed the very top of the page. But scroll down and you'll find that the redesign changes very little.

Changes of note:

  • The category list on the right has moved to the top of the page.
  • "Today's Hottest" is now a gadgety widget, which allowed us to add product images, but we can only fit the top 4 now (we had up to 6 before).
  • The right sidebar has been eliminated. This gave us an area on the right to add more tools to each deal. The first is a new "Report an Error" link.
  • Links to the three most recent "Feature" articles have been added to the upper right.
We removed a couple of features that fewer than 5% of our visitors use: The Ability to "hide" the big area at the top of the page, and a few alternative views of our home page (like "Tile" view). For web site stability, it's important to every once in a while remove site features that haven't proven popular. (The less code, the better.)

As you browse around, you'll find that the sidebar is still on a few of our pages. We're upgrading those pages soon.

Special thanks to the designers and programmers who worked on these changes. Extra special thanks to our readers who've given us feedback, much of it used in this redesign.

Please leave us comments, either as a follow up to this blog post or via our email feedback form at http://dealnews.com/contact.html. (Update: If you're reporting a problem, please provide your browser version and platform. The more detail the better ... for example, Firefox 3.0.2, Mac OS X 10.5 would be great.) Thanks for reading!

34 comments:

B said...

Terrible. Go back.
I now have to stretch the browser window out to remove the lower scroll. Too much junk on the top. Leave an ad or two, but then get to the business of the deals. I can only get the 1st item on my screen now.
I’m all for change, but this is not good.

dealguy said...

B. - We can't replicate your problem. What browser and OS are you running?

Vicar said...

I wouldn't mind a change, but this looks like a messed up LiveJournal. The pictures on the left side of the screen have moved 1-2" to the right so they are on top of the text while the border is huge and white.

As the poster above noted, the top is a jumbled mess - too much information so it's not something I'm going to view. Where is that +- hide/show features option?

dealguy said...

We've found a bug in IE6 that's creating what Vince sees. We did a lot of testing in IE6, which of course means that there was some scenario we didn't see that's there now. Our guys are working on it.

tsrich said...

Does not look good for me in Firefox 3. The text at the top overlaps (or underlaps) images.

Same thing if I switch the rendering engine on the tab to IE.

groundLoop said...

From a design perspective, I far preferred the older, simpler page. The redesign is cluttered and busy. I find the layout harder to parse at a quick glance.

And, in FireFox 3.0.2, I am seeing lots of overlapping text and images.

Aaron said...

Every change you guys have made in the past always starts out feeling a little strange, especially since I visit the site about 50 times a day. Somehow it turns out O.K., and for the better. The fact that you poll us and use our feedback, and even respond to us directly is terrific. That being said; the top does look a little cluttered and not as clean as it used to.

Plans for changing DealMac as well?

quandmeme said...

I'm having the same problems as others with text overflowing in FF 3.

I really liked the categories on the right hand side. I know its just one extra click to wait for the drop down. Some of the drop downs can stay, but please put the categories back.

Tyler said...

Dont like it, Last version was better. Also its hard to differentiate between the different categories now.

Jon said...

I previously used Most Recent and Small so that I could scan the headlines and only expand the text for deals I care about. Is the 'Small' (aka hidden description text) removed now? It seems if I pick medium or large for the view, all it does is change the item picture size. Small seems to be missing.

dealguy said...

It took us a while to figure out why some people are seeing text overlap images in FF3. This should only happen if you choose a different text size. The zoom option zooms all things, so this only happens if you've changed the text size options in FF.

tsrich said...

I'm not zooming just the text, but I am running at a larger system DPI (120) instead of the default which is probably what's causing the problem.

It did not cause any problems with the former layout, and I don't usually see any problems on other sites.

Agent_C said...

I really wish there was a way to submit a screen capture, so you can see how utterly cockeyed your new web page format is resolving in my browser. (IE 7 w/large fonts) It's clear you didn't test this very thoroughly.

Text overrunning objects... Objects overlaying on top of text... Poor use of real estate...

Not ready for prime time I'm afraid.

CK

ajaygupta.60532 said...

In my Firefox 3.0.3, the entire first screen is filled with the top section of the page. It would be nice to be able to hide it (via an option).

catalert said...

Looks great -- EXCEPT for the ability to hide the top part of the screen. I must be one of the tiny 1% who turned that off before. (Are we really so few?) But I miss that feature 100% and it overshadows everything else on the page.

Gene said...

During the years that I have used Deal and Mac News, I Sorted by: Most Recent and Size: Small so I could quickly scroll through headlines for items of interest, which I would then expand for the full description. I refresh every few minutes.
Your new design, which only offers a full description for every item, instead of just headlines that the user can choose to expand, is exhaustingly time consuming to use.
Right now, Friday, September 26, to find items of interest, I had to waste time scrolling through complete text descriptions of offers for Lamps, Underwear, Toys, Credit Cards, Watches, Telephones, Clothing, Mattresses, Boots, Furniture, Shoes, Jackets, Shavers, Wallets, Luggage, Lanterns, Recordings, Coolers, Corkscrews, Televisions, Tables, Chairs, Cigarette Lighters, Litter Boxes, Blankets, Backpacks, Pillows, and Medicine for dogs, cats, and horses.
Of the tree primary elements that go into creating a successful Web site design, Visibility, Usability, and Content, your new design seriously compromises the Usability of your Web site.
As a side note, I never read the junk at the top of the page. I go directly to where Today's Deals begins to see what time the deals were posted because some deals expire quickly.
You provide a valuable service to value shoppers like myself, but your new Web design is somewhat User-Unfriendly.

lszabo said...

Bring back small view! Otherwise it takes way too long to read the page. The amount of text per page in medium view is overwhelming. All I need to see is the headlines to know if I am interested in a deal.

B-izzle said...

not really a big fan of the changes but HATE the fact you took the tiel feature away. It was teh best way to watch the NEW deals with a quick glance. Sucks now. dont care about widgits, just want tile view back.

Joe said...

Can't see the right side of the screen (using IE 7.0.5730.11), so I have to scroll over to see stuff.

edesignway said...

The new nav bar at the top is nice. The rest of the design, well, change it back! I do not like. Need to get rid of these long descriptions and fix the spacing. I am using IE7 and the spacing is waaay off. Not using any zoom options.

fredzo said...

I may be in the 5% that preferred the old site but the "tile" view was SOOO much better. The display was clean, the information was dense, and you could take it all in quickly. The redesign requires much more effort to scan quickly.

The site has lost some of its utility to me. It's my major source of online deals on a daily basis. Too bad.

dealguy said...

I know it sucks when you're told that you're not being supported because you're in the vast minority. Hey, I was a Mac user when market share was down around 3%. But I figured I should share a couple of stats.

People have asked for Tile view back, but Tile view was used by 0.2% of all dealnews visitors.

People have also asked for "Small" view. Small view was used by 0.1% of dealnews visitors.

Of course, 0.1% of dealnews visitors is still thousands of people. Those of you who use those views feel like we're not listening to their needs, I know. But I also know that the time we spend supporting things that are used by 0.1% of our visitors takes away time we could use for things used by 99.9% of our visitors.

That probably doesn't make you feel any better, but hopefully at least you understand why those features have been removed.

Blame me, I can handle it. Just don't blame the children. THE CHILDREN!

Brian said...

sorry, i'm dumb. found the podcast link.

dealguy said...

The text overlap bug in IE6 should be fixed.

dealguy said...

Oh, and for those of you missing "Small" view, may I suggest our RSS feed? It just shows our headlines.

SirFelix said...

I'm using XP and IE7. Your new website does not fit in the 1024x768 screen width without having to scroll. Please fix this, especially for netbook or mobile users.

On the same netbook/mobile note, I'm not against change but please keep resource intensive advertising (animated) to a minimum. It bogs the system down.

Agent_C said...

There is also a performance issue with this new design. When I click on the Dealnews bookmark, a blank palate appears and it takes a fill 16 seconds for the page to render. During that time the CPU remains at a constant 52%.

The former site loaded almost immediately.

Also, you didn't address the text and object sizing issue(s) in your reply. Does this mean you intend to address them?

A_C

doughboy said...

I have found and fixed the IE 6 image issue and the IE 7 (version .11) horizontal scroll bar issues.

doughboy said...

agent_c I have seen that in IE a couple of times too. I am not sure what is going on there. I think it may be a bad ad from one of our advertisers. I am aware of it and looking into it.

Brian.

Steven 'Sven' Merrill said...

Ugh... please bring back the tile view. I agree that without it, the site takes too long to parse. I want more information density - more of your content with less scrolling - doesn't that make sense?

Richard said...

Sucks in Firefox 3 Change it back the way it was!

JusAnotherNguyen said...

I like it! Looks clean. I don't know if it's just me but the top looks cleaner than the older version.

Keep up the great work! Love this site!

Gina said...

love it! I don't have any of the problems with screen size that others are having. I've used IE7 and Google chrome.

bcording said...

Bring back tile view! It was what set your site apart from others.