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June 26, 2006

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Reviews of the New

From across the Web:

“An unmitigated disaster.”
“Boo, Slate. Boo.”
“It’s hideous. Yuck.”
“I think it’s awful.”
“We hate it, but, then again, we initially hated the last makeover too…”

Yeah, pretty much sums it up for me. (By the way, I didn’t cherry-pick; those are the top mentions on Technorati right now.) Generally, I don’t mind redesigns; I think I’m usually pretty good about detaching from my nostalgia for familiar layouts. But the new Slate aches my kidneys. It is so bad.

Posted June 26, 2006 at 3:30 | Comments (5) | Permasnark
File under: Briefly Noted, Design


Wait... seriously?

I am so surprised! I LOVE the new design. In part because I thought Slate's old design was so janky and un-web-like.

The mouseover nav thing is weird, but no weirder than the MSNBC-style nav they had for so long before.

Oh sure, bring that up, why don'chya? :)

There are all sorts of typographic uglies (comments look like someone intentionally tried to make them unreadable), but I think I actually like the slideout menu, or at least the implementation of it.

The new logo seems weird though.


- The typography. Oh. My. God. is available. Their little graphical story module just isn't going to work anymore if every other font on the page is going to be fugly.
- The color scheme. I didn't know you could actually make grey clash with grey.
- The (dis)organization. It's like they just stuffed anything wherever it sort of fit. I'm all about overthrowing conventional notions of hierarchy, but Slate skipped unconventional and went straight to fug. Field trip to hell: disable your stylesheet and take a look at it.
- Information overload. Every headline is now in at least three different places on the front page. Slate just does not have that much content; I'm sorry.
- Lines. Lines in random places. Different sorts of lines in random places. This is just one corner of my poor screen.
- "?reload=true." Slate is NOT The New York Times. I don't need to see the same tired stories refresh every 2 minutes.
- Overall incoherence. Does any single design element carry through any other part of the page at all? With every menu, it's like they wanted to reinvent the menu. With every headline, it's like they wanted to reinvent the headline. And have they ever heard of a grid?
- Spacing. I didn't know it was possible to do white space so wrong.


- Article pages.
- Flyout menu.

Okay, but seriously, when was Slate *ever* organized? I've never known where anything is on that site, or had any sense of its overall structure. And while past performance does not excuse future results, it's not like it's a huge step DOWN.

I feel you on the incoherence, though. I think we might actually be looking at three redesigns.

It's a website. What is the big effing deal?

Posted by: wes on June 29, 2006 at 12:02 PM
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