Cap times website redesign

What are the things that puzzle, enrage, delight and tickle you as you go about your life in Madison?
christopher_robin
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Cap times website redesign

Postby christopher_robin » Wed May 16, 2007 9:32 am


Marvell
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Re: Cap times website redesign

Postby Marvell » Wed May 16, 2007 11:57 am

christopher_robin wrote:http://www.madison.com/tct/


Whatever, man.

I'm still not going to patronize their crappy forum.

christopher_robin
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Re: Cap times website redesign

Postby christopher_robin » Wed May 16, 2007 12:08 pm

Marvell wrote:
christopher_robin wrote:http://www.madison.com/tct/


Whatever, man.

I'm still not going to patronize their crappy forum.


Would never ask you to. The tradition is to commence a design critique...

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Re: Cap times website redesign

Postby Marvell » Wed May 16, 2007 12:20 pm

christopher_robin wrote:The tradition is to commence a design critique...


In that case -

It's still waaaay too fucking busy. They should drop at least one column from their layout (three columns is pushing it, four is ridiculous).

Also, they should take their expandable/collapsable header concept and use it to hide all article links as the default setting. Use the 'Breaking News' and the space in the upper left-hand corner to push specific articles.

And does each separate tab really need another instance of their stupid reader poll?

Me no likey.

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Postby Bruno » Wed May 16, 2007 1:45 pm

Oh snap, did they just tell all 800x600 and lower res. users to get with the fuckin' times? Good. Seriously. I mean I know people should be designing with relative widths and stretchiness, etc. but for a town like Madison, most of your audience should be relatively up-to-date with their technology - it's 2007, and assuming that most end users are at 1024x768 shouldn't be too much to hope for.

I don't necessarily think there's too much info on the front page, I just think it's lacking a clear visual hierarchy. Sure, there's whitespace, and the color scheme and font sizes/choices aren't too heavy, but it just doesn't scan well.

Oooh. Gradients and a few rounded corners. If you're gonna round your corners on some elements, round 'em on all of them.

Oooh. Plus and minus buttons. Except I'd intuitively expect the + or - to expand or collapse that particular box, not add or subtract a line from the bottom.

And while they did move away from using tables for layout, they did it in that baby-step way of basically substituting a massive amount of td's with non-semantic div soup.

And it's obviously way too fucking much to ask people to write code that validates, especially large newspapers with means and resources at their disposal. I mean, fuck page loading times (and therefore bandwidth costs and ad conversions), accessibility, search engine optimization, ease of future maintenance, and forward compatibility. The only people who care about that kind of shit are WC3 sycophants, am I right? High fives! :roll:

Overall, there's a lot I about which I could nit-pick. They did some good things, like dropping 800x600 support, and lord knows it's organized light years ahead of their old page. Still, though, it's just a cosmetic redesign with a smattering of last year's web 2.0 aesthetics and a tiny bit of actual usability and information organization/presentation upgrades.

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Postby mrak » Wed May 16, 2007 2:00 pm

Bruno wrote:Plus and minus buttons. Except I'd intuitively expect the + or - to expand or collapse that particular box, not add or subtract a line from the bottom.

Those links defied my expectations in exactly the same way.

Maybe if the result was saved as a user preference, it would be a reasonable baby step (to steal a phrase from Bruno) toward having a user-customizable page.

But when I refresh the page, it immediately goes back to the default number of headlines in each section.

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Postby ShaneDog » Wed May 16, 2007 2:20 pm

1. I agree with Bruno. This is 2007. Fuck 800x600. Who the hell uses that anyway?

2. As others have noted, the plus/minus should collapse/expand the section not add or subtract articles. This behavior is a well established user interface idiom and I don't know why they thought that they could come up with a new idiom and expect people to be comfortable with it.

3. Other than that, it does seem to have a cleaner look than their old site which is good.

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Postby DMeister » Wed May 16, 2007 2:35 pm

Bruno wrote:And while they did move away from using tables for layout, they did it in that baby-step way of basically substituting a massive amount of td's with non-semantic div soup.


But is there bacon?

I won't eat it if there's no bacon.

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Postby Bruno » Wed May 16, 2007 2:39 pm

DMeister wrote:
Bruno wrote:And while they did move away from using tables for layout, they did it in that baby-step way of basically substituting a massive amount of td's with non-semantic div soup.


But is there bacon?

I won't eat it if there's no bacon.


It's made with bacon lardons but they hide that from their customers.

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Postby mrak » Wed May 16, 2007 3:18 pm

Bruno wrote:It's made with bacon lardons but they hide that from their customers.

Do they use an HTML comment to hide it, or do they specify its display property in the style sheet?

Mmmmmm.... <!-- Bacon... -->

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Postby Bruno » Wed May 16, 2007 3:43 pm

mrak wrote:
Bruno wrote:It's made with bacon lardons but they hide that from their customers.

Do they use an HTML comment to hide it, or do they specify its display property in the style sheet?

Mmmmmm.... <!-- Bacon... -->


.bacon {
display:none;
}

Or to keep it accessible to screen readers:

.bacon {
margin:0 0 0 -99999em;
overflow:hidden;
}

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Postby ShaneDog » Wed May 16, 2007 3:49 pm

Actually if you look at the HTML output they have some interesting stuff commented out.

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Postby Mildred Machiavelli » Wed May 16, 2007 4:28 pm

Did they change their logo again? I liked their old upper & lower case bold logo--modern yet authoritative. The logo that's on their paper now is about as unimaginative and unfriendly as a POISON warning. The digital thing on the new website just blurs the brand further.

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Postby Chuck_Schick » Thu May 17, 2007 8:29 am

ShaneDog wrote:1. I agree with Bruno. This is 2007. Fuck 800x600. Who the hell uses that anyway?

Um ... people at libraries and public schools that can't afford to update their hardware nearly as often as the tech savvy home user?

But why would those fuckers want to read the daily paper anyway.

Or people with visual disabilities for whom a 1024x768 resolution is like reading Braille without your fingers? But fuck them too.

Jesus, people. Design your own sites how you want. But don't be so fucking glib as to suggest there isn't a huge segment out there that might be saying "fuck that site" because it's inconvenient for y'all to take their needs into consideration. Where I sit, we call designers with attitudes like yours "half-assed, lazy fucks."

Back on topic, when I resize that Cap Times site, the stupid ad bar on the right doesn't move accordingly. I have to refresh my browser (IE 7) to make it reposition correctly.

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Postby Bwis53 » Thu May 17, 2007 9:14 am

Sometimes I wonder, what were they thinking?

I wish they'd do something really handy, like make their hard-copy tabloid sized, like Isthmus and Chicago Sun Times. Much easier to peruse through.


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