Fark Redesign Comps -- prepare to get over it
Posted by Drew at 2011-02-24 1:25:13 PM, edited 2011-02-24 2:00:53 PM (999 comments) | Permalink
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tl;dr - You'll get over it
In preparation for this blog entry, I've scoured the tubes for introductions to new redesigns to build the ultimate horrifying corporatespeak version of "no seriously you'll really like this redesign it's for your own good post." So here goes:
We know what you really want. It's not what you think you want, but we do know better than you do. We're experts. At least one of us even has a degree from a college.
As it turns out, this involves taking what you've known and loved for years, deleting it entirely, and replacing it with something completely different. Once we've done that, we'll continue to insist for weeks that this completely new website that we've just slapped our name on is the same as the old thing that doesn't exist anymore. Did I mention we deleted the code completely? We couldn't go back if we wanted to. Besides, Kevin Rose wouldn't refund the money we paid for the old Digg source code at this point, he's already spent it on $1000-an-ounce teas.
We merged the open source Reddit code with the old codebase we bought from Digg and we're calling it New Fark 4.1 (don't ask what happened to 4.0, it involved a Russian botnet and a well known poker website). We are basing our layouts on the new Gawker redesign, in that we made it so awesome, you'll pretend to hate it just to look cool. Also, we're all taking a month-long vacation the day after New Fark 4.1 launches, so if anything's broken (ha ha what are the odds) don't worry, we'll be back to fix it in 30 days.
Please be sure to twat/facepost/youspace this blog entry to all your friends and followers.
I have nothing more to add, I didn't do squat for coding on this redesign other than drink beer and hurl abuse at the Fark team for not moving faster. So I'm going to hand the descriptions over to Fark's resident design guy and couch-lifter for my wife when he's at my house, Joe Peacock (PattonX). See how stiff his writing style is? He's scared to death you won't like it. Personally, I think he should just man up and beat you guys over the head with this redesign. He's an expert, after all (but he's not one of the ones who went to a college for that degree).
If anyone needs me I'll be on the twitters screaming at Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert to give credit to friends of mine for things that I have no stake in.
Okay, so, the redesign, by PattonX
Umm... Thanks, Drew, for that very interesting intro. That degree from a college is serving you well.
So, as Drew said, we wanted to give you guys a heads-up on an upcoming redesign of Fark, and get your feedback. We feel this new look and feel is a much-needed refresh on the overall aesthetic of Fark, without drastically changing how Fark works. It's a fresh coat of paint, if you will, and we think it improves on just about every aspect of the Fark design.
Here's the page as it looks in whole:
The very first thing you'll notice: it's cleaner. More space between elements, but not too much. One column on the right instead of two. Much more readable. Let's look closer at each of the individual sections.
The right side:
This is perhaps the most drastic overhaul. The right side toolbars are drastically cleaner and easier to use. Gone are the seven micro-type menus of various sorts. We've stripped down the right side to focus on the important stuff -- using Fark. We've also dumped the incredibly long tower ad unit in favor of a more manageable 300x250 ad unit. The end result -- it just makes more sense.
The header in general is the same as it has always been -- all of the menu items and structure you're used to are here. It's just much, much cleaner and easier to use.
Have you ever shown Fark to someone and had them ask "Okay, so what is this?" We've made it much easier to show them. There's now a link for new users to find out all about Fark, without having to figure out the FAQ section (a walkthrough, if you will) -- making it much easier to explain Fark. And that bit about "real news made readable" won't always be there. We're going to stuff that section full of random but related statements about what Fark is. If you have suggestions, email Drew.
Skittle-tabs (rainbow colors) are gone. We've gone to a much cleaner and simpler page system which simply demarks where you are, without tabs and rainbow headers. You'll notice that the "music" tab is now wrapped into the Entertainment tab (previously called Showbiz). We've done this to streamline all the entertainment news, as music news has mostly become Entertainment news. We're moving music videos into the video tab.
You'll also notice that your login now has a little envelope icon with a number -- this is your message center. When you click on the icon, the page will refresh to show you all system notifications, as well as all of the threads in which you have been replied to or mentioned since you last visited your message center.
(click for fullsize)
The important part. The same link list view is back, but spaced out more for readability, and with much clearer column headers. But you'll notice a few new options for sorting your links.
Now, you can sort chronologically, as Fark is already sorted, or re-sort the list by popularity (clicks) or by comment count.
You can also show the last day, two days or 7 days worth of links from the bottom of the headline list.
One note: it's not represented here, but the link to the new comments on each thread you've read will still be here. We're not taking it away.
We've added access to the latest headline in each section right under the links list, so that when you're done reading the main page of Fark, you can jump right into any of the individual sections.
As you can see, nothing really drastic is going on, and yet, it's a rather huge improvement to how Fark looks. The team has worked to make it much easier on the eyes: the links are more readable, and you can now sort things and get to exactly what you want, how you want it. You now have instant access to follow threads where you're active.
But we want to get your feedback. What can we do to tweak this new design to improve it?
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