Anil analyses New York Times redesign

The New York Times online has a spiffy new redesign and Anil Dash says it is influenced by blogs. Actually, his post is interesting cause it points at a bunch of stuff about the redesign. I also like that the redesign uses the Georgia font, developed by Microsoft. That font was developed for high readability and it sure does help make the NYT look great.

Comments

  1. Actually if you look at it closely you’ll see many similarities in the layout with the Washington Post, which many consider to be one of the better online newspapers (with reporters having blogs, live discussions with reporters and those they write stories on, etc).

  2. Actually if you look at it closely you’ll see many similarities in the layout with the Washington Post, which many consider to be one of the better online newspapers (with reporters having blogs, live discussions with reporters and those they write stories on, etc).

  3. My 5 second review – hate it. Not on its merits (or lack of) but just because it has changed.

  4. My 5 second review – hate it. Not on its merits (or lack of) but just because it has changed.

  5. I’m guessing that this will take some time to get used to. That being said, at first glance it now looks like everything else out there. I liked the old style because it was distinctively ‘the Times’ in my opinion.

  6. I’m guessing that this will take some time to get used to. That being said, at first glance it now looks like everything else out there. I liked the old style because it was distinctively ‘the Times’ in my opinion.

  7. At this point, I prefer the old look. But, I imagine that after a few months I will like the new look. I too am certain that my dislike is rooted in the fact that it has changed and, for now, it does not look familiar.

    I have gone through similar bouts of hatred over the years whenever cNet changes news.com. It would be interesting to see an old news.com homepage and see how I react to it.

  8. At this point, I prefer the old look. But, I imagine that after a few months I will like the new look. I too am certain that my dislike is rooted in the fact that it has changed and, for now, it does not look familiar.

    I have gone through similar bouts of hatred over the years whenever cNet changes news.com. It would be interesting to see an old news.com homepage and see how I react to it.

  9. Hi Robert,

    While I would agree that the font is certainly quite readable, I’m not sure if using it was such a great idea. Don’t you think that Georgia it is a bit common? At some point, everyone uses it. Great for Microsoft. Bad for big brands like The New York Times.

    They have a strong brand identity, and I must admit that the first time I saw the new design, I thought that it could have been any number of sites.

    Other than the masthead, I’m not sure if I still feel the power of the NYT brand. Do you? The new layout and use of a public/common font makes the Times feel like any number of sites: the Wash Post, Herald Tribune, etc. They’re great publications and sites, don’t get me wrong. But the Times is the Times and this new design does not reinforce that. Do you agree?

    More here: http://tinyurl.com/qxq2m

    Feel free to drop by,
    ~G~

  10. Hi Robert,

    While I would agree that the font is certainly quite readable, I’m not sure if using it was such a great idea. Don’t you think that Georgia it is a bit common? At some point, everyone uses it. Great for Microsoft. Bad for big brands like The New York Times.

    They have a strong brand identity, and I must admit that the first time I saw the new design, I thought that it could have been any number of sites.

    Other than the masthead, I’m not sure if I still feel the power of the NYT brand. Do you? The new layout and use of a public/common font makes the Times feel like any number of sites: the Wash Post, Herald Tribune, etc. They’re great publications and sites, don’t get me wrong. But the Times is the Times and this new design does not reinforce that. Do you agree?

    More here: http://tinyurl.com/qxq2m

    Feel free to drop by,
    ~G~

  11. Too blog-like, not distinctively “NY Times” anymore. Fonts are too small for headlines and summaries. Links should be underlined, they’re too hard to discern. The navigation is a little better up top, but the content is less readable. Overall it’s worse. Still a good paper, but harder to use now. Looks like the Design-Nazis won over the Users. I miss the old design. Bloggers should stick to designing blogs which have WAY LESS CONTENT and not mess up perfectly good newspapers where the goals and design requirements are quite different.

  12. Too blog-like, not distinctively “NY Times” anymore. Fonts are too small for headlines and summaries. Links should be underlined, they’re too hard to discern. The navigation is a little better up top, but the content is less readable. Overall it’s worse. Still a good paper, but harder to use now. Looks like the Design-Nazis won over the Users. I miss the old design. Bloggers should stick to designing blogs which have WAY LESS CONTENT and not mess up perfectly good newspapers where the goals and design requirements are quite different.

  13. Influenced by blogs??? Puh-leeze. How grandiose can bloggers get? Next thing you know we’ll be told the new Camaro was influenced by blogs.

  14. Influenced by blogs??? Puh-leeze. How grandiose can bloggers get? Next thing you know we’ll be told the new Camaro was influenced by blogs.

  15. You wrote:
    “the Times is the content”

    Are you sure, Robert? Top stories on most news sites are often the same. After all, they’re all reporting on the same news. Now that Times Select puts opinion behind a paid wall, what else is there other than their brand to help differentiate them from other news sources?

    Along with their excellent content, isn’t one of the the Times biggest strengths their brand?

    It’s the brand which lends authority to the news and opinions that are being presented by one place over another. We *trust* news from one place over another because of their credibility, reputation and quality. Those things build the strenght of the brand. This circular relationship is designed to reinforce itself.

    Robert, I’m guessing that like a lot of people, I find your blog interesting because of the the quality of your content. However, your association with the Microsoft brand is what lends credibility to what you write. I’d argue that this is especially true for new visitors.

    Without your own branding efforts – you don’t use the tag “Microsoft Geek Blogger” for nothing, right? – dare I suggest that not only far fewer people would know about your blog in the first place, but those who did might not give such a degree of credibility to your content.

    A world-class brand with world-class content deserves a world class design … and better font. ;)

    ~G~

  16. You wrote:
    “the Times is the content”

    Are you sure, Robert? Top stories on most news sites are often the same. After all, they’re all reporting on the same news. Now that Times Select puts opinion behind a paid wall, what else is there other than their brand to help differentiate them from other news sources?

    Along with their excellent content, isn’t one of the the Times biggest strengths their brand?

    It’s the brand which lends authority to the news and opinions that are being presented by one place over another. We *trust* news from one place over another because of their credibility, reputation and quality. Those things build the strenght of the brand. This circular relationship is designed to reinforce itself.

    Robert, I’m guessing that like a lot of people, I find your blog interesting because of the the quality of your content. However, your association with the Microsoft brand is what lends credibility to what you write. I’d argue that this is especially true for new visitors.

    Without your own branding efforts – you don’t use the tag “Microsoft Geek Blogger” for nothing, right? – dare I suggest that not only far fewer people would know about your blog in the first place, but those who did might not give such a degree of credibility to your content.

    A world-class brand with world-class content deserves a world class design … and better font. ;)

    ~G~

  17. George: the content in the New York Times is consistently better than in other publications. Not always (aka Jayson Blair), but consistently yes.

    Richard: I didn’t know about that until reading your post right now. I’ve sent an inquiry to the type division.

  18. George: the content in the New York Times is consistently better than in other publications. Not always (aka Jayson Blair), but consistently yes.

    Richard: I didn’t know about that until reading your post right now. I’ve sent an inquiry to the type division.

  19. ?? “not always” would be “inconsistently” rather than “consistently” then, wouldn’t it? Maybe you meant “usually”, “generally”, something like that.

  20. ?? “not always” would be “inconsistently” rather than “consistently” then, wouldn’t it? Maybe you meant “usually”, “generally”, something like that.

  21. John, yeah, what you said. To me consistency means a trend over time. It’s sorta like making fudge. If my fudge has only one lump in it, but yours has four, then mine is consistently better than yours.

  22. John, yeah, what you said. To me consistency means a trend over time. It’s sorta like making fudge. If my fudge has only one lump in it, but yours has four, then mine is consistently better than yours.

  23. Oscar’s comment above, #15, concisely articulates the main problems with the new design.

  24. Oscar’s comment above, #15, concisely articulates the main problems with the new design.

  25. Wow, things keep getting worse! NYT design is an interesting case study of making things crappier without resorting to lots of animation…they fucked things up (in usablity terms) using bad layout alone. Kings of the fucking bozos. Alas.

    There must have been some precedent for this when silents went to talkies,(Dave Winer has made some relevant comparisons) some understood they were in a new medium, others tried to transpose the elements in a polished but essentially numbnuts manner.

  26. Wow, things keep getting worse! NYT design is an interesting case study of making things crappier without resorting to lots of animation…they fucked things up (in usablity terms) using bad layout alone. Kings of the fucking bozos. Alas.

    There must have been some precedent for this when silents went to talkies,(Dave Winer has made some relevant comparisons) some understood they were in a new medium, others tried to transpose the elements in a polished but essentially numbnuts manner.

  27. Bloggers want to take credit? Fine. As it sucks.

    They lost ALL branding, it looks just like every other newspaper site out there, mainly just a Wash Post full-pagey redo. And using that Georgia font, far from being an asset like Scoble says, was a fatal flaw, as now it looks just like everything else. Where’s the NYT branding police? This redesign has zero personality.

  28. Bloggers want to take credit? Fine. As it sucks.

    They lost ALL branding, it looks just like every other newspaper site out there, mainly just a Wash Post full-pagey redo. And using that Georgia font, far from being an asset like Scoble says, was a fatal flaw, as now it looks just like everything else. Where’s the NYT branding police? This redesign has zero personality.

  29. Yeah, and speaking of fonts, how come very little press mention of Frutiger NEXTgate? Well, if I kick into gear, that’s about to change…

    As rightfully observed by the Applicant and uncontested by the Holder, the prior design and the RCD are to be considered identical. The typefaces of
    both designs have the same stroke thickness. The ratio from cap-height to descender height is equal. The proportion of character height to character
    pitch is identical. The type face in the specimen text does not show any differences. The minuscule “a”, “c”, “e” “g” and “t” have the same proportion in
    the prior design and the RCD. The height of the crossbeam at the “e” is identical. The height of the bow at the “a” is identical. The “c” shows the same shape and the same loophole. The lowercase “s” and the capital “S” show the same sweep. The capital “G” and “S” are totally identical in both designs. The
    numeric characters “3”, “5”, “6” and “9” do not show any difference.

  30. Yeah, and speaking of fonts, how come very little press mention of Frutiger NEXTgate? Well, if I kick into gear, that’s about to change…

    As rightfully observed by the Applicant and uncontested by the Holder, the prior design and the RCD are to be considered identical. The typefaces of
    both designs have the same stroke thickness. The ratio from cap-height to descender height is equal. The proportion of character height to character
    pitch is identical. The type face in the specimen text does not show any differences. The minuscule “a”, “c”, “e” “g” and “t” have the same proportion in
    the prior design and the RCD. The height of the crossbeam at the “e” is identical. The height of the bow at the “a” is identical. The “c” shows the same shape and the same loophole. The lowercase “s” and the capital “S” show the same sweep. The capital “G” and “S” are totally identical in both designs. The
    numeric characters “3”, “5”, “6” and “9” do not show any difference.