Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
User Journal

You're Invited: Take a Look At Slashdot's New Beta 69

Journal by slashdotblog

The Upshot:

Welcome to the first Slashdot blog post in quite a while — it's a big one. Launching today at beta.slashdot.org is the biggest redesign that Slashdot's ever seen, and you're invited to help shape it. (We've put a lot of work into the look and feel, trying to make the site easier to navigate as well as nicer looking, but between true bugs and imperfect ideas, we know that this isn't the end-state: that's why it's a beta! Feedback is welcome!)

What's new (or improved)?

Most obviously, the look of the page is different. We've tried to create a simpler, cleaner experience for login, submission, and navigating the site in general. Slashdot's main page is slightly simpler (but adds some pictures to ponder, too). Most importantly, we've upgraded the ways you can view the page, with three layouts you can choose from: besides the default (the "Standard" view -- that's where you'll see the pictures and brand-new layout), you can view in Classic mode (closer to the Slashdot you're used to), or Headlines mode for quick scanning. Some other changes:

  • You'll see more content, in the form of community-promoted stories, in the "All Stories" view. That means more brain candy in the form of submissions (ones you might have had to search harder for before, because they hadn't been selected by the editors as regular posts) bumped up the food chain to your view of the page.
  • For every user, there's a more informative (and just prettier) profile page to track your comments, conversations, and karma. Now, your profile page (at your option) includes a mini bio, too.
  • There's now a handy shortcut (the "Most Discussed" link) to reach the stories where the most comments are landing, whether you want to dive into the discussion as a participant or just to skim.
  • Under "Topics" in the menu bar, you can jump straight to the most active topics, too, to see what subjects are driving the most conversations.

Along with these, there are lots of smaller improvements, too, that we hope you'll find useful.

What's the same?

  • Under the hood, the same Slashdot editors are still assembling a stew of reader-driven and original news, and still bringing you original reader-participant interviews, Ask Slashdot crowd-sourced questions, and more.
  • Your submissions and suggestions are still the most important ingredient in the site. Please tell us what you think of the beta; we can't take every suggestion at the same time, but if you run into puzzling paths, borked links, or anything else that doesn't behave as you think it should, please let us know.

A big thanks to all the engineers who have worked for months to integrate the pieces that go together to make this upgrade possible. Remember, as a beta, this is an ongoing project, not The Last Word, so look forward to continuing progress as we respond to your feedback. A round of thanks, too, to our users who provided valuable feedback during the alpha stage of this redesign. We couldn't have done it without you! Note: You can sign up to be a beta or alpha tester for any new initiatives on Slashdot or be notified about any cool stuff we're working on.

This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

You're Invited: Take a Look At Slashdot's New Beta

Comments Filter:
  • WHY (Score:5, Insightful)

    by rea1l1 (903073) on Tuesday October 01, 2013 @02:15PM (#45005225) Journal

    Why do websites not want to fit my screen? Where are the news summaries?

    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Indeed. I applaud the owners for wanting to redecorate be please don't limit us to such a narrow column. I never thought I would say it but it makes the 'old' site look good!

      • If anything, increase the information density a bit. Instead, you put a circus on my screen, and removed all the stuff that matters (the text).

    • Why do websites not want to fit my screen?

      When a column of text is more than 80 characters (about 40em in CSS terms) wide, it becomes harder for the eye to find the start of the next line without skipping or repeating a line. That's why I've tended to set max-width: 32em on text columns. Besides, if you're on a 1920x1080 or 1920x1200 monitor, you can divide it into two 960px wide windows using the "Snap" or "Tile" feature of your window manager.

      • by JohnFen (1641097)

        When a column of text is more than 80 characters (about 40em in CSS terms) wide, it becomes harder for the eye to find the start of the next line without skipping or repeating a line. That's why I've tended to set max-width: 32em on text columns. Besides, if you're on a 1920x1080 or 1920x1200 monitor, you can divide it into two 960px wide windows using the "Snap" or "Tile" feature of your window manager.

        Sigh.

        This may be true for you, but it's not for me. I hate hate hate column width limitations like this. It's even worse when in a newspaper-like format of multiple narrow columns next to each other. (So your suggestion of multiple windows is pointless to me.

        What I strongly prefer is that the column which contains the articles becomes as wide as my window width allows it to be,and the text flows accordingly. Then, people such as yourself who prefer narrow columns can have them by narrowing the window, and people like myself who want them wide can have them too.

      • The fix
        ot ton si
        make the
        eb snmuloc
        more narrow.

        That's counter productive, and places needless physical limitations on text when the solution has been known since ancient times,
        .em tsugsid sepa ytrid nmad uoy ,lausu sA .rennam tneiciffe erom a ni sdrow nmad eht etirw dna dear gnikcuf ot nreal ylpmis nac uoy

      • If you blow up the pictures of the articles so that less than 2 articles fit on my screen, it becomes harder for the eye to quickly scan multiple articles at once...

        The stuff that matters is the text, and there's awfully little text on the screen at one time.

    • Agreed. Too narrow. It's well designed to fit onto a 1024x768 monitor... even if you aren't using a 1024x768 monitor.

  • I am seeing this new design pattern everywhere and it's just horrid. Update functionality and not design.
    • Stunning how closely the new design is mirroring Digg's changes when they crashed and burned.

      Both in look, and with the emphasis on editor pick (== paid ads disguised as content).

      Lots of emphasis on huge images; just making it harder to skim the content.

      I hope there's a text-only mode I can switch to in the new UI.

  • The "this is a public terminal" option was prominently displayed but is no longer there. That's a minor and simple piece of the site that could have a major impact for an individual.

  • I know the poll was never really valid, but now when I vote it takes me to the results, and presents me with the same poll but I'm not blocked out. Voting again immediately does in fact update the numbers.

  • by discord5 (798235) on Tuesday October 01, 2013 @02:55PM (#45005711)

    Guys, as much as I'd like to be constructive, I find it hard to be. Seriously... WHAT THE FUCK?

    Please have a look at this story [slashdot.org] and then look at this one. [slashdot.org]

    The difference between the two is that one has a commenting system that's moderately useful, and the other one makes reading comments a terrible experience. Why did you pick that narrow section for the sites only redeeming value? Nobody comes here for the content, it's rehashed shit from other websites we've already read (probably twice given the fact that stuff gets reposted at least twice). We come here for discussing that stuff, not for the vapid slashvertisements and terrible stories.

    You've lost your way, slashdot. You're slashdot, an elaborate forum disguised as a news site with terrible rehashed content given a spin. Kill the forum aspect, kill the site. Enjoy your asset, I hope you didn't pay too much for it if your only intent was to sink it.

    • by Hadlock (143607) on Tuesday October 01, 2013 @04:33PM (#45007075) Homepage Journal

      Agreed, slashdot is a forum, as content density approaches 0, so will your users. This site redesign looks like it was designed by, and for users of Instagram. Which is about the polar opposite of the targeted crowd.
       
      We want high information density, not less. Go look at a programmer's workflow, it is also high information density in tiny, tiny font (if he has good eyes). Hiring someone from the University of Low Information Density is going to kill the site unless your plan is to drive air-headed PHBs to the site for a temporary traffic bump at the cost of losing your long-term users.... which was why you bought the site in the first place, right?
       
      Maybe you could cut your losses and sell slashdot to the community for $250,000 and call it a day? Buying slashdot was a terrible decision from the get-go. Killing the patient to save the arm does nobody any good.

      • by Teancum (67324)

        Maybe you could cut your losses and sell slashdot to the community for $250,000 and call it a day? Buying slashdot was a terrible decision from the get-go. Killing the patient to save the arm does nobody any good.

        I, for one, would gladly chip in $50 into that effort. I'm not entirely sure what sort of non-profit entity that could be established to properly run a site like Slashdot, but between the hardcore geeks and even a few lawyers that show up from time to time and post here I'm sure we could get something put together.

        Besides, I think Reddit is sort of taking what steam Slashdot once had. It isn't a perfect match and of course there are other social media sites, but Slashdot has been my #1 source of geek news

    • by ilotgov (637717)
      I totally agree to this.
      What on earth got into you dear slashdot? Do you like to be just another run-of-the-mill site like so many other gizmo-tabloid sites.
      I like and read slashdot every morning because it is highly concentrated information on one page. The new design dilutes the information with interleaving pictures on the front page.
      If you like to change anything and keep your web developers busy look at http://www.cnx-software.com/ [cnx-software.com] as a good example.
  • by Specter (11099) on Tuesday October 01, 2013 @03:32PM (#45006153) Journal

    There are at least four glaring problems with how you've redesigned the comments:

    1) You're wasting at least 33% of the usable screen space for comments. I understand you need to put in some ads but after that you should be using the entire screen to display comments. The new format is hard to read and actively penalizes longer and better formatted comments. Like other posters have said: I come here for the discussions, not the stories, and this is a major turn off.

    2) You've dropped the visual cues as to how far down in the thread you are. This is particularly bad in long threads because as it is designed today when I spot a flame war I can pretty easily visually skim past it to the next relevant comment. I can't do that in the new format.

    3) You moved 'load more/all comments' to the end of the comments! WTF! I don't want to read down to the end of the screen, load more comments, and then have to go back to the top and try to figure out what's new. Now, you're saying to yourselves: yeah that's not how it works. Now we just add more comments onto the bottom which brings me to problem four:

    4) You've removed the ability to filter on moderation rating in the story. It looks like now you're just barfing out the first X comments, regardless of moderation, and the loading X more when I hit the button. I understand how this makes #3 simpler but it's a pain the ass if on one story I want to follow the high level threads and the next I want to read at -1 so I can moderate.

    Additionally: I'm really concerned that every comment has a moderate link. Be really careful here. /.'s moderation has warts but it's far and away better than any other moderation system out there. Break this and you break /.

    Also on the user page you took away the ability for me see how my comments got moderated (vanity) and also to track replies to comments that I've made (breaking current functionality).

    Comparing current to Beta it also looks like you increased the size of the ads. I don't like it but I can live with it.

    Overall, this is much much worse.

    • Specter's nailed it. Maybe you should have them consult on the design instead of whoever's working on it now.
    • Completely agree with Specter. There should at least be an option to use full-width in the home page.
    • by guanxi (216397)

      4) You've removed the ability to filter on moderation rating in the story. It looks like now you're just barfing out the first X comments, regardless of moderation, and the loading X more when I hit the button. I understand how this makes #3 simpler but it's a pain the ass if on one story I want to follow the high level threads and the next I want to read at -1 so I can moderate.

      Additionally: I'm really concerned that every comment has a moderate link. Be really careful here. /.'s moderation has warts but it's far and away better than any other moderation system out there. Break this and you break /

      I haven't tested it, but if true it would be a real blow to the site's usefulness. By default I read at the 5 threshold; I don't know how much time I'd spend reading without being able to do that. As Specter says, the comments and moderation system are by far the most important parts of the site.

    • by TubeSteak (669689)

      Also on the user page you took away the ability for me see how my comments got moderated (vanity) and also to track replies to comments that I've made (breaking current functionality).

      This x9000
      These two links should not show the same thing:
      http://beta.slashdot.org/~Specter/ [slashdot.org]
      http://beta.slashdot.org/~Specter/comments [slashdot.org]

      compare

      http://slashdot.org/~Specter/ [slashdot.org]
      http://slashdot.org/~Specter/comments [slashdot.org]

      And while they're at it, can they make the default posting style Plain Old Text?
      It acts just like html, except you don't need to put in line breaks and links are automatically linkified.
      This will lower the barrier for people who post a wall of text because they don't know any better.

    • The new design treats the comments as an afterthought. Speaking for myself, I come to slashdot mainly FOR the comments and discussions. The articles are just the seed for the discussion. Why do we need a big honking picture on every story? Won't the story link have relevant pictures?

      This new design is simply butt-ugly. Ugly enough to make want to come to slashdot a whole lot less.

    • by Soulskill (1459) Works for Slashdot

      Thanks for the detailed feedback, it's very much appreciated.

      • by Tackhead (54550)

        So what's the plan going forward? I've had a couple of hours to cool down and formulate my objections more objectively.

        1) Images: Meh, I can take 'em or leave 'em. I can understand users' frustration, but they're trivial to block client-side.

        2) Whitespace:

        Narrow the spacing between lines.

        It's like reading in doublespaced/triplespaced form.

        3) Whitespace. I think people have
        told you the fixed-width column
        was too narrow. But just in case,
        here's another reminder.

        4) Content and

    • by Teancum (67324)

      Nailed it. I especially hate the user comments section now, not to mention that one of the things I have liked in the past about Slashdot is that Rob Malda actually took the time to look up the official HTML spec and make a really usable site. Yes, "times have changed", but that doesn't mean you need to try out every one of the latest gizmos and gadgets in HTML just because they exist.

      Slashdot has also been typically one of the few sites I've been able to load when my bandwidth is poor, and now that is no

  • I agree with Specter and would add: The system is already poor on a number of points and this doesn't fix them. 1. I'd like to see a system where the best comments, from the category I select as user (I'm interested in informative, not funny) rise to the top. 2. I'd like to see a category for "already said above" and if modded thus it a down-vote (would stop ppl endlessly saying the same thing without bothering to read comments already made). Somehow, even if I set my level to five, I still get repetitive d
    • by basscomm (122302)

      2. I'd like to see a category for "already said above" and if modded thus it a down-vote (would stop ppl endlessly saying the same thing without bothering to read comments already made).

      It's been a while since I had mod points. Has the 'redundant' mod option been removed?

  • Sorry, but the new design looks very generic, like any other mediocre tech blog. I feel like I am seeing too many images instead of the summaries, I like slashdot because I can just open it and read to the point, now I have to scroll through useless images. Also where are the controls for filtering comments? and the scores for each comment seems to be gray-out, which in my opinion makes the moderating system irrelevant. Finally the design seems to be optimized for small screens, but in a big screen with
    • And
      the summaries are incomplete and there is a READ MORE button, that takes the Suck Factor off the top of the scale for me. Post the summaries in their entirety, always.
      • Plus
        Now I cant get more than 50 comments to a page, on the new site or the old one. The Load/Check New Comments button does not do anything.
  • The main page looks refreshing and nice. Tree structure of comments is now harder to follow though. The classic version with clear borders around comments and ample usage of horizontal page was much more comfortable. I hope the main page autorefresh has been removed (or an option to turn it off), I always find it annoying in the current version. Now would also be excellent moment to roll in the long-awaited Unicode support.
  • by guanxi (216397) on Tuesday October 01, 2013 @04:27PM (#45006957)

    My first response is that the functionality is clear and intuitive, but it has lost its visual personality; it looks a lot like other websites. My amateur eye would attribute it to losing much the weight of the green, the horizontal stripes that were the background for each headline, and the curved borders.

    • by guanxi (216397)

      My first response is that the functionality is clear and intuitive, but it has lost its visual personality; it looks a lot like other websites. My amateur eye would attribute it to losing much the weight of the green, the horizontal stripes that were the background for each headline, and the curved borders.

      I should add to my own comment ...

      I'm not saying you shouldn't change or that you need to keep those old visual elements. I'm suggesting that it should be more visually distinctive from other websites (conveying that Slashdot is a special, unique place), and that you might remind old readers more that it is still Slashdot.

    • by guanxi (216397)

      I'll add one more idea:

      Part of Slashdot's personality, to me, is that it's an idiosyncratic place, with its own perspective and ways of doing things, and it's a bit old-school with its long history. Those things give your site character; there are lots of tech blogs out there that don't have any and they don't stand out.

      The appearance reflected that; I'd be careful about making it too generic.

  • There is way too much visual noise. The images (and I mean images, not icons) are unnecessary and distracting. I would suggest you remove them and find some way to do without them.
  • Again and again, we see user interface designers copying the popular and trendy interface elements of the day. I have always been able to rely on Slashdot to maintain a good website design, but it appears that this beta abandons all of that to follow the grazing herd. The banner atop the screen insists on stalking me, even as I scroll away from it. The enormous right column dominates the entire page with its worthless blank space. And worst of all, the designers have followed the recent fad of covering the

  • The new design hurts my eyes. Seriously. It is difficult to read and cluttered while there is a ton of white space and ads on the site. Give us an option to spread the information across the screen since we have widescreen displays! I hate having to scroll that much!

    Oh, and instead of trying to give the site a facelift how about fixing the fact that the headline for Message 27171508 keeps showing up under the right column but when I delete all or delete it it comes right back and whenever I try to view i
  • Looking at classic view of the home page on both layouts, I've got three full stories/summaries on my screen on the old layout and one story and half of the headline of a second story with the new layout.

    I'm running a 24" LCD panel at 1920x1200 and there's only room for one story/summary - making me scroll a lot doesn't seem like progress. If anything, a redesign should allow us to have more content on the screen (don't be an also-ran, channel your inner Tufte!)

    Granted, it's shinier.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Ugly "metro" like design? really?

    I dont hang around for news... arstechnica is for that
    for informed discutions: are there better specific "on topic" forum pages
    but, for all around nerd gallimaufry... slashdot was as discution centered and free of image fluff, as the ajax non sense can permit.

    Rats! dam blog magazine graphics design... slashdot "has been" >:-

  • I like it, but pleeeease do not keep the moderations in all caps

  • Older/newer links (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday October 01, 2013 @06:00PM (#45008433)

    The "Older" stories link should be on the right and point to the right (forward) and the "Newer" stories link should be on the left (pointing back), since the newer stories come first (earlier) in the list.

  • Seriously. This is not just bad, it's unusable. Even with my 1080p monitor, only 4-5 comments fit on the page at a time. And with no ability to collapse/expand? What were you guys THINKING, seriously. The whole point people use this site is for the comments, and you've made the comment system impossible to navigate efficiently.
  • Lots of people use portrait monitors and the redesign makes the site horrible to use. So much wasted space! It's also just ugly with it's digg a version or two back/metro style. Slashdot. The new Digg. This boat is sinking if they move forward with this change.
  • by mothlos (832302) on Tuesday October 01, 2013 @06:42PM (#45008885)

    As mentioned elsewhere, you seem to think that people don't actually use their screen real-estate. You are throwing away nearly a quarter of my browser's horizontal space for empty regions which fail to contain my gaze in the information I care about. You then go and give two-fifths of the used space to the right-hand side-bar which contains your adverts, yes, but it also means that the region remaining for the story summaries is inadequate. If I have the images on, many summaries require scrolling to get through.

    The stalking header bar is useless. It contains links to things which I might want to utilize upon visiting, but when I am paging down to read stories, I'm not suddenly going to think, "I need to submit a new link." or "I can't remember what site I am on and need a link to it.". It just steals vertical space in a world where people have an excess of horizontal space on their screens. Stalking elements also break the idea of a web page of being a page which the user is examining through, which is not only creepy, but it makes it more difficult to maintain a spatial awareness on the page.

    There is insufficient visual hinting regarding the boundaries of stories. Visual hinting allows people to more efficiently navigate information by ignoring what isn't important to them. In particular, the story titles are in a font which takes up too much space (too many stories have multi-line titles) and the font weight is so low as to not give them sufficient contrast. Speaking of contrast, the light grey frame is far too weak to create a box for the story. You also are trying to use white space to organize the data within a story element, but it just means that nothing in it anchors the reader's gaze requiring constant reevaluation.

    Comments are just fucked. You have thrown out a somewhat successful threading system for an unnavigable mess. Even more than stories, the ability to skip comments is essential to find the parts of a conversation the reader finds interesting. The lack of width and size of overhead for each comment, plus the fact that auto-minimizing of comments isn't functional makes it just a stream of awful.

    For all of the slamming of skeuomorphism and seeming praise for iconocentric user interfaces which gets promoted on this site, this pedestrian redesign to look like an AOL blog site is utter crap. Are there improvements to be made to the old design? Absolutely. It would be less offensive if this particular redesign was actually trying something new instead of regurgitating the crap which is already out there.

    • by Stumbles (602007)
      Agree about your horizontal/empty regions ala the Wordpress look which I really, really dislike.
  • At first scan,

    I immediately changed to classic view because the new view involves too much scrolling to scan the stories and I want to see the text, so headlines only is no good.

    I feel there is not enough contrast between each story's background and the page background. It doesn't take a lot, a bit more contrast would do.

    How do I manage what comments I see ?

    The page width in the comments is not wide enough.

    The right column is too wide (but story and comment width seem ok if I reduce the width of my browser

  • by Anonymous Coward

    I really like the tags, not because they are especially accurate or something but because they give a quick first impression of the community.
    Take the 'the Netherlands' tag in a story about Belgium; the tag alone made me read the comments.

  • I remember watching the Tech Republic die after they did a similar site redesign. Sure, the website still exists but the community left. That site used to be all about a huge community of geeks who would just sit around talking about how they solved problems. Now it's a vapid wasteland. Slashdot is a fun way to read the news but after this redesign I predict most people will permanently move to Reddit.

  • Slashdot Beta, worse than New Coke.

    -

  • Well, im not certain what to say to you all. You've all done allot of work. To me this seems like the wrong work, but you certainly did it well. I don't understand why you would take such effort to change what was not broken, and I just hope you've thought this through because you all are taking quite a risk.

    I wish you all the best of luck. Ill be rooting for you. Perhaps a facelift will help the site stay relevant and thrive. I'll try to keep visiting if you roll this change out . Really Ill try. I promi

  • We can look at Huffpost or ETOnline if we want a visually bloated presentation. The /. we know and love is compact succinct and test-based. Long may she ever be.
  • I spent 14 mod points on the main discussion, so I'll drop my comments on the Horrible Beta here:

    Slashdot was basically the geek crowd's replacement for Usenet. Slashdot came along about the time Usenet became unusable due to spam and trolls. Slashdot succeeded largely because the format was plain and functional -- basically it worked like a glorified newsreader (and the mod system does a good-enough job culling spam and trolls). What it looks like ... well, Usenet wasn't pretty either, but it was efficient

  • by Reziac (43301) *

    Try increasing font size to 130% or so (which some of us with aging eyes must do to read the screen comfortably). All the undisplayed comments become a continuous unreadable mess, impossible to tell what belongs to which.

    This problem is commonly seen in bad Wordpress styles, too. Hmm...

Top Ten Things Overheard At The ANSI C Draft Committee Meetings: (9) Dammit, little-endian systems *are* more consistent!

Working...