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.