Dice: Frankly, many of us want a new design, Classic is broken in so many ways. But beta is terrible, and this is what is wrong:
* The value that Slashdot brings to its users is not in its articles. Frankly, the articles are terrible. The value that Slashdot provides is a discussion forum for self-selected nerds.
* As such, it is vital that you remember that the community is not just an audience, it is also your primary content creator.
* Your new redesign does not allow the community to create (or even consume) content because:
- It makes it impossible to follow discussions in the comments sections. This is largely because of the max-width on window and the fact that of the space left over is taken up by a useless sidebar. The vertical spacing is also overdone.
- Slashdot has a fragile but effective moderation system. Your changes make it impossible for readers to leverage that system to read a high quality discussion and ignore the trolls.
- It disregards conventions of the community. UIDs matter. We’re nerds. We understand that you need to attract a younger audience, but for a lot of us (including the younguns) it is thrilling to see a post from somebody who has been there from the beginning.
* In the last 24 hours Soulskill has bitterly commented that the community has been involved since October and that they also get emails supporting the new design; only the comments are an echo chamber. This comment demonstrates a deep incompetence in your development team. Soulskill should have been citing A-B testing numbers. A-B testing is cheap, easy and effective but instead you are taking stabs in the dark.
* Your ability to attain user acceptance is dismal. A number of years ago, when Taco needed to modernize the site, he solicited the community for designs, and awarded the best designer and used that design. That is how you leverage a community and gain their acceptance: incorporate them in the design process. As a bonus, you won’t have utterly useless redesigns that will either ruin your website or have to be scrapped.