ZDNet's new look

ZDNet's new look

Summary: As you will have noticed by now, we have given ZDNet a facelift. Our goals were to simplify the site design and navigation, and focus on the convergence of blogs and our news and reviews content.

TOPICS: Reviews

As you will have noticed by now, we have given ZDNet a facelift. Our goals were to simplify the site design and navigation, and focus on the convergence of blogs and our news and reviews content. On the front door of ZDNet, for example, we combine news and blogs in the 'Just In' river of content, and we also emphasize our network of over 30 bloggers. 

The blogs sometime break news--industry, product, company, trend, etc.--and also importantly provide insight into what the news means from multiple perspectives, linking to, filtering, refactoring and commenting upon the treasure trove of information pouring onto the Web every second.

The front door of ZDNet also includes carousels (AJAXy components) for seeing some of the latest blogs and our special reports, such as on Vista, gathered from the latest news, reviews and blogs.

We've also added a voting element to blogs and news for starters. You can vote thumbs up or down whether a story was worthwhile and we keep track of the net results. Let your vote be counted, and participate in our polls and Talkback to be heard.

My colleague David Berlind is starting a new blog, Testbed, in which he will be reviewing and ranting about products and other topics, and he will continue to contribute to Between the Lines along with Larry Dignan and myself.

We are still making some tweaks to the pages post roll out, so bear with us a few days. And, please let us know what you think via Talkback about the new look and how we can continue to improve the ZDNet experience.

Topic: Reviews

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  • Recommend some minor color separation

    It's a very clean layout, much wider than before (thank-you!). I do get a little mixed up on vertical and horizontal sectioning, though below the search fold. Perhaps some additional background tinting on headlines and section names would be of assistance.

    It is a fabulous make-over though! I love the mouseover action on the Premier Vendor content sections!

    Congratulations, I'm sure there was a lot of hard work put into this.
    Douglas Karr
    • I agree

      This massive white background comes as a big mess. Your forums are taking up too much space for reviewing posts as well. Shrink that down so I can take more in at once and I will be pretty happy. I did like the previous scheme but now you are looking more like TechRepublic. But I don't like Tech Republic, that is for when I am feeling uber-geekish or professional geekish. Most of the time, I feel a little less than that and want to be able to let some absurd comment fly out of my mouth so I come here. Now I am scared to do that.
  • Horrible

    I liked the old look. I have a hard time finding the content with this look. Maybe that was the purpose?
    • Perhaps it's to ease the lack of content

      Now nobody will notice thaty ZD is last to the scene regarding news items.

      I know I will be visiting here much less frequently. I imagine that some of the posters here will find that to be a positive outcome for the new site "design of confusion."
  • Awful

    1) The content is now "organised" in the same way that a 3yr old would "organise" their toys in a tantrum...
    2) The site is now broken with Opera.
    3) The contrast of the site is WAY too high. Black text on a white background may be ok for paper, but it is atrocious for websites.

    Get a clue ZDNet. These are simple design rules and you've broken them all.
  • Nice

    Hummmm,,very nice. Going to take a while to get used to it. But should be better when we get settled. Only suggestion, there is an awful lot of white space. You might think about adding a bit of background.
  • Sorry but I HATE the new look!

    God what a mess...
  • New look a loser

    Don't like the new look at all. I don't think I'll be visiting the site very often. It wasn't broken, why try to fix it?
  • An awful, unreadable mess

    White space is nice -- but so is readable text. It would be great to be able to easily differentiate content, but your new design places an emphasis on white space, uniformity, and a "clean look" so that everything is too small, looks the same, and is hard to read.

    You don't give me the option to adjust the font size (and I'm not changing my browser preferences for all sites). Your muted separators make it difficult to tell where columns begin and end, where a box of "top rated" content begins and ends, and where the ads begin and end (intentional?). While I suppose that may eventually adjust to the design, I really shouldn't have to.

    Design that makes the reader work is ~bad~ design.

    It seems as though you've chosen to emphasize white space and deemphasize content -- which is inexplicable. I suggest you pick up a newspaper and examine the page design of a daily newspaper. It's a design that's been in daily testing for over a hundred years -- look at font size in relation to white space. Large white space needs large fonts -- small fonts need little white space.
  • Really, really bad design that makes it all so easy to skip

    the whole site altogether.

    What's with the stupid "front door" tabbed content? Now all I see is more pap about Vista while other, more important, aspects of computing and IT are hidden behind tabs. How much is MS paying to keep Vista in our faces anyway?

    Well, this new site design should increase apathy regarding ZD in an amazingly efficient manner.

    Going to the Register now - bye bye....
    • The tabs get you there faster


      The tabbed sections for hot topics (Vista, IPv6, DRM, etc.) replaced what was, in the old design, a single topical promo. Where before the editors picked the hottest topic to highlight each day, now a set of 4-5 topics will persist on the ZDNet Front Door. Each will be updated every day, and the default, or "open," one will change depending on what's still the hottest.

      We *thought* that offering up multiple choices that you could quickly check out on the same page was an improvement over picking just one and making you visit multiple pages to see the others.

      Did we get that wrong?

      Stephen Howard-Sarin
      VP, Products
      CNET Networks Business
      Stephen Howard-Sarin
      • Basically yes

        If I don't see the item like a headline in the primary page, I won't go loading a bunch of tabs to see what's there that's new, if anything.

        Since I used to visit this site more than once a day, I only am intersted in the newer, "haven't seen this yet," stuff regardless of its flavor (virus alert, Linux, AJAX, software patent, Windows - not just Vista, etc.). If I have to drill into a topic to find the news or newest blog, I won't bother. My eyes will be off to other more intersting sites.
        • ditto (repeated cause of talkback confusion)

          this was supposed to go in response to the above post, but because talkback is such a mishmash i apparently clicked the wrong thing the first post.

          i checked (read that as "CHECKED" as in used to) zdnet multiple times a day, and 90% of the time just the homepage, cause everything was there in a nice format that i could look through quickly to see what was new and going on.

          i'm not going to click through a dozen tabs or pages to see the same information, IF there is anything new.

          and please, for the love of whatever you believe in, FIX TALKBACK. when internet veterans who've been on the internet BEFORE there was an internet and previous to that lived on local BBS systems HAVE A HARD TIME DECIPHERING what was posted when and by whom and what was a reply to what, you've done something seriously wrong.

          (and dont put up a "NEW" tag unless it's linked to a cookie or something, when does that "new" get refreshed anyway? i've checked this thread ~5 times and everything's NEW each time, this is RIDICULOUS)
          Valis Keogh
          • The newest stuff is on top

            We're actually on the same page, then. In this latest design, everything that changes often (as in multiple times a day) is up top on the home page. You don't have to scroll down or click tabs or nothin'.

            The one exception is that we'll highlight the latest post from just one blog at a time, rather than the old method of displaying a dozen or so. If you want to know the latest from all the bloggers (and there are more than 30 of them now), just go to blogs.zdnet.com and everything is listed there.

            Stephen Howard-Sarin
            VP, Products
            CNET Networks Business
            Stephen Howard-Sarin
          • TalkBack details

            Valis: I'm interested in your feedback specifically about TalkBack.

            The most common complaint we get about TalkBack is that people wish us to do away with the detailed threading. Users not used to Usenet find the threads complex and unneeded. Sounds like your desire heads in the opposite direction: That the threading is not explicit enough.

            FWIW, the "Reply to Message" button means your reply becomes a child of the message you're currently reading. The "Replay to Story" button means you message is a top-level on in the thread (since it's presumably about the story more than about another user's post).

            The "NEW" designation is not great: It simply indicates messages posted in the last 24 hours. It's pretty useless for folks who visit the threads multiple times a day.

            Stephen Howard-Sarin
            VP, Products
            CNET Networks Business
            Stephen Howard-Sarin
          • My Intellimouse is broken...

            For some reason, my MS mouse's center button/wheel used to work pretty much anywhere on the page - I click down on it and I can scroll down without turning the wheel. Now that only seems to work on the extreme right of the screen, beyond the page's border. This sucks. Please fix it. Thanks
      • sigh

        someone tell me the reasoning behind putting the ENTIRE SITE MAP on the front page.

        imho, take out the darn site map which takes up ~50% of the page, and expand all those "hot topic" tabs in it's place.

        that would also give us room to have all the blog area's expanded as well.

        i loved being able to glance through the front page of (the old) zdnet and be able to get a good overview of what was going on, now to do that you're talking... ~20 clicks instead of one slow scroll.

        (soon to be ignored)
        Valis Keogh
      • like the new layout but some typical web 2.0 caveats

        I like the tabs and the editor article slide menus, but like many web 2.0 styles its a very washed out look. Lke your sister site C-NET you need some more color contrasting to make the seperation of areas easier on the eyes. Right now everythings just washed out white with some blue. Sometimes seems like there is no separation of content.
  • Did anyone . . .

    bother to look at this on Safari? Your design has completely eliminated any sort of a
    margin on the left side. Overall I don't see this reesign as any sort of an improvement
    at all. Sorry folks.
    • Or Firefox 2.0

      on the Mac? Same issue as reported with Safari. I think your development team may rely too much on MS tools.