What Do You Think Of Our New Look? [MakeUseOf Poll]

Last week we asked you how many friends you currently have on Facebook. If you thought everyone was crazy over Facebook and had 1500 friends, think again. The results tell a different story, and so do the comments. Have you ever heard of a bell curve? Get a load of these results:

Out of 409 votes in total, 2.5% have more than 3000 friends on Facebook, 6% have 1000-3000 friends, 8.5% have less than 20 friends, 10.5% have 500-1000 friends, 14.5% have 300-500 friends, 19% have 20-100 friends, and 21% have 100-300 friends on Facebook, which is the most common range (and is also mine!). Another 19% of the voters don’t have a Facebook account, which is saying something about our readers.

Full results and this week’s poll after the jump.

Don’t forget to check out last week’s best comment by Mic Hall who had some interesting insights about Facebook, and won a free MakeUseOf t-shirt!

poll results sep 8   What Do You Think Of Our New Look? [MakeUseOf Poll]

This week’s poll question is: What Do You Think Of Our New Look?

Love our t-shirts? The best comment in this poll will get one of our geeky t-shirts. That’s right, for free! So get commenting!

As I’m sure you’ve noticed already, we have a new look. We already asked for you opinions over at MakeUseOf Answers and got very interesting replies, but since not all of you are active on Answers (now’s your chance!), we’d like to ask you again, this time using poll style to make it easier to answer. As usual, not all possible replies can be included in the poll, so please feel free to share your opinions in the comments below!

What parts of the new look do you especially like? What parts need to change? What would you like to see on MakeUseOf that is missing from the new theme? Tell us everything.

103 Comments - Write a Comment

Reply

Maarten D

Sometimes the site is a bit slow, with scrolling. But maybe that’s my computer’s fault :p

Fik of borg

Slow also in my computers, maybe it’s my internet connection.

Harshit J

It runs slowly on my computer too. It had almost hanged my computer once yesterday.

Reply

Henk van Setten

The three-column layout gives a visual impression of being messy, unordered, unclear. Also, the images take a way too large portion of the total screen space.
With this setup the user has to make more vertical and horizontal eye movements to skim all the contents. This much increases the chance of overlooking an item.
Efficiency and clarity comes with simplicity. Therefore, I myself much prefer a linear top-to-bottom layout, from latest at the top to oldest at the bottom.

Charlene

I agree with it looking a bit messy. Maybe a good idea would be to give people the option of viewing the old layout.

Al

Total agree with Henk.

Reply

Daniel Dawson

The old setup was more professional than now.

Dany B

Totally agree with them let us chose the old layout if we want to.

Reply

Alex D

The biggest learning curve was the tree-column layout. It’s nice, but definitely feels very clustered and unsettling. I do enjoy the forever scrolling dynamic on the front page, just wish it was a little more aesthetically pleasing. I will say that I do enjoy the new minimalist design with the off white, light grey, and soft blue look.
The articles are very nice though, I do enjoy that it is centered with content on the side. Anymore space devoted to the article would seem a little over powering. Also, makes it easy to notice who wrote the article
The Activity Stream, take it or leave it personally. The saved articles on the profiles is very nice as well. Wish the profiles had a top leader board, not just the last 30 days.
All and all, I’ve very happy with the new design now that I’ve gotten use to it.

Jeremy G

I agree about the articles and the activity stream

Reply

Allan

The redesigned layout was a shock, but you get used to it. I just do not like the box with the Facebook, Twitter and Google + that follows you as you scroll down the page.

Reply

Stefan

going back through old articles is a pain in the ass now. I can either scroll for pages and pages and pages, and lose my place when the page is refreshed, or I could (in the old layout) go to page 5/10/15 and instantly see a selection of articles and navigate from there. New layout is pretty but not functional

Reply

Eric J

It’s mainly good, but needs some changes, which? i think the images/thumbnails should be horizontally aligned with each other, other than that i’m fine.

James B

The problem there is with different lengths of titles. In a responsive design, you can’t fix the height of each unit and just hope for the best. I’m looking at options though, perhaps filling in left over area with preview text from the post?

Reply

Stanimir M

I need the ability to change my profile picture back :D

Reply

catester

I really like the content on makeuseof, but this layout makes it an ordeal to access the content.

There is lots to dislike in this layout. Maybe it looks great on a mobile device. I don’t know. I don’t read makeuseof on my phone. If the mobile layout looks that good, maybe you can still make it available to mobile users and let the rest of us read the posts in a way that is less annoying.

The scrolling social widget down the left side is like a mosquito buzzing around my ear. Right now I would rather crawl over barbed wire and broken glass than Like Tweet or (god forbid) +1 any content. I don’t want to subject my friends to the seizure-inducing flashing and scrolling things on this site. This thing takes up the entire left column? Now we have to keep scrolling to read the posts while swatting away the social mosquito. Is there any reason not to put a Like/Tweet/+1 at the top and bottom of the content instead of this thing? I’m pretty sure your readers are smart enough to find it.

The right-hand column now has a “Popular Now” area. Well, thank you at least for not using toasts to suggest “related content” and confining the Popular stuff to the top of a page that we will rarely see because of all the scrolling down we have to do now. Also, Activity Stream is just kind of a goofy idea. So-and-so earned 1 point for referring? Why would we care about this?

I recognize that things are going to change from time to time. I hope in the next overhaul you’ll take some of the suggestions here (by which I mean some of the suggestions by others. There are great suggestions here.) into account. I hope the next overhaul concentrates on featuring the excellent content on the site. Really. The content is amazingly, consistently good. You should showcase it. And I hope the next overhaul is soon. Thanks for allowing your readers the opportunity to sound off.

Yaara L

Thanks for the detailed feedback, catester! We do appreciate it.

We’re still ironing some kinks in the new design, and we’re taking user feedback into account as much as possible.

Do you feel that you have to scroll articles more than you used to have, or are you just referring to the homepage?

catester

Thanks for the reply. I find I am scrolling more in the articles. I subscribe to the RSS feed, and now that I can’t read the entire article in the RSS feed anymore, I read here, on the website. I have to scroll more, and again — that floating social bar that takes up the whole left column and stalks me makes it more annoying with each scroll.

Yaara L

Full articles have been gone from RSS for a while, though. At least 2-3 months, if not more. It didn’t happen with the new look. The older design also had a social bar on the left column, so that too is not entirely new.

Not trying to make you wrong, just trying to put things in perspective. I know an entire new look sometimes tends to make people think everything they don’t like is new, but some things were actually around before that too.

catester

I am well aware that the RSS feed changed awhile ago and was not part of the new design. I also read at the time why it changed. I understand why it changed. I am not complaining about that, I am using it to provide context to my answer to your question.

I don’t like that the social bar follows the scroll. It’s irritating, like a mosquito buzzing around. You could simply put the like/tweet/plus thing at the top and bottom of the content. We can find it pretty easily if we want to. It doesn’t need to follow up and down the page. Please make it stop doing that.

Yaara L

Thanks for making that clear. :) We’re taking all feedback into account.

Reply

karen

I always click thru to specific posts from the rss feed so i voted before visiting the home page. I voted “mainly good” but now visiting the home pg i would change it to “hate it”. 3 columns of same size content makes my brain want to explode. i couldnt even handle 2 columns that way. nothing stands out content wise. would be marginally better if they lined up horizontally and vertically but would still look like clutter to my brain. If i had never read your site before I would exit after 3 seconds and not return based on the home page. the individual pages arent bad in comparison. i am not a fan of moving content like the activity stream. the pics in the ‘popular now’ section are wasted space.

thank you though for having the comments as one column…my brain cant handle 2 or more columns like on the Lifehacker site.

Less is always more…let the content be the star.

Yaara L

Thanks Karen!

Reply

Haru

Looks much better on my Android chrome browser.

Reply

RW Driskill

Not real fond of it. I think there are a couple of things that should be changed. First, make all the article line up horizontally (I know, some of my OCD is showing). The staggered line up is somewhat difficult to scroll/read thru smoothly. Second, I think there should be a short description of the article contents.

Yaara L

We added a description several days ago. :) Regarding the tiles no lining up, this is due to the website being responsive, but we’re trying to work out ways to make it look better.

Reply

Saurabh

Mashable Inspired?

Jeremy G

Pinterest, I think

Chinmay S

Combo of Mashable and Pinterest

Reply

Joshua Clarke

Very messy. Your old look was direct, professional and clear.

This Pin / Grid theme you’re using just makes the site look cluttered and hard to keep up with whats new.

Reply

Chris K

Like Windows 8, it takes time to get used to, but it is what’s there. Honestly I find it hard to really stay focused looking through it. The used of the space is okay, the fonts have too much range which does not give ME control over the page view through my browser’s settings. The use of lighter shades for headings, and other content make it seem less intuitive now and more like it’s a list of things being blended together. I suppose it’ll get easier, maybe?

Reply

CatLeah

It was nice that you have redesign the site. But I would prefer the old one. It was easier to browse and read with the old design.

And sad to say that the site is looking like just any other wordpress-platform based website.

Reply

Peter Nielsen

It’s horrible.. I hardly go to the site anymore. After the new layout I use the rss feed, which is sad because I liked your site very much. But it’s almost unusable as it ios now. I cannot get an overview anymore..

Mat

An overview with links to recently added content would give the site a little bit of it’s old functionality while maintaining a fresh look attracting more social media type users, though may still alienate the legacy users.

Reply

Humza A

Love this website, but would prefer the look of the old. The design bombards a whole lot of information at once.

Reply

Ben M

Ya know, it is nice and looks cool, but I am really just trying to get used to it. I think for someone who is new to the site it will be easy for them, but since I have been around for a little while it is just a huge change. I am a creature of habit, as many are, so It is just going to take some getting used to. I don’t think there is necessarily anything wrong with it, except that I like to have a main area to look at, and in this case the main area is the entire page. I don’t know, it really isn’t bad I am just having a hard time adjusting. Thanks for always having great and informative articles! Love makeuseof!

Yaara L

Thanks, Ben! Getting used to new things is almost always hard, thanks for giving it a chance. :)

Reply

Pete Zerria

Like everything else users are forced to use something other than the familiar, friendly, quick interfaces they’ve gotten used to and enjoyed. Change for change sake is not good design. Nothing was wrong with the old design, but like Windows 8 and Flikr retools, users comments are openly solicited and overwhelmingly lean towards older designs but Authors typically turn a “deaf ear” to negative remarks about their designs.

Also, please go back to full descriptions in RSS Feeds.

James B

We never turn a deaf ear to any comments, but there were lots of things wrong with the old design – particularly for anyone browsing on anything other than the optimal desktop size.

The RSS feeds is unrelated, but you can use a full text RSS tool to get those back pretty easily: http://fulltextrssfeed.com/feed.php?url=makeuseof.com%2Ffeed

Caroline W

@ James B. I think that as a pepresentitive of MUO… And @ MUO – you and all have already made your minds up. Why waste our time asking what we think about the new and obviously ‘here to stay’ site in the first place. Should have left it as it was and just improved on it slightly to cater for phones and tabs, not redisign the whole thing into something which is frankly a headache to view and navigate around.

At least give us a Laptop/PC version to choose from.

Reply

Toller

Add more color please. Change background to a darker color. Grid border need shadows and outlines. Make the title text smaller. Overall just so my eyes can focus on each grid better.

Reply

Kamil K

I like it but I wish the article(s) stood out more.

Reply

Angelo J. Radosta

In the first place, I am 87 years old. My brain has slowed down but a few things should be obvious to the creators of the new set-up for viewers young or old!

1. Although the pictures are nice they take time to load. ( I am still working on Vista) .
2. The Subject Fonts are too large and also slow down the vertical creep.
3. There are too many article on this one page for a person to remember to go back to, and it becomes difficult to find, if a person goes right to the unending end.
4. doesn’t it seem simpler to put a few important articles with pictures and then list the remaining titles in a neat easy to read 12pt column?
Anyway, the set-up was very creative and worked well but it was TMI or to be more specific….Too Much Of A Good Thing. Please go back to the old way .

James B

Hold CTRL (CMD on mac) when clicking on an article from the homepage – it will open in a new window, so you wont lose your place.

Yaara L

Thanks fore the feedback, Angelo!

Reply

B.L. Ochman

Looks too much like Mashable

Reply

David DeMarsh

I love it – however, There is a mess look to it so just needs a little more order to it and don’t forget each section should be eye catching in order to let your fan base see everything . The best way to be eye catching is color mixed with simplicity – easy on the eye and not too cluttered. The more you have the harder it is to see .

Reply

likefunbutnot

I think the new layout is too cluttered and lacks contrast between on-screen components. I also dislay the infinite scroll feature and would rather have the ability to choose some kind of page split (possibly by post date).

I miss the top level article summaries as well.

I’d love to get the actual web designers and/or people who paid the web designers involved here to tell us what in the actual hell they were thinking. “But it looks the same on mobile!” isn’t a justification for doing a damned thing, especially not on a site with a technology focus.

Reply

Christine S

of course i like it, you guys can do no wrong. seriously i like the over all bigness of it, i do not think it is messy or unorganized it seems very current and easy to read. maybe the facebook, twitter and g+ share square can stop stalking me, thats a bit annoying. overall good job for sure.
christine

Reply

Terri C

cant find search bars or “ask a question”. it might be fine once i get used to it though.
i take slowly to change i guess.

Reply

Andrew R

Right now it is not very clear where on story tile stops and the other ones start. On the plus side, it does work much better on mobile devices than the old one did.

Reply

Akhil K

I Iike the fact that MUO is experimenting with new looks as the old one was kinda boring. Heres what I like about this one:
1 The website looks much better on my phone.
2 The top MUO bar is smaller and doesnt take much space.

What to improve:
1 The mainpage does look messy. The older one but without any of the ads or article suggestions on the side would be good.
2 This font maybe good for hi-res displays but looks very bad on my screen.
3 From the articles remove the ‘popular now’ section and the share option. Add it at the end. The articles should be centre-aligned.
4 Eventhough the MUO bar is small, it would be better if it werent persistent. Making it available only on the top would definitely save space on my small netbook.

Yaara L

Thanks Akhil! Organized and clear feedback like this is the easiest to work with.

Reply

Marco

It looks messy ,unorganized and crowded. The Facebook like and Twitter square bouncing up and down is terrible and the top bar reduces the available space. I will anyway get used to these unwanted changes but I would like something more rationally organized and focused on the contents.

Reply

paul

What’s going on here, did you guys recently sell out to some huge conglomerate?

I read 4 or 5 blogs daily, including yours because of great content. I have never felt strongly enough to comment on any of these blogs in the past. This is the first, so here goes..

Since the change to the new format, I believe I have only opened one article. I find that I spend less time here than before. It takes most of my patience to scan up down, left right , and stumble over pictures that are too large to discern what is worth reading. I think over time, I will loose interest in visiting here because of the new layout.

Think of the kind of websites that have the floating social media vote box thingy that you can’t out run. Do you really want to be lumped in with them? You can do better. Are you that starved for attention?

Please rethink this and go back to the old layout. I want my MUO back!

James B

Conversely, our stats show more articles are being read per visitor.

Reply

Ernie DV

Visually, very confusing. Different stories in different columns with different lengths makes it hard to get your head wrapped around what is there. Mixing different categories all over the page adds to the confusion. I love the site, but the redesign is a total fail.

Reply

Schvenn M

Contrary to popular belief, not every site on the web has to look like Pinterest.

Reply

Ole F

Why can’t I edit my profile??????
When I try clickiing profile, I get som rubbish!!!

James B

The picture is pulled from web standard http://gravatar.com . The name is fixed as first name and last initial as a balance between personality and privacy. You can change your email by getting in touch with support@punchtab.com

Reply

jai

nice but very difficult to read title for getting in the post

Reply

Sarthak Parashar

Its good and appealing. But sometimes it get little difficult to find which posts latest and which ones are old, which I think was very convenient in the old look.

Reply

Bo Gus

Confusing…

Reply

mowgli palacios

It is a little messy, try to make announcements and news a little different, or perhaps the news more separated with each other.
I am happy to see less announcements, thank you

Reply

lee tilson

Does this meet the needs of your users?

It does not meet my needs. It takes longer, a lot longer, to find what I want. I want to quickly find the information that is helpful to me.

I strongly suspect that many of us come here to find different types of information. If we all have to waste time scrolling through a lot of stuff that we really don’t care about or want to see, then the organizational scheme is counterproductive and I will go to another website to get the information I need.

I am not saying that the information needs of others do not matter. They do.

The organizational scheme needs to be useful for everyone who uses your website.

Your content is generally quite good, but I usually come here to solve a particular problem and don’t want to waste time.

Yaara L

Hi Lee,

I understand what you’re saying, it should be easy to find what you’re looking for.

What made it easier in the old layout for you? Articles were organized chronologically, not by category, and unlike now, there was no way to view all the articles belonging to one category. So why did it seem easier to find things?

Reply

Suvadeep P

I love it.. But I think the option of reverting back to the old look should be there..

Reply

Rama M

Looks like Mashable …!

Reply

kavi .D

Sure its good mainly for smartphones and tablet but not on desktop many site have make this confusion touch screen and mouse are not the same thing???
Must be two different site like a smart phone or tablet version an the the same desktop .

James B

I disagree. I can’t stand special “ipad” versions of a site with their silly gestures and magazine layout. On the contrary, I want the full desktop experience on a tablet; and the same look and feel on smaller devices. That’s what responsive design gives us.

Reply

Chinmay S

Your new look is nice. Use of more white space has made site attractive. Finally the old annoying drop down menu has gone. The new design looks very simple but at the same time more effective. Answers site looks very clean. The new favicon is also better than the previous one.

The only page i need to get used to is home page. You could align the articles in a straight horizontal row instead one article floating to the lower left of another or vice versa.
The dimension of images looks 410px width and 205px height. You could decrease the height of those articles which have longer title making them eligible to stand with the other two on the same row or you can increase the dimensions and add white space to those articles which have smaller titles.

Overall your site has undergone a major change. The result of the hard work of a young designer is a clean, elegant and professional design.

Reply

Rich Lewis

OMG! please go back NOW! This is so hard to read. Your eyes do not naturally follow the page. Also it was so much faster to just scroll down through the page.

Reply

Gman

less likely to revisit.

Reply

A F

It’s pretty crowded.
I noticed that some of your articles are given 2 columns. Also noticed that “likes” are tabulated at the top left of many articles. I suggest that you tie the number of likes to the size of the article (xxx # of likes= 2 column article). This would serve 2 purposes; 1. Break up the “wall of text/images that we’re seeing now. 2. Give readers a visual tip as to which articles are popular with other readers.

James B

Good idea – right now we’ve only highlighted “top” posts with an orange bar at the top, but tying it to number of likes could certainly work.

A F

James, I’m no designer- Just a humble consumer. Despite that, I have another suggestion; take a look at the width of the gutters between the columns and the spaces between the tops/bottoms of the article teasers. Would the look be less crowded if you increased the space between the columns and/or the space between the tops/bottoms? Seems like they might need more “room to breathe”. Thanks for acknowledging my earlier suggestion.

Reply

bben

Wouldn’t it make more sense to take you to the actual poll in question instead of the previous poll when you click on the ‘Take me to ‘ link?
I’m still looking for the results of this poll.

BTW- The new look – get rid of it. Its far too distracting.

Reply

dragonmouth

In a word the new look stinks. Being optimized for mobile devices, it looks disorganized and annoying on a regular monitor. Bring back the old look or at least give the users a choice – new look for mobile, old look for regular sized screens.

Reply

Allie

Don’t like having to click on links in e-mail to see articles. I have deleted without reading some as I REALLY REALLY do NOT like new format!

Reply

Rob

I like the look – it certainly presents the information in a way that looks more professional and clean IMO. Your old style was just that, nothing wrong with it, but was dated and i think your choice of layout matches what I think of your overall website in general. You cover such a wide spectrum of topics that organizing them can be a chore so kudos to your design team.

Reply

Shanna

I miss the Recommended / New article list to the right. This is a good case where the visual appeal ruins usefulness.

James B

Hmm – we could definitely add a list of new articles under the popular one. I’ll add it to the list of changes.

Reply

R Hopgood

What vomited on this site???

Reply

TobiH8

Every human can only read one text. How can I read three articles at one time? I hate the new layout it’s terrible because I have to read three articles at once.

Reply

Mat

If there was a sidebar menu to select specific content a user wanted that scrolled with you as you went through the site it would make it easier for users to select what they would like to pull from. I do like the principal of the modifications, but there has to be a better way to group the information.

This will regain some of the functionality that was possible in the old format while leaving the general content and format in this manner for those who are just browsing all available posts.

Mat

As it seems, the topical menu does not drill deep enough into the topics, and search criteria required. In addition it appears the site is trying to take on more characteristics of a social media site (Pinterest and Facebook) losing some of its more explicit features of a technical expert forum.

Reply

Victor O

I like the new look, but there are some things which somewhat irritate me.

First is the comment box. It used to be at the top of the comments thread, but now it’s at the bottom. One has to scroll all the way down to post a comment, which is not a convenient thing (especially on the giveaways with 1000+ comments).

Next is the idea of white screen. At 100% zoom on a 1920*1080 monitor, there is a lot of white space on the side that is not utilized at all.

Continuing from the last point, it would be nice to have more reading area. The area where the actual article is is very thin and seems too compressed.

Yaara L

Thanks for the feedback, Victor!

Regarding comments, you don’t actually have to scroll all the way down. Just click “Write a comment” at the top to do that.

Reply

Ralph Z

Don’t like the Pinterest layout – does everybody have to redesign to look like Pinterest??!?!? I’d prefer a simple ordered list. Hard to find some repeating content, like Cool Websites and Tools. Feels too cluttered.

Reply

Tony Contello

Don’t care for new layout …too busy…like the set order you had…also why did the 5 cool things daily change from pointing out free sites to what you do now?

Reply

Suzi L

I like it generally but would like to be able to clearly see the day’s latest articles in a list as before, and as in email notifications.

Reply

gmvolk

As others have said, it’s slow and feels messy / cluttered. It’s got some promise but needs lots of work. I think the old way looked more professional and clean and I could easily tell articles from the ads.

Reply

A. Broome-Hopkins

The site is slow and it looks like Pinterest. To me, that is not an appropriate or helpful format for articles. It’s disorganized, confusing, and really overstimulating when I’m looking for word-based content. This isn’t an imageboard so why format it like one? Massive UI failure here. Additionally, there are some parts that are WAY too freakin’ small and hard to read as a result.

Reply

android underground

What crazy scripts are you using on the mobile version? Half of my mobile browsers (stock, Dolphin, Firefox) crash when I long-tap a link to open it in a new tab.

And the browser is not the problem, because MUO is the only site that makes it crash. Even Lifehacker works without any problems on my phones!

Reply

android underground

P.S. Some months ago Lifehacker changed their layout. Everyone hated it. They listened to their visitors and switched back to a linear blog-like setup.

Caroline W

I hope that MUO does that here too.

Reply

Chandan

I will not visit this website if you not revert back or provide an option to view old theme.

Reply

G P Witteveen

As with anything new, there is a period of learning required. To speed that transition, it might be nice to have someone do a 1-minute video screencast or talking head that shows how a person can usefully get the most of the new features/organization to accomplish the things accustomed to before, but now in the new way, and with the enhancements that are supported now.

Yaara L

Thanks for the suggestion!

Reply

Caroline W

Sorry guys, it shouldn’t have been touched. It is Harder to find what you are looking for; It reminds me of Feedly a bit with it’s magazine style but on Feedly it works. The site now takes longer to load. I don’t like the constant updates of who got 1 point and who got 50 points etc… . I will always be a loyal MUO member. I just dislike what you have done. (Sorry for the harshness).

Reply

Gene A

Due to the new layout I have stopped using MUO. Too much of an overload on the eyes and too slow. I’m not saying go back to the old layout, but this new one needs LOTS of work.

Your comment