Home | Portfolio | Who Am I | Art | Multimedia | Installations
Cat Chow | Raggedy Ann Collection | Resume | E-Mail

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Less is More 

When web design goes very, very bad.


SFgate.com changed their design format again today. It's the second time they've done that within the last couple of months.

Here's the thing: I love sfgate. I visit it frequently each day. I like it because I'm able to skim the headlines easily - which are both local news as well as world news. It's easy and concise, and I can quickly decide which stories/headlines interest me the most.

Bad news: Change is Bad.

Over the course of the last two design changes, they've somehow managed to go from a site that was unique because it was quick, and easy to navigate site with local and world news to a news site that looks a whole lot like everyone else. They've gone from having one feature story with one photo and one column with headlines of mixed stories, and quick blurb about the story, to becoming just another news site with multiple feature stories, multiple sections and multiple headlines.

I liked it because it was a "local site". It focused on local things. It always included the important World News Events, and had a small column for 4 or 5 AP stories, but the rest of it was local news. I have a routine of going to sfgate for my local news, and msnbc.com for World/AP news.

Now, it looks like sfgate is trying to compete with all of the big news sites. It's going in a direction that goes against the very reason why I was such a fan to begin with.

They have a little "Give us feedback" link which is already filled with dozens of readers bashing the new design.

I've been a web designer for 11 years. My first rule of thumb when designing a site has always been: "Less is More". Keep it simple. Don't over design. Let the user find what they want easily. Don't muck up the site with too much content.

Why is that so hard?
(or maybe it's just me, because goodness knows there are a lot of over-designed web sites out there that make my eyes bleed.)

I'm hoping that the design staff at sfgate.com will read the feedback and take it to heart. Hopefully, they'll go back to (one of their) old design that set them apart from the other news sites.


Okay, I know that this is totally over the top, but I've just found two screen shots of the from sfgate.com - an old one from 2007, and the new version as it debuted today. I thought it would be interesting to compare them side-by-side.

sfgate: then and now

Look how much more content this new design has packed into it, and how much harder it is to read. Seeing them side by side like this really makes me wish they'd just go back to the old design.

Is there enough crap in that site for you?
Seriously, my eyes hurt just looking at it.

Get a clue, guys. This is bad design.


Labels: , ,

Comments: Post a Comment

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours? & Weblog Commenting by HaloScan.com

The opinions expressed herein are my own personal opinions and do not represent my employer's view in anyway --- oh right, I *am* my own employer! ;)

© Copyright 2003-2007, Trina Chow