You may have noticed that we’ve updated our look and feel. We’ve done this in response to comments from you, our readers, and commercial imperatives (e.g., our mobile and tablet readers account for 40 percent of readership – and rising – but we hadn’t properly monetized them with advertising). If you’ve been on the mobile site, you’ve noticed that there are now a fair number of full-size ads. On the more positive side, you can (finally) respond to individual comments. At the same time, we’ve streamlined the home page to be more consistent with our tablet and phone versions. Yes, we know there are major and minor bugs to fix. Rest assured, there will be two colors on the home page (as before). And a san serif typeface. And we will make sure the comments aren’t too narrow on the mobile version. Fortunately we have top men working on these and other issues even as we speak. Meanwhile, the team’s reading all your comments below to iron-out the wrinkles and improve the UI. Your patronage, patience and understanding are most appreciated.

142 Responses to Housekeeping: TTAG Updates User Interface

  1. OK, I’ll say it. The new layout/design just sucks – plain white is just painful. I hope the layout is “fluid” enough to morph into something better.

    • Yes, the white is a bit stark, would like to see some softening. Maybe some visual divisions to separate one story from the next…

      • My eye doctor says the white desktop background will burn my retinas if I don’t wear sunglasses.

        Haven’t seen the mobile version, so he can’t comment there.

        • It feels like im on the desktop site, I liked the old version better, even if I cant reply to people

        • Eh, D7D9D5 seems right to me. Just a touch of warmth to take the harshness out, and a bit dimmer to reduce intensity

        • D7D9D5 seems right to me too. I would like some red highlights like the old format, they would help break up the starkness of the background as white.

    • Agreed! The articles are GIANT and the posts are tiny making them more difficult to read.

      What background makes for a PAINFUL reading experience.

      AARRGG!

    • Sent reply to this post dave357 from my mobile yet- while it shows up on my mobile it did not show up on my desktop. I am now typing on the desktop. white background still sucks as I stated at 1711 from my mobile.

    • I agree. The new layout sucks.

      It reminds me of awkward websites in the 90s…

      And it’s hurting my eyes.

  2. Scared me there for a while! I had just clicked the link to make a comment and got a 404, then couldn’t load anything here!! Thought you’d gotten feddied or something. 🙂

    Glad to see you back so fast… will have to look around before I know if I like it or not. So far, so good.

    • Mine was much more Ominous, the notorious 502 internal server error!

      As an IT guy, the first thing I thought was DDOS attack, and the EveryTown hissy-fitters hit the firewall.

      I am glad to find out it is a lesser tragedy. My Eyes! 😉

      • It was alternating back and forth between 404 and 502 for me. I had just gotten notification about that magazine give-away and figured it might be a “first 10 to reply” type of deal or something so I was refreshing two browser windows like a boss.

    • the mods will surely delete this comment pretty quick…
      you can root your phone and install adblock software on it just the same as you would have on your desktop, and never see ads on websites or youtube or anything else ever again.
      i stopped watching television 3 years ago because i cannot stand being forced to watch advertising, and even though i love ttag if i was forced to look at ads id give it up just the same.

  3. -1. I don’t like it. It looks like USA Today. Could you at least make the blog side a different color from the ads like it was before? I could tolerate it if you do that. Everything runs together with it all white. Is it just my PC or does it look like that to everybody? Are you guys doing this for mobile users or what? Maybe I’ll try it on my iPad.

  4. Aww it’s ok. I’m on mobile 80 or 90% of the time. Most of the time I can’t hit reply. Everything is fine by me…

  5. What can you do to change the fonts? the serif font used makes me think my screen needs cleaning b/c it’s got fly snot on it. Other than that, no problem!

    π = process improvement

    • That’s what I saw too. If a reply was about 4 deep, as in a reply, to a reply to a reply
      There was no name as to who wrote it. That’s a bummer.

      • From what I’ve seen, it appears that when someone replies to their own comment the system omits their name, possibly the save space. It confused me at first but once I realized what was likely happening it made sense.

        • I don’t think that is what is going on. People are posting responses and their names are not showing up. To me it makes NO sense. If I can’t see what others are posting then why reply to them?? Half the fun of this site is discussing, bickering and trading ideas with others.

  6. Not bad, but I’d prefer a slightly darker colour than white, it will begin to annoy me in a couple of days. Grey would be nice, just an ever so slightly darker colour. Pictures are a pain, waaaay too large. The font isn’t great either. I preferred the old font. Loads quicker, but not worth it in my opinion. If you cannot change this format for the better, please return it to the old format-much better.
    Good to see the edit page is still the same. The ‘related pages’ font hurts my eyes, definitely change that.

  7. You’ve already addressed my two complaints. Massive picture and tiny fonts (Desktop site). The mobile site looks much better on a phone and I can actually reply to others comments from the mobile site which is a plus.

    But I see this is still there:

    Please use your real name instead of you company name or keyword spam.

    I am Anonymous… how can I use my real name? What exactly is “keyword spam.”

  8. -testing 123 Shannon wants to do me

    -testing 456 Bloomberg sucks d****

    -Dirk

    Edit: names DONT show up on mobile site (I am on a BlackBerry, or as shannon would say, the sweeter the juice :-))

    • I’m on Android version 4.2.2 using CM Browser. Names show on initial comments and replies to other people’s comments, but apparently NOT to direct replies to your comments based on the couple of posts I’ve browsed with the new format.

  9. I think I’d rather have the old layout along with the reply issues on the mobile version.

    I can get around the issues by going to “desktop” for a moment. The new layout, however, is just a nuisance.

  10. our feedback? So whos the jerk who asked for slower loading, pop up ads and giant numerous embedded ads on mobile? TTAG was one of the few mobile viewing pleasures now as I type theres some broken script that keeps crying about a security cert. There it goes again. Ill be reading via rss until you sort this out.

  11. Well while were giving feedback, can you sort out the forum part of the site? Spammers galore for weeks, and not a moderator in sight…

  12. My only complaint currently is that the comment box is not at the bottom of the page so I cannot flick any given story right to the bottom and have the comment box there.

    But then there’s no pleasing some people.

  13. Yuck. Font looks shit. Won’t load on iPhone 5S and looks
    like this
    on my
    iPhone
    4 when
    replies
    have
    several
    sub-
    replies.
    I hate
    “up”
    grades.

  14. It is not working for me. Numerous post are not attributed at all, just appear, including some of my own, not predictable. And I use a computer, therefore see no advantage.

  15. The fact is once a cop says “put your hands on your head” you walk away and create what will look like exigent circumstances. Which could be a chase, physical detainment or worse. There’s no good way to just walk away if being told to comply then disregarding.

    They had no business making that command.

  16. I feel like I’m some octogenarian trying to read my computer. The format is WAY TO BIG. I’m not 85, and the white is blinding. This setup might keep me from reading TTAG more than once a day. I don’t like feeling like a senior citizen catching up on TTAG with this format

  17. It’s great to have the ability to reply on mobile again, but obviously names need to be attached. Otherwise I’m good with the design, since I hate eye-candy. I’m all for simple and minimalist.

  18. It looks great. Yes, I’d like to see smaller images.

    Also the serifs on the body typeface look a little funny on my PC (Chrome browser). Especially on the lowercase m’s, n’s and r’s.

    But overall it’s a little cleaner which I like.

    • The Times New Roman doesn’t look any better in Firefox, Opera or the generic Linux webkit. I first thought Chrome was broken. After ripping it apart I found out this is the NEW NORMAL PARADIGM. Luckily I only wasted a HALF HOUR.

  19. Cute. Now it looks like my first attempt at html, back in the 90s. Thanks to all the iCrap users for their incessant whining. Both of them.

  20. I’m clearly in the minority, but I like it. It’s loading faster and it’s clean. I wish the reply buttons were a different color than the reply text, but other than that I can’t complain.

    • Hey Ralph, share with us which web browser you’re using, it sounds like it’s a browser-specific problem, seeing as others are able to see the names and avatars.

        • Thanks, Bill – it seems random to me – at first, all was displaying correctly, then the replies weren’t, now I’m not seeing avatars or names on several top-level posts.

          Sounds like you’re working with Robert and the team on site, then. Good luck in getting it squared away.

        • I’m not working with anyone on site. I’m at home on a Linux box, trying to find a browser that will render this trash html in a readable, non-painful format.

          I retired from computer security. I’ve fired people for doing what was done to this site in the way it was done.

    • Ralph wrote:

      “and now I don’t know who I am!”

      A little early to be nipping into the Scotch, Ralph?

      I forgot, you’re Irish. Never mind.

      Carry on…

  21. Honestly guys, it looks like crap. Yes, the smaller the device, the better it comes across, but on my tablet, laptop, and desktop, everything’s too big. At least the responsive portion of the theme is resizing things correctly.

    Once you get past the first article, everything looks off-center because nothing’s filling out the right-hand sidebar. The body font’s serifs are distorting on my desktop (Win 7 w/ cleartype), causing my reading comprehension to plummet as my eyes try to double-back to see what’s on the screen. Fluid, it is not; the font’s quite a hindrance to reading fluidity.

    Everything is too big, especially on a desktop. There’s way too much whitespace, orphaned rules (lines without delineated content), and the ads and other sidebar objects look haphazardly placed without borders or consistent alignment.

    The simplicity of the theme makes me wonder if you just went back to WP’s default themes. As senior project manager for a web development company, I do this every day; hell, I’d be willing to toss you a discount on work if you want to clean this up. We specialize in rescue projects, much like the plumber who repairs what the husband fixed.

  22. I take back my earlier comment . This is awful. Reply does not give who is replying. A post of mine disappeared. A 4 or 5 reply thread loses all meaning if we don’t know who’s talking. I don’t have a problem with the font-it seems to show up better with my old man reading glases.

    • It is confusing,Former Water walker, but I think it’s temporary. The WHITE HAS TO GO!
      Also move the button, or arrows or whatever you call those page forward/next page things. They are right where your mouse stops when yo click an article. Then they pop up all the time.

  23. Instead of top…men… working on it, how about mixing in a woman or two; they tend to have a better sense of esthetics.

  24. Some folks using older ‘puters find over 1280 screen width annoying as hell.

    Scrolling horizontally to read a web page sucks.

  25. I’m sure this new format will get improvements over time. That’s me being positive. As it stands I dislike it immensely. Oh what the hell. I hate it, it sucks etc.

  26. This extra bright, bleached background is blinding, please change it. As for the fonts, can’t you just go with Arial or something simple and easy to read like that? And make it smaller, too. I feel like I’m scrolling for 20 minutes just to read 5 comments.

  27. “Hey, we fixed the mobile site”
    “Cool, how’d you do it?”
    “We got rid of it and blinded people with the background color”

  28. I loved the clean, small and simple mobile version it was this morning.

    All this update did was make the page larger, stuff 10 extra adds in, add Google (which is decidedly anti-gun if we’re not forgetting our roots here), and make the overall user experience much worse than before.

    As someone who primarily reads on a mobile device, I’m mildly peeved, and will probably get over it… But geez, it was perfect minus replying before.

    Also gj on the replying.

  29. Honest answer? Revert back both the mobile and desktop sites to their former formats. Why the hell you all couldn’t have just added a link to the forums and a “reply” feature to the comments section of the mobile sites instead of foisting this mess on us?

    If you must add adverts to the mobile version then fine, just coral the suckers so that I’m not confusing the adds with the pictures from the articles.

    Seriously this is as annoying as iOS7 was with their anti-skewmorphishm crap…

  30. Very sleek and sexy look. I heartily approve. The only feature I’d like to see added at some point is a point system for the comments.

  31. While I admit that I do not like change in general, my only complaints are that that font is a little weird (especially with r m and n, and that the all white format is visually monotonous.

  32. I seldom comment. I have to say I really do thing the format changes are for the worse. I would vote to change it back.

  33. Are y’all intentionally only putting pictures on every third or fourth post, or am I not getting the full feed now?
    For instance, I have no photo for the photo caption contest.

  34. I prefer the old style because I could scan through the articles and when I saw one I wanted to read, I could open it in a different tab so as to not lose my place. Now every time I return to the main page it reloads and I’m back at the top of the page. That really slows me down.

  35. Call me a conspiracy theorist but I think the antis have worked their way through the ranks of TTAG’s leadership and intentionally made the backdrop of the website a blinding white so that after a paragraph of reading our eyes will fatigue and we’ll give up on staying informed. o_O

    Well guess what…

    (•_•)
    ( •_•)>⌐■-■
    (⌐■_■)

    Checkmate.

  36. I don’t like is on my iPhone 5S. I read TTAG amidst exclusively on my phone and it went from simple, but readable to a blob. The font is too large. Serif sucks here. Content density is too low. I can live with the ads, but they take me out to the App Store without touching. I thought it was an inadvertent ad touch on my part and then it kept happening. Keyboard goes away on me while I type this comment. It’s done it 4 times already for no apparent reason. The comment threading doesn’t work well, lots if wasted space. Worse, I see some comments that are not readable as the text flows off the side but can’t be scrolled to. The bright white is annoying, but I can always triple home click to invert colors.

  37. Cant see the word for the t’s! Please change the font, the lower case ‘T’ looks like an r or a c or …..!

  38. Gotta admit- I’m not happy that on te mobile version I can no longer navigate to other posts.
    I tend to check the site once or twice a day, and catch up on the stories. Now I can’t do that easily- I have to go back to the main page to view other stories instead of just clicking “next” under the story.

  39. I didn’t actually bother reading all the comments, however I’m sure there’s response bias towards people upset about the changes. After all, if you like it, there’s no comment to be made. I’m okay with the new design, the only things that I think could be improved upon is the background needs to be a little darkened, it’s too bright, especially for nighttime reading. And there’s too much space between the objects on the page when viewed on mobile. I.e. There’s a large amount of white space between an ad and the next article.

  40. What doesn’t work:
    – the next/prev buttons

    What is like to see:
    – no floating nav buttons
    – next/prev at the very top (safari makes it easy to zoom to the top and impossible to get to the bottom)
    – skip to comments and skip to reply
    – SAN SERIF
    – darker BG

    I read exclusively on an iphone4.
    As someone who has read almost every single post on this sight, a cheap ad free subscription would be nice.

  41. Ditto to most everything above (especially the serif font). I have confidence you will get it sorted out speedily. Feared that some malicious group had knocked the site out. Glad to have it back.

  42. The old colors were better.

    The old fonts were better.

    To be honest, the only thing that really needed fixing in the old version is replying to comments, and comment tracking. In particular, I hate the fact that subscribing to “follow-up comments” when posting actually means subscribing to all further comments on that story, even if they are in a completely different thread. Usually, all I want is to receive notifications when someone responds to me, not read the whole thing. This is especially annoying on flamebait topics that get into hundreds of comments very quickly, and clog up my inbox as a result – consequently, I’m hesitant to actually subscribe to notifications, and end up missing responses.

    While we’re at it, replying is broken in general. Past a certain nesting level in a thread, “reply” button simply disappears completely (but it is still possible to reply to that specific comment if you have an email notification about it). This makes threads unnecessarily hard to maintain. Furthermore, having the editor for the response at the very bottom of the page means that you don’t see the comment that you’re replying to (I solve this by opening the “Reply” link in a separate tab, but that’s an unnecessary hack).

    If you want to see how this is done right, look at Hacker News (e.g. https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=8154740). Practically zero decorative overhead, condensed but highly readable, good font choice, good color choice, and even my grandma could learn to use it in two minutes.

  43. New site sucks. Hard to read (bright white blinds me).

    And I’m not just saying that because “omg change”. Seriously. After I finish typing this I am not reading anything else on here. Not “forever”. But tonight it’s just to bright.

    Only thing this site needed is a better comment system.

    Not sure who you have working on this; but any half-competent dev doesn’t deploy known-broken layouts.

    I realize you’re trying to monetize mobile; but was it really such a dire emergency that you had to get out this lousy layout?

  44. There is a concept called “responsive UI” that allows you to have a modern UI on large-format browsers and a simpler UI on pads and phones based on sensing what the form factor is ahead of time.

    Going to a 1995 Perl/CGI-looking UI on large format browsers just so you can show well on phones doesn’t really help much. Please learn about modern technology and techniques. This new site look and feel will definitely convince younger people that gun owners are only OFWGs that know nothing about technology, so they will likely ignore the site and continue with their wrong beliefs about guns because there is no place they can get good information (now) about guns. It is true that many gun sites suffer from this same thing but the reason I had narrowed down from about ten sites to only this one was not only due to the content. It was due to the fact that it looked more like a site done since 2007 rather than before 1998. Even as an older guy, I use look and feel to judge the sites I frequent. This is especially true among technology workers.

  45. I liked that the old mobile version just showed me titles instead of text and photos. It had problems, but it was very clean. I don’t mind the ads, but I don’t like the content to be cluttered.

    But everyone is a critic, huh?

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