Tcritic redesign

Well out with the old and in with the new, i’ve just done a pretty significant overhaul of the Tcritic look and feel. My main purpose and motivation to do this was to find a look and feel that put the graphics front and center and this design is really about the home page where thumbnails from recent posts are put in a grid so you can scan the images from the posts. I was very much inspired by the guys from Rumplo who’s entire front page is just graphics of the t-shirts and i thought that worked great. I also really liked the Cool Hunting layout, and the way they use thumbnails for related posts (which i’m working on). Also this provides a very cool view of the archives, check out the Good Design archive for an idea of how they will look.

Tcritic Redesign sm

Love to get your feedback, i’ve already taken the top banner off the home page because some people thought it looked cluttered, cheers, Karl.

19 Responses to “Tcritic redesign”

  1. bo says:

    i dig the new look, karl!

  2. Andy says:

    Is the comment space always going to be this far down the page? I don’t know if you can change its position, but it seems to be quite far away from the content of the post.

    Also, I’m not sure if its just because you didn’t tag this post, but nothing is coming up after “this post is tagged”, is that a bug, or just no tagging on this post?

    I’m not sure how easy it would be to change, but might it make more sense for the search box to be near to the home/advertise/contact area (perhaps up next to the feedburner widget?). That could just be a personal thing of mine though, I like having all that stuff bunched up together.

    I do like the new look though, I guess I probably should have opened with that to soften the blow of my relentless constructive criticism.

  3. karl says:

    Hmm, it looks like the comments are pushed down by the sidebar, that does suck, although i’m not sure how to change that. I notice that there is a link to the left of the post which says “respond” which jumps you to the comment box which helps a little. And the “this post is tagged” seems to be a bug as I have no tag on it.

    Thanks for the comments :-)

  4. Joe says:

    The comments being below the sidebar probably has to do with the theme you’re using. Dropping the top banner from the homepage helps it SO much. I’m digging the redesign.

  5. tiagón says:

    coming down from the feed to say thanks, congrats, and nice new look! :D
    cheers from porto alegre, brazil

  6. Chip says:

    Congrats on the new digs, looks great!

  7. Ben says:

    I started checking Tcritic in hopes of getting gift certificates.
    Now i check it daily to read about sweet t-shirts.
    This is the only blog i read, and i must say, you rule karl!
    Keep diz upz fo’ realzzzzz yo!

  8. Cory O'Brien says:

    Love the new look! Nice and clean. The sidebar is pushing the comments down, so if you can figure out how to make the comments slot under the post on the left hand column and not span across both columns, they’ll be easier to use. Other than that it looks great.

  9. TheGoat says:

    I like to article pages.

    I hate the main page. I liked being able to just scroll down and skim the new articles. Now I have to click on each one individually?

    I’ll get used to it I guess…

  10. G-or-G says:

    this is more difficult to read it fast :( i prefered previous design

  11. karl says:

    Yeah, I do hear the complaint, the last tcritic design just had the full posts all on the front page, which made it easy to scroll through the recent posts. I guess that having the full posts in RSS should help with people who want to consume tcritic in that way. What I hope is that this graphic look will improve first time visitors experience to tcritic. One of the metrics i’m trying to improve is my bounce rate, which is first time visitors that hit the site and then leave, i’m hoping giving a more condensed graphic look will draw people into the site more.

    Thanks for your comments everyone.

  12. Sean says:

    I like the idea of focusing on the graphics, but the new design feels cluttered and is not as easy to scan? Maybe I’m just an old stick in the mud…

  13. karl says:

    I think a lot has to do with my choice of graphics for the front page, I was just looking at this archive and I think because it’s more t-shirts it looks better:
    http://tcritic.com/archives/category/great-design/

  14. David says:

    Great changes to the site. One small thing, the comments bar blocks the graphic.

  15. The Mad Finn says:

    Yo Karl,

    I dig the new frontpage. I think, like you said, it puts the t-shirts at the forefront rather than the blog post about the shirts. I think that’s exactly how it should be.

    The comments being pushed too down is probably quite a simple CSS fix in the template you’re using. It looks like you’re putting comments in its own section rather than in the same section with the blog article. I agree with others you gotta fix it. I think the fix will be rather simple, actually. I could look at the HTML code for you and probably figure out. I’ll email you, if I find something.

    One thing I do NOT like, however is the orange on white look. I know it probably looks “fresh” and all that, but it’s hard for the eyes. I wish you changed the background to be a little less bright, and the text color to be a little darker.

    I like the layout a lot though. Very clean, easy to access, etc.

  16. Vega says:

    I found a shirt that says ‘I got 99 problems and a bitch is one’ with a pic of Obama on it. It is hilarious, I found it at DonkeyTs.com. And if you use the coupon code BUSH you get 15% off!!!! Check it out

  17. Eden says:

    New design looks great…even the use of white as a background. The bright colors (orange/white) even change the look of the t-shirt designs.

    The title and comment overlays are very nice as well — hopefully the comments issue will be fixed soon.

  18. MiNGLED says:

    Interesting take on the homepage look. Stops it look like just another blog and something bigger/more professional. Having said that it would be nice if there was a little more of a summary about each story on every graphic block. And I do miss a next/previous story link, better in my opinion than going back to the main page every time (if there is one I’ve missed it, which isn’t unusual for me). Having said that, keep on trying to improve, better than doing nothing.

  19. karl says:

    Wow, great feedback everyone, jeez I had no idea how many people would weigh in on the design :-) Some of the css stuff is a bit beyond my ken and my time, but when I finally find someone to pay to do some of the design stuff I will take all this feedback under advisement, even if I don’t do everything :-)

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