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Monday, February 05, 2007

The Times Redesign Looks Awful

The Times newspaper today launched a major redesign of its website and it looks like it has been built using something like Tripod rather using the "world's leading web designers" as Anne Spackman, editor in chief of Times Online claims (source).

OK, maybe that's a bit harsh but it is really bad. As you can see from the screenshot above the majority of text is not rendering properly and that's probably down to styles not loading correctly (server problems were mentioned here). It would be a little unfair to criticise the site too much based on those problems but there are still problems with the redesign that are probably not attributable to stylesheets not loading.

For example, if you click on the News tab on the tabbed navigation, it does not display any news (screenshot). Incidentally, this is the view I get when I visit the site using Firefox. If I visit the site in IE7, I don't even see the tabbed navigation bar (screenshot). The same also happens when you click on a news story (screenshot).

Many pages on the site are not working such as the feedback, contact us and online registration pages and I couldn't vote on the poll about the use of lime green. The 'Where am I?' breadcrumbs seem to only work on certain pages

You can view an interview with the team who redesigned the site here and whom seem to love the lime green that they have added to the site. That's not a colour I would have chosen for a site like The Times.

I'm hoping that these problems get ironed out quickly as the site is a great source of news.

Update: According to Design Week, the redesign cost £10m! The article doesn't mention the price but old headline that appears on Google News shows price as does the article's URL.

In the comments on a Guardian article, Tom Whitwell, Online Comment Editor for Timesonline, said this...



There are about 400,000 pages on the site, and this morning, they all changed simultaneously, which meant that every search engine spider came to visit us. Along with the extra traffic from promoting the site in the paper, we're getting about five times normal traffic. Obviously our plans for coping with that traffic weren't effective...

And yes, we've got those pages where the css has failed and you get all the content spread out in diagonal lines.

I've been moderating some of the comments on the site, and some people seem to think that's our redesign. We're not that avant garde. Once you hit reload, it goes away, and once the servers are healthier, it should go completely.


Comments

James Venning

They can't even spell on the site, when you click on sitemap it goes to:

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/adman/tools_and_services/site_map/

Whats with the "adman"?!?!

Peter Biddlecombe

You've summed it up pretty well. It may be difficult to test accurately for a web-site relaunch, but most of the problems sound like things that could have been anticipated. A design using lime green and purple on dark grey costs £10m? I'm in the wrong job!

Peter Biddlecombe

You've summed it up pretty well. It may be difficult to test accurately for a web-site relaunch, but most of the problems sound like things that could have been anticipated. A design using lime green and purple on dark grey costs £10m? I'm in the wrong job!

Deano

The site isn't even available right now. What a cock-up!

The comments to this entry are closed.