Tuesday, March 1, 2011

About the redesign

As surely you've noticed -- and don't call me Shirley! -- this site suddenly looks very different.

As part of its purchase of Nats Insider, CSNwashington.com has been planning a redesign of the site, the first stage of which took place today. This is only the first step of the process, and there will be more to come in the next few days and weeks.

I hope you'll like the more-professional look that the site will eventually be taking. Web design was never my thing, and I just sort of picked up whatever I could and made the site look the best I could. Hopefully these changes will help present the coverage in a manner that is more eye-pleasing and easy to navigate.

As always, we welcome your thoughts and suggestions. Please include those in the comments section, and we'll take all of them under consideration.

77 comments:

Anonymous said...

This new design is likely to confuse JayB.

PAY TO PLAY said...

Funny, I refreshed twice as I thought my computer was playing tricks on me.

So far, I see the flipped the right hand column to the left side and the background is white.

Feel Wood said...

With the smaller text font and the light gray text color, it seems you're now shooting for a younger demographic than bifocaled me.

Sec 3, My Sofa said...

*sigh*
Can you add a gong?

Let's see if this version is as uncooperative with teh Droid Expensive as the old one...

Sec 3, My Sofa said...

almost.

Sec 3, My Sofa said...

but much better on second posts!
groovy!

Anonymous said...

It's now much harder to read. Change is fine it there's an overall improvement ~~ but this format ain't it.

Why not run some tests, get some fan feedback, whatever, before unleashing this horsesht on us?

HHover said...

To add my 2 cents

I can understand the desire to clean up and simply the design, but for my money this is *too* simple and spare. Esp with the removal of the right hand bar, the text just seems to float in a narrow band of the middle of the screen, with the right-hand third of my monitor blank (I'm using a 24 inch monitor). The emptiness makes the white background seem brighter and harsher than it might otherwise.

I'd suggest a more muted background, and/or finding a way to expand the width of the text box so it occupies more of the screen.

Tcostant said...

Less is more, I like the old design.

NatsNut said...

Not enough color contrast. Hard on eyes. Grrr. No like change.

Farid said...

Me too. Font is much harder to see and the old site looked far more professional. This looks like a template I could easily pull off of Blogger.

Not one to complain, Mark, but as someone who followed you here since Day One, thought the input might help.

Anonymous said...

Hi Mark,

I can deal with the layout, given my love and admiration for the content. But, the text is a little small and everything a tad washed out, esp when compared with the old format. I can certainly get used to it, but something with a bit more contrast and easier to read would suit my mid-fifties eyes much better.

upperdeck4 said...

I mean, I'll get used to it, we all will, but the original format designed by you was actually better.

John O'Connor said...

Glad you're keeping the "Other Nats Blogs" sidebar. Your blog is the best place to go to get an overview of what content is up on all Nats blogs. For me, this makes your blog the anchor blog, the place I go to tread first and then scan the sidebar to see if anyone else has interesting info up.

Knoxville Nat said...

What HHover said!

On another note, I like many people read left to right and come here to read Mark's writing first, the reader comments second and the sidebar links third. So with this new format I find it awkward to read the columns on the left when they use to be on the right side of the screen.

Anonymous said...

OMG, now your photo changed, Mark!

You've aged ten years in ten minutes.

Sweet Jesus Flores!

Rabbit said...

Haha, I also agree about the font and the lighter color. Other than that (and the fact that I may not be able to see it later - as I'm of retirement age), it is fine!! Will now get used to the right side being on the left!

onesandfours said...

Your new picture makes you less relatable. As a Suit you just seem like just another talking head.

N. Cognito said...

Background is too bright.
Font is too small.
Too little contrast between background and gray font is.

Who's the new guy with the tie? One of the Goodfella's?

natscan reduxit said...

... don't see much difference in the lay-out, other than a mirrored look to it. But like others above, I am concerned about the colour and size of the fonts used.

... in the end though, as long as the Nats are still offering great promise, I'll take Nats Insider as it comes.

Go Nats!!

Anonymous said...

WAY TO DISTRACT FROM TODAY'S BALLGAME.

Poor timing.

CSN decision by committee?! Heaven help us all.

JohninMPLS said...

I hate it. You're a sellout. I'm never coming back.

Also, can we get an update on Ramos?

FOTB said...

I concur with most other posts on the new format. It is very difficult to read. The font is too small and there is not enough contrast with the background. As far as the photo goes, I liked the old one better. Maybe if the new one were in color, we could appreciate the new suit and fancy tie, but in B&W, not so good.

Don Hammack said...

I'll take the redesign if you promise never to use the term "oppo-boppo" again.

Seriously, I don't mind the overall idea of the redesign, but the font seems much harder to read.

Now you kids get off my yard!

Todd Boss said...

Agree with John O'Conner on the "other blog" sidebar. Love the way it keeps the latest content on top.

Shameless plug: Can I get www.nationalsarmrace.com returned to your blog list? I think it got lost in the redesign.

natsfan1a said...

I'm not a graphics guru, so I don't have suggestions, but I second the comments on font, background, and flipped sidebar location. I liked the old pic as well, but I do understand that you're a corporate guy now. hmmm...now for something positive. The content remains stellar. The guy who writes this thing should get a raise, pronto. ;-)

And you're a funny guy, N. Cog. (No, not funny like a clown. Oh, never mind...)

"Who's the new guy with the tie? One of the Goodfella's?"

John C. said...

I agree that the font is harder to read - other than that I'm pretty neutral on the redesign. I will joing the chorus giving you a hard time for the buzzcut suit & tie photo though ;)

PAY TO PLAY said...

Can you add a link on here to your Nats videos like the Bryce Harper you posted on CSNWashington.com yesterday?

fpcsteve said...

I'm just guessing, but I'm guessing the reference to "Shirley" is invoking Shirley Povich and the picture of him that used to accompany his articles. Just guessing. But Mark's picture does that have that 1960's vibe. Mark, I'm also guessing you don't wear ties all that often. (-:

SacTown said...

So far, this redesign is going poorly. It is sacrificing readability for ... I really have no idea how this is supposed to be an improvement.
Hopefully, this won't end up looking like the main CSN website. CSN is as busy as yahoo's mid-90's homepage.
Please add some color. I don't like staring at lightbulbs, which is effectively what an all white page is. What's the saying, if it's not broken...

Mark L said...

Mark,
I'm a fan of your writing, but this new site is much uglier than before. The smaller font size is not helpful.

Anonymous said...

Actually, your site looked better before. You should have updated CSN's site which is a couple of Tweety birds short of being the last survivor of AOL homepages.

greg said...

a temporary solution for readers for the font size issue (yes, it's too small)...

if you have a scroll wheel mouse, hold control and scroll "up" (forward) on the mouse and it will make the font on the page larger for this session. gotta do it every time, but it will at least make the point size easier for you to read.

Anonymous said...

I agree with all the posts that say that the font is too light and too small.

Farid said...

Oh, Mark! The new banner isn't just ugly, it's beyond ugly!

The old one looked professional and welcoming. This new banner font is one that people are either going to love or hate. Why use something that some people might not like?

This new look looks like my blog, very amateurish.

I think you are the best Nats' writer, Mark, but had I seen this 'new look' the first time I came last year, I'm not so sure I would have come back.

Again, I hate to be negative, but from my perspective, this is not going to help you (I have already commented that I can barely read the fond and though I know I can enlarge it by pushing a button on my computer, I shouldn't have to).

Farid

Steve M. said...

Capitol Baseball and THENATSBLOG.com have some really nice title banners.

This is real bad. Put back your old one until they can do something nice. Banner fail.

Golfersal said...

Sorry I agree that this site is much harder for us to read and follow. Before you used a lot of red and blue which caught our attention now it's a black and white site.
The one thing that hasn't changed is Mark's writing so as long as you don't change I guess we a force to get use to this.

Write us all at the end of March and see if we all think that it's ugly. Again change is sometimes a pain

Scooter said...

I think this design is oodles better than the old, especially now that the text is darker. (Of course, I biggify things on every site I visit, so I never know what the default text size is ...)

I must protest the funny/cool/gnarly checkboxes at the end of the post, before the comments. Ugh.

Also, I hope that there will be links to audio/video stuff as such goodies become available. It sounds like you've put out some videos, but as of now, I don't know where to look for them.

Other than that, I'm cool. I like the writing.

rmoore446 said...

Very retro look in the new picture...but alas, not in a good way. Going for Mad Men or Goodfellas would be fine but this bleached out, b&w has you like the uncle in a 1962 family reunion photo. Try putting on a fedora and going for the Jimmy Cannon or Shirley Povich look.

Anonymous said...

How about adding your twitter feed to the sidebar somewhere? Or a general #nats twitter feed?

Otherwise the redesign is fine. I like the white. And folks should be able to enlarge the font size themselves if need be.

-softball girl

gschultheis said...

Hey everybody! This is Greg Schultheis. I’m the designer for NatsInsider.com and I truly appreciate your comments. Please cut us a little slack as this is day one of many days of attempting to improve the look. Note that I turned on sharing features which were not active, so now you can easily share Mark’s materials with your friends. Your comments are always welcome!

Best, Greg

LoveDaNats said...

What a shock when I logged on today, but I realized the content was as comfortable as ever. We'll get used to it. We just like to whine.
@fpcsteve
Just a guess but I took the Shirley reference to be from the classic movie "Airplane". Of course I could just be showing my age.

Samantha said...

To Mark and Greg: keep garnering feedback and trying new things. The stark white background hurts my eyes. I like seeing other materials on each side of the main blog postings, but right now it seems a little haphazard. And I agree with others about Mark's new mug shot. I can see going with something more formal now that this site is affiliated with CSN Washington, but it's not a welcome change.

N. Cognito said...

A: "Surely you jest?"
B: "No I don't, and quit calling me Shirley."

This pun is a classic and old. Probably, very old.

MicheleS said...

Hi Mark,

as you can see, most of us spend our time in front of the computer and the white background is a strain on the eyes.. Agree with the others on the small font. Apparantly we are all getting old!

JohninMPLS said...

I actually like the changes, Greg. The new banner makes this feel like a bit like a newspaper, which I like. I see you just moved the CSN logo over to the right, which was also a good move. And the star in the banner is pretty cool. This does look more professional.

I already turned down the brightness on my monitor ages ago. Most of the resources we use at work use white screens, and lowered brightness reduces eye fatigue. It's also greener - about 60% of your monitor's energy use is tied to your screen's brightness. If the sudden change to the white format is difficult, I suggest dimming your screens a bit.

natsfan1a said...

fpcsteve, re. the Shirley reference:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0A5t5_O8hdA

natsfan1a said...

Also, thanks to Greg for the font changes, which look better to me.

SonnyG10 said...

On a first look, I kinda like where you're going with the new design, but please do fix the font and background readability. Other than that, I reserve my final opinion until after most of the changes have taken place. Your writing, of course, is really what makes this site, and I shall always remain a fan.

Anonymous said...

Its okay ... has more of an Interleaf newspaper/tabloid sized page look. Newspaper look? Sure want not call you Shirley as in Shirley Povich. There
are definitely worst things.

EastBayNatsFan said...

I'm loving the new layout. Much, much cleaner than the old one. You can tell some professionals have been at work.

Oh, and for people complaining about the font size...you do realize that you can change that in your browser settings, right?

Original Nats Fan said...

the white background makes my eyes water. Please soften it. I like the look otherwise

JaneB said...

White doesn't bother me. It's where more and more stuff seems to be headed these days, it seems. Font size too small. We can get used to flipping where we find other blogs. The TIE, though...it's gotta go. We know Mark is a pro by the way he writes, and the things he thinks to ask about when he's talking to the Nats. I'm waiting for the iPhone app, but I guess I'll be waiting a while for that.

JaneB said...

Oooops. Just noticed something else. Clicking on an article on the right takes me not to the "new" NatsInsider but....Comcast Sports. I get it. That's why you hired Mark. But I don't want to wade through Wizards and Caps and other schtuff to read about my Nats. Maybe you can fix that, too, Greg?

Jess said...

I'd like to be able to click on the NatsInsider masthead to be able to go back to the homepage of the blog. Hopefully this can be somehow hyperlinked, as it was one of the more user-friendly aspects of the old design.

Traveler8 said...

This has been getting better and better over the afternoon! I like the new masthead.

sjm 308 said...

I will jump in with a negative vote for the white background.
Also want to add how much I appreciate your writing and also giving us the ability to check out other sites as well.

cadeck13 said...

Change is hard, but I'm really having a difficult time reading this. I prefer the left to right reading like your old blog :( and this white background is killing my eyes. sorry...hate to complain because the content is the best, just adding my 2 cents.

Anonymous said...

Much better now, earlier it bothered my eyes.

Oh and I have picked up the movie Airplane. Plan to watch it tonight.

natsfan1a said...

More thanks to Greg for the post/comments background change (from white to gray, I believe) and the masthead change, in addition to the earlier font change. I like the color pic better than the black and white, too, even if it is a corporate-type head shot. ;-) Props on a very speedy (imho) response to feedback.

natsfan1a said...

Oh, and I think you'll enjoy it, Anon. For your next assignment, please pick up The Naked Gun and watch the baseball scenes. :-)

NatsNut said...

For the reaction boxes at the end of posts, you should add "awesome".

It's looking a little better.

Anonymous said...

I am a web designer. I would recommend changing the font from Arial to Verdana, maybe increase from 11.5 to 12.

Don Hammack said...

This has gotten much better through the day. It's much more readable.

Can I still object to the loathsome "oppo-boppo"?

Padre-NATS said...

Greg,
You got my respect. You could have just read the posts without putting yourself out there! All in all you are heading in the right direction with the look. As long as Mark still delivers the goods our bark will be a lot worse than our bite!
Thanks for your work.

fpcsteve said...

natsfan1a, thank you, ma'am. That was funny! Thanks for the help.

Anonymous8 said...

The title block looks much better than the mid-day version. The site is taking shape!

Mary / Springfield said...

The white background is harsh, harsh, harsh on the eyes -- as someone else said, like staring at a bare lightbulb. The previous format & colors were 'friendlier', but other than this white background I ultimately don't mind the changes.

Anonymous said...

@ Manassas

As my dad used to say, "If it ain't broke don't fix it." There was nothing wrong with the old format.

However since apparently someone believes changes are needed (I for one don't think so). I would change the back ground to a gray the white is awful, Darken the font a lot. Much too light for my old eyes to read. I enlarge every page anyway, so I am guessing that other need larger so you can do that too. The old banner I liked this does nothing for me. Bring back the old picture. I will check again tomorrow to see how it looks.

Also I hate the word verification thing as I have a real difficult time with my eyesight reading the word.

Anonymous said...

@ Manassas

A second thought. All the stuff that now is on the left needs to go back to the tight. I prefer the article to be on the left margin for sure.

TimDz said...

As long as the content remains pure Zuckerman, I believe I can tolerate any format...

Golfersal said...

Amazing what 24 hours and some good bitching can do. The look of the site makes it look more professional and readable, a lot better than at lunch time yesterday when I thought that a student in web design 101 had made the changes.
Things are a lot easier to read and the site is more welcoming with some color. Wonder if someone or somebody in power at CSN agreed with us all and they got someone else to redo the redo. No matter what it's 100% better.

N. Cognito said...

I'd darken the background just a bit more.

Since it's NATS Insider, the page needs more red...and more cowbell.

Anonymous said...

All the stuff on the left side makes it very hard to concentrate on the articles. The massive amount of white on both side once the two outside columns of information is gone, make for a hard to focus on page. Somehow the joke about Snow White in a snow storm come to mind.

N. Cognito said...

The banner appears to no longer be a link to the home page.

Anonymous said...

I think the site is just about perfect now. Really great work on the design.

Oh and finished the Airplane!. Hilarious movie.

Anonymous said...

Using a bigger font size would be better for your main demographic. Yes, I can control it, but it's tedious to do each day.

"ONE ORDER OF 'BIGGER FONT,' PLEASE."

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