bit-tech.net

An update on the redesign

Posted on 20th Apr 2010 at 17:10 by Alex Watson with 152 comments

Alex Watson
Yesterday saw the launch of bit-tech's first complete redesign in five years - with new features and a new look. A change in design is always going to be a challenge, especially when it comes after such a long period of time, and for a site like bit-tech that's so important for its community.

However, it was time for a redesign. We felt the old design just wasn't working any more - I went into the reasons in full in my post introducing the redesign, but basically, we were producing too many articles for the old design to handle - it couldn't surface them for long enough - and because we couldn't update the site that frequently, we were tied into producing very long articles.

Add in changing demands of advertisers, the Custom PC integration and our plans for the future and we felt a new design was needed.

Once we'd made that decision, we tried hard to come up with a look that allowed us to surface more content, run MPU ads in a way that minimised intrusion into articles and brought the site up to date without losing its essential bit-techness.

Once we had a design we liked, we took it to a beta test that was open to all registered users of the forum - over 100 readers helped out and the design evolved over the following weeks.

And then we launched it, and we got some feedback! I thought I'd address some of the points that came up:

Don't fix what isn't broken: See above. For us, the site design was becoming a big limiting factor. We needed to improve it.

Fixed width forums: The forums default to a fixed width design, but you can change them to use a variable width (ie the full width of the browser window). You can change your preferences in your user options - scroll down to the very bottom.

Fixed width site: The width of the site is fixed. This is necessary for a modern, content heavy, ad supported website such as bit-tech - fixing the width of the design enables us to control where the text, pictures, adverts and other design elements appear. With a variable width site, you're incredibly limited in terms of how to display information, and as such it's no surprise that the vast, vast majority of the web's leading content sites - BBC, The Guardian etc - all use a fixed width design.

The site is too narrow: The site as a whole is actually wider than it was before. As we've moved to a three column layout on index pages and two columns for articles, the main column has become narrower. Doing this meant we could move adverts out of the main column though, so there are no interruptions to the article - which should make reading easier.

The actual width of the site was decided after we looked at the analytics to see what screen resolutions people used - and you'd be surprised that the percentage of readers on widescreen monitors is low.

Holy wall of text!...is some people's first reaction. However, give it a couple of minutes and you'll see that there is logic at work. We've got the big featured articles that are the most important and interesting pieces of content from the last couple of days. Beneath that, as ever are the latest articles, arranged chronologically, and to the right, the news stories - essentially, the old bit-tech format.

It is busier than the old site, but to some extent that's unavoidable - we're surfacing more content because we're writing more content. We've done our best to make it clear; subtle colour coding, dotted lines to separate the latest articles.

The fonts are horrid! When we launched we were using Helvetica Neue Light; elegant, certainly, but perhaps not as strong on readability as it could have been, so we've switched to Arial throughout.

But it's different! I know. But times change, and we firmly believe the new design is a leap forward for bit-tech.

Where's the mobile version? - We'd love to do a mobile version, or an app for the site/forums. If that's something you'd be interested in, let us know your thoughts in the forums!

152 Comments

Discuss in the forums Reply
roadie 20th April 2010, 18:25 Quote
It appears to be a much busier design.
l3v1ck 20th April 2010, 18:27 Quote
An Android mobile app would be welcome but not essential. I can still use the site on my phone, it just involves a lot of zooming etc. I think that would be more useful for news and hardare reviews and less useful for the forums.
mrbens 20th April 2010, 18:27 Quote
Could you not have just changed the old format to list the last 20 or 30 articles instead of the 10 it showed before? Then you can still show more of your new articles on the main page.
Tim S 20th April 2010, 18:34 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by mrbens
Could you not have just changed the old format to list the last 20 or 30 articles instead of the 10 it showed before? Then you can still show more of your new articles on the main page.

Unfortunately, it's not as simple as that. If we did that, we'd have readers complaining about 'excessive scrolling' (which they are complaining about on the new design, which actually has a shorter page length than the old design).
BLC 20th April 2010, 18:44 Quote
What the hell? I'm away from the site for a few days and you move the furniture round?!

:p

In all seriousness though, I much prefer this new layout/design. I can remember the last bit-tech redesign; that made the site look a hell of a lot better, and this redesign is going along pretty much the same lines.

The choice of variable/fixed width forums is a real godsend. When I browsed the site with my netbook on the old design, adverts used to obscure part of the text on some forum posts (particularly those with large images, like project logs). This problem is now completely gone!
DriftCarl 20th April 2010, 18:49 Quote
what is the deal with the iPad thing on the menu bar on the main page. I can understand having apple there, but why specifically ipad?
billysielu 20th April 2010, 18:54 Quote
The content is too narrow, there's no getting around it.
Sifter3000 20th April 2010, 19:01 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by DriftCarl
what is the deal with the iPad thing on the menu bar on the main page. I can understand having apple there, but why specifically ipad?

Hot topics, they can be changed as and when we want.
Zero_UK 20th April 2010, 19:08 Quote
Seriously guys, don't need to explain anything to be honest. Everything new requires a good few weeks at least to settle in and then it can be judged :) Second day is way too early to judge.

PS: I like the new site.
EvilMerc 20th April 2010, 19:12 Quote
A mobile version would be ace, something which is streamlined and formatted for a small screen. I mean, the forums work acceptably on my phone, the main pages are a little content heavy for it though.
knuck 20th April 2010, 19:13 Quote
+1 mobile version ! I want to browse bit-tech on my Zune !
mi1ez 20th April 2010, 19:26 Quote
Mobile version would be nice, although I'm less fussed since I've gone back to Opera on my phone!

Nice redesign though, I like it.
wuyanxu 20th April 2010, 19:27 Quote
+2 to mobile version! I want to browse bit-tech on my iPhone !

apart from font change, what else has been changed in the last 2 days?
samkiller42 20th April 2010, 19:29 Quote
I think an iPhone/iPad & an Android app would be the icing on the cake personally, although, i don't think it should include the forums, just the main site. Maybe base it on the Sky News app, and alter it to suit bit's needs, although, i think you need to include the comments part of the stories though.

Sam
itazura 20th April 2010, 19:30 Quote
way too narrow. apart from that it's really nice.

edit: nevermind, didn't notice you can make the forums varible width. awesome :D
Confused Fishcake 20th April 2010, 19:54 Quote
The harsh black/white transition to the left of the text makes it much less readable. I for one find it a great deal harder to skim through an article, and its ghastly trying to read it in a dark room.
runadumb 20th April 2010, 20:04 Quote
I always hate redesigns at first so will give it a few weeks and then probably will never want to see the old version again haha.
GFC 20th April 2010, 20:10 Quote
Too bad I read all of through RSS so I don't really notice a lot of work that you guys put into this. But it certainly does feel better. Thanks for all of your hard work. x)
Awoken 20th April 2010, 20:26 Quote
I would love to see a mobile version of bit-tech, my phone (Xperia X1) creaks a bit when loading the full site.
leslie 20th April 2010, 20:46 Quote
Way too busy.
jezmck 20th April 2010, 20:59 Quote
Looks great to me, though I am seeing a layout issue on forum the while using the fixed width:
http://imgur.com/ufgOV.png
Hugo 20th April 2010, 21:09 Quote
FFS Alex et al, the new site is too different - change it back.
NickCPC 20th April 2010, 21:17 Quote
Do you honestly think that if you keep saying "change it back" it will magically reappear in the old state? If I facepalmed every time I saw this comment, my hand would currently be resting on the back of my skull. If you're that bothered by it, vote with your feet and just don't visit the site any more :S
Steve-O- 20th April 2010, 21:22 Quote
One thing I really hated about the last design was the ads outside of the site contraints. I would always end up clicking out there and be takin to some advertisers site. So if you were making money off of hits, you can thank me. :P
tank_rider 20th April 2010, 21:42 Quote
It took me a few seconds to adjust to the new layout but generally I think it's a good step, I'd found that if I didn't visit the site every other day then I'd miss content that had moved off the front page already.
Moriquendi 20th April 2010, 21:46 Quote
+1 for mobile page, I'm not too bothered with having a mobile app but a mobile formatted page would be great and avoid the problem of having to write different apps for different OSs or risk alienating people.

Moriquendi
ffjason 20th April 2010, 22:09 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by billysielu
The content is too narrow, there's no getting around it.

Ctrl + it and you'll be fine.


Also +1 for Mobile Android version :)
Blademrk 20th April 2010, 22:10 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hugo
FFS Alex et al, the new site is too different - change it back.
Quote:
Originally Posted by NickCPC
Do you honestly think that if you keep saying "change it back" it will magically reappear in the old state? If I facepalmed every time I saw this comment, my hand would currently be resting on the back of my skull. If you're that bothered by it, vote with your feet and just don't visit the site any more :S

I think Hugo's just pulling your leg ;)
Hugo 20th April 2010, 23:10 Quote
I'd hope they all know not to take anyone from TR seriously :p
edzieba 20th April 2010, 23:11 Quote
A variable-width setting can't be that hard to add. Slashdot, Hexus and Wikipedia, for example, all have multiple variable width columns that work perfectly well. At the moment, actual content takes up a stunning small fraction of the screen:

Image links removed. Please check that your image host does not feel the need to include porn advert banners next time... --Nexxo

Even just an option to turn off/hide/minimise the tag-cloud/recent posts/what we're reading sidebar nonsense would at least widen things up a bit for reading the actual articles.
earlydoors 20th April 2010, 23:11 Quote
First impressions are that it's better, I see more articles and the site looks less dated - good job.
Jaguar_Infinity 20th April 2010, 23:47 Quote
I like the new design in general except for the fact that when reading the content / articles what i am trying to read is not even half the width of the site. I can understand catering for various monitor res but to have the article taking up less than half the screen/site width? Surely the main point of the site is the content and that should be taking the majority of the space not the lesser amount. Plus it just makes it look crowded with the article crammed in.

Just my opinion tho, in general good work!
WARHAMSTER 21st April 2010, 00:05 Quote
I like it, nice and modern. There is a lot of info on screen but it becomes clearer quite quickly.
Cupboard 21st April 2010, 00:06 Quote
Thanks for the update :)
And a mobile version would be great, though I would stay away from an app, sites are just so much more flexible, I can have loads of tabs open etc.

One (small) thing - would it be possible to make as much of the top bar (where the logo is) that isn't advert a link to the homepage? I used to use that all the time, but it is just a little link on the left now!

edit: wrt the mobile version - I had been used to it on my Touch Diamond but now trying it on me Milestone the main site actually doesn't work badly. It is perfectly usable.
Rozzy 21st April 2010, 00:09 Quote
I really like the new site, I got a little lost and confused the first couple of times I used it but I've soon got used to it. I think it's a definite improvement especially if it means the content is easier to find.

I do view bit-tech a lot on my iPhone though so the idea of a mobile site or an app would be perfect for me. I think an app would be very good, not including the forums but the main site, that would be amazing but understandably wouldn't cater for a large portion of readers. A generalised mobile site would be very good too though; as long as the look were to be kept the same and the functionality were still there.

Websites like msn.com and such like where it is a very basic mobile design can just be annoying and there's often no way to revert to a desktop view. As long as there is the option to return to a normal desktop view and the mobile version is still aesthetically pleasing, I'd love to see a mobile version of the site.

Hope that doesn't sound picky :p I'm sure you guys will get it right!
WinMacLin 21st April 2010, 00:12 Quote
The content is to narrow. Lost me as a reader.

Removed from bookmarks due to poor design. And this isn't a case of 'oh he must not like change at all' because Anandtech just redesigned their site and I like that. That is a step in the right direction, this however this just looks stupid.

I mean seriously I'm writing a comment to an article that is taking up 30% of the width of the page. I don't know how any of you ever thought this was good. Looks more like a twitter page now with the width of the articles like this one.
HorseFeathers 21st April 2010, 00:30 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by WinMacLin
The content is to narrow. Lost me as a reader.

Removed from bookmarks due to poor design. And this isn't a case of 'oh he must not like change at all' because Anandtech just redesigned their site and I like that. That is a step in the right direction, this however this just looks stupid.

I mean seriously I'm writing a comment to an article that is taking up 30% of the width of the page. I don't know how any of you ever thought this was good. Looks more like a twitter page now with the width of the articles like this one.

Don't let the door hit you on the way out ;)
FelixTech 21st April 2010, 00:42 Quote
I think some pagination on the blog comments would be a nice addition :P

I do find it a bit on the high-contrast side, if your copying the beeb they have grey text and grey sides. It it better on a widescreen monitor after CTRL + + -ing a few times
popcornuk1983 21st April 2010, 00:45 Quote
Still like the new design and the site is quicker to load.

However it's really starting to annoy me that the 3rd column takes up so much bloody room when it's showing almost nothing of interest. Everything in the other 2 columns feels a bit squashed and that's where the meat of the content is. Pretty please change this with a cherry on top :)
wuyanxu 21st April 2010, 00:52 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by WinMacLin
The content is to narrow. Lost me as a reader.

Removed from bookmarks due to poor design. And this isn't a case of 'oh he must not like change at all' because Anandtech just redesigned their site and I like that. That is a step in the right direction, this however this just looks stupid.

I mean seriously I'm writing a comment to an article that is taking up 30% of the width of the page. I don't know how any of you ever thought this was good. Looks more like a twitter page now with the width of the articles like this one.
i really don't know what is wrong with people. both Bit-tech and Anandtech are at the same width for articles.

did a quick count on random paragraph from each website, both have over 90 letters per line, about 90 to 95 for both website.

as the staff have said, it is because people are reviewing what is on the blog post, where the layout of blog posts are different from the actual review/preview articles.
javaman 21st April 2010, 01:43 Quote
kinda got use to side scrolling on my blackberry but a mobile version would be good. Another option would be movable modules like on some social networking sites so you could put things where you want them. Small and more hassle than its worth probably but I do like the new layout. Nice Work ;)
Asulc 21st April 2010, 03:44 Quote
I think a mobile version would be amazing! Other than hulu, the only thing i really have been using my computer's browser for is the forums im involved in. To have a mobile version would complete this evolution to my phone for me.

I have the Motorola DROID, by the way...
500mph 21st April 2010, 07:21 Quote
I too would love a Mobile version.
The site looks great on an iPad btw.
south side sammy 21st April 2010, 07:35 Quote
It sucks. Way too hard to follow. No "color" to this site. Extremely bland. Makes the site extremely uninteresting. Used to be able to find things quickly now I don't care to even try and find anything. May have to stop coming here..... and I've been reading stuff here for "eons".
BLC 21st April 2010, 07:49 Quote
Seriously... How can it be hard to follow or difficult to read? It's black text on a white background? What's hard to read about that? If the columns are too narrow, then what's wrong with scrolling? Is it too much to ask to move your finger 1-2cm to the right (or left, for southpaws) and use the wheel?

Websites these days are a far cry from the early days of the intarwebs where we had crappy sites with animated gifs all over the place, yellow text on blue backgrounds, background MIDI loops... To see what I mean, just look at the xkcd Geocities tribute. Now imagine looking at loads of websites like that, all day every day - without Google to sift the crap for you.

Honestly, kids today...*grumble, mumble...* ;) :D
Bindibadgi 21st April 2010, 08:18 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by south side sammy
It sucks. Way too hard to follow. No "color" to this site. Extremely bland. Makes the site extremely uninteresting. Used to be able to find things quickly now I don't care to even try and find anything. May have to stop coming here..... and I've been reading stuff here for "eons".

RSS?:)
perplekks45 21st April 2010, 08:21 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by mi1ez
Mobile version would be nice, although I'm less fussed since I've gone back to Opera on my phone!

Nice redesign though, I like it.
What he said.

[offtopic]
Opera on Android is quite awesome actually. Except for Facebook which seems to not refresh properly every now and then.
[/offtopic]
south side sammy 21st April 2010, 08:26 Quote
What does RSS mean ?....

Don't call me a kid and don't call me a console gamer. 2 things people seem to think about other people who post here.

Color coding is very useful for the sight impaired.... something for YOU to think about.

This year for some reason many sites have decided to "update' the appearance of their sites. Most of them FAILED with the new formats. I'm sure over time I'll get used to it but I truly did like it the other way.... you don't have to agree but don't bash me for it.

The OP did ask what we thought.... and I opined, thank you.
perplekks45 21st April 2010, 08:31 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by edzieba
pics...
Can you please NOT use an image host with porn ad pop ups?

Thank you very much.
liratheal 21st April 2010, 08:49 Quote
I like it. I liked it when we were testing it. I still like it now it's live.

Editing the forums to full width was painless enough, and about the only thing I disliked being restricted width.

I guess I've spent too long around my colleagues to believe in full browser width sites - Especially ad supported sites - so, frankly, I've been expecting something along these lines for a while.

Picked a nice time of year to go with the changes, though :p
Dr. Strangelove 21st April 2010, 09:16 Quote
So far I'm still getting used to the new site, but I think it will work great.

One small plea, could you make visited links have a different color? Doesn't have to go to like red or anything, just a subtle change would be great
Xir 21st April 2010, 09:34 Quote
Aahh! Thank you for changing the font. ;)

The "width" issue is probably more an issue of the content beeing sqeezed into the left and middle column.
Mainly on the main page and in the blogs.
In the articles themselves it's fine.
Quote:
The site is too narrow: The site as a whole is actually wider than it was before. (snip) the main column has become narrower.

Ah, you noticed :D
BLC 21st April 2010, 09:41 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by south side sammy
What does RSS mean ?....

Don't call me a kid and don't call me a console gamer. 2 things people seem to think about other people who post here.

Color coding is very useful for the sight impaired.... something for YOU to think about.

This year for some reason many sites have decided to "update' the appearance of their sites. Most of them FAILED with the new formats. I'm sure over time I'll get used to it but I truly did like it the other way.... you don't have to agree but don't bash me for it.

The OP did ask what we thought.... and I opined, thank you.

Whoa, whoa, whoa. Who's bashing you directly? I can only assume you're talking to me; if I had wanted to specifically address you or your comments, I would have quoted your post (in the same way that I'm doing now).

I was trying to point out that many of the criticisms seem to me to be unwarranted; does the layout, column width, colour scheme, font size or whatever really bother you so much that you would stop reading a site? Isn't the content of the site far more important than how it's presented? Of course, you're more than entitled to your opinion, but I don't see your reasoning as being entirely sound. Substance should be the important part of a tech news site, not the style. If the writing took a complete nosedive, then that should be the reason that readers are lost, not because of some layout changes.

In case the liberal use of smilies didn't help, my "Honestly, kids today..." comment was an obviously failed attempt at humour. My point was that, no matter how bad you think things are now, the web has come a hell of a long way in the last 10-15 years. Some of us do remember the bad days of web design; we are an ever dwindling minority, but that's nobody's fault - we're just getting older. Hell, some of us remember the days before the WWW, when Bulletin Board Systems were the best way of connecting to other people with your computer. Running a site in the old days meant coding the HTML by hand or using very poor tools, uploading files manually by FTP, using frames, not having easy access to scripting or PHP/SQL/ASP... All you have to do these days is open a blogspot account.

Lastly, I believe you are the only person that has used the term "console gamer" in this three-page thread.


EDIT: This is what RSS means.
proxess 21st April 2010, 10:34 Quote
How about allowing variable width on the site?
-VK- 21st April 2010, 10:47 Quote
Site looks really good chaps, good work - Thanks for changing the font, the Helvetica was very difficult to read without zooming in for me :P
yakyb 21st April 2010, 10:50 Quote
would be greeat if it was another 100px or so wider

but i do like the new layout
yakyb 21st April 2010, 10:52 Quote
actually scrap that , looks perfect on my vertically orientated monitor
Neophyte 21st April 2010, 12:22 Quote
to be honest i like the new design! its more "eye candy" i agree with the authors that old design i rearly noticed other sections apart from hardware! yet there still is some room for improvment...

1. please by defult allow comments to be seen underneath the articles! eg. reading about a piece of harware and then reading the comments you might want to confirm somethin... now its back-->forward-->back and so on!

2. twitter and rss are fine but what is the problem with making a facebook as well? i suppose 90% of us here have FB and i am a Fan of most the sites i read online i can quite often combine talking to friends and reading interesting topics!

what do you guys think?
Tsung 21st April 2010, 12:31 Quote
Thanks for changing the font, I seriously had issues reading the "other" one. The comments width is stupid especially when you scroll down the page,I have 70% white space over there ->
eddtox 21st April 2010, 12:38 Quote
I like the redesign. Kept enough of the BT spirit to be evolutionary, rather than revolutionary, and that's a good, thing.

If you do decide to do any mobile version, please make it opt-in, as my N900 handless full websites really well and enforced mobile-specific pages really annoy me.
LJF 21st April 2010, 12:40 Quote
I'd love to see a more mobile-friendly site but please don't go making an app! I'd rather have a bookmark on my phone browser rather than installing another content viewer.
edzieba 21st April 2010, 12:47 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by perplekks45
Can you please NOT use an image host with porn ad pop ups?

Thank you very much.
What, really? I've never seen any on there before.
TWeaK 21st April 2010, 13:13 Quote
Overall I like it, although it did get confusing when the Amiga news article was taken from the news section and could only be found in the featured bit at the top. Once I get used to that though it shouldn't be a problem.

Also I view the site on my N97 a lot and the width is perfect in landscape - the 3rd column is cut off but I don't check those much.
Xir 21st April 2010, 13:15 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by TWeaK
- the 3rd column is cut off but I don't check those much.

Hehe, that's a solution for the third column ;)
perplekks45 21st April 2010, 13:33 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by edzieba
What, really? I've never seen any on there before.
Yep, got a "MyDirtyWhatever.com" advert... at work. ;)
I like bewbs and stuff as much as anyone here but maybe my boss wouldn't be too impressed to see me porn-browsing at work.
Tim S 21st April 2010, 14:25 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by edzieba
A variable-width setting can't be that hard to add. Slashdot, Hexus and Wikipedia, for example, all have multiple variable width columns that work perfectly well. At the moment, actual content takes up a stunning small fraction of the screen:
http://j.imagehost.org/view/0933/scrn http://j.imagehost.org/view/0813/scrnmask
Even just an option to turn off/hide/minimise the tag-cloud/recent posts/what we're reading sidebar nonsense would at least widen things up a bit for reading the actual articles.

The moment you posted screenshots with adblock running immediately ruined your credibility with me.
Hugo 21st April 2010, 14:44 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tim S
The moment you posted screenshots with adblock running immediately ruined your credibility with me.
Not to mention the Torrent client running, as well as Usenet and BitTorrent site bookmarks. I'm willing to bet that those copies of Adobe Illustrator, Photoshop CS4 and Office weren't paid-for.
Claave 21st April 2010, 14:52 Quote
Oh, and just to address those people moaning about the tag cloud and the thinness of this article - this is a blog and so conforms to the thinner blog layout. Try moving around the site and you'll find that reviews etc. use a wider column format.
Chronic 21st April 2010, 15:05 Quote
I like the New Design Keep up the good work :)

Been coming to this site since you started up you not disappointed me yet...

eddtox 21st April 2010, 15:19 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tim S
The moment you posted screenshots with adblock running immediately ruined your credibility with me.
And what, may I ask, is wrong with adblock? A bigger credibility crisis resulted from his choice of image hosting, IMO.
Tim S 21st April 2010, 15:39 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by eddtox
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tim S
The moment you posted screenshots with adblock running immediately ruined your credibility with me.
And what, may I ask, is wrong with adblock? A bigger credibility crisis resulted from his choice of image hosting, IMO.

Bit-tech, and most websites like it, do not get money from clicks, but from how often the ads they serve are viewed. If you block the ads, you're actually hurting the site and in theory, if enough people block the ads, it could lead to people losing their jobs [because we can no longer afford to pay them] or even closing the site completely.

Every page viewed actually costs us a not insignificant amount of money to serve before factoring in salaries for the staff creating the content, the cost of running a test lab, the cost of housing each member of the team (furniture, PC, IT infrastructure, telephone system, etc). You'd be surprised how much it costs to run a website like bit-tech on a monthly basis.

Taking those costs into account, we need to run advertising and our readers need to see that advertising. Alternatively, we could charge for the content, but we'd rather keep it free - paywalls go against the openness of the internet. It doesn't matter if you don't click on the ads (if you see something that interests you, please do click on it, but we are certainly not asking you to click on every ad that you see on your screen), because we're paid per view (well, per 1,000 views).

There's a great article over on Ars Technica about how adblocking is "devastating" the sites you love - it's recommended reading for anyone who blocks ads on every site they visit and thinks what they're doing is harmless: http://arstechnica.com/business/news/2010/03/why-ad-blocking-is-devastating-to-the-sites-you-love.ars

We have always tried to keep advertising relevant and the team does its best to make sure that intrusive or resource-heavy ads never make it onto the site. It's not perfect, but the more vocal you are about certain ads that don't meet the site's typically high standards, the quicker we can actually action them.

If I could run a website ad-free, I would, but it's simply not possible if you want to build a business and actually draw a salary (journalists aren't particularly well paid, for what it's worth). Bit-tech has and will continue to invest in content as the site grows - that's one thing that hasn't changed since the Dennis acquisition. Dennis believes in great content and continues to invest in it.

With regards to his choice of image hosting, he's probably never seen the invasive and horrible ads that are on that rather poor excuse for an image hosting service and doesn't know any better. If bit-tech's advertising was like that, we'd have a hard time saying "please support the site by not blocking our ads" with a straight face. The fact is that our ads are not intrusive and, certainly where this new design was concerned, we worked hard to not only reduce the number of ad slots, but to also make sure they're not slap bang in the middle of the content (the big square ad is no longer in the middle of articles, right below the drop down menu, for example).
perplekks45 21st April 2010, 16:12 Quote
I agree 100% with Tim there.
And I still remember the [pretty heated, at least partially] debate about IntelliTXT adverts on BT in which it became pretty clear what BT is all about: Keepin' it real with their community. ;)

For reference:

Original blog post
2nd blog post after they'd been taken down again

That's why BT is great: They DO listen to requests for change!
mars-bar-man 21st April 2010, 16:39 Quote
Not sure whether it's been mentioned but, a mobile version, like what was stated at the bottom of the blog would be great. Just don't make it iPhone exclusive, should be Andriod or WM exclusive ;) Obviously this would be a rather large workload for someone, and the chances of this actually happening probably aren't the highest. But still, an app for this site would be awesome!!
javaman 21st April 2010, 17:27 Quote
TBH I dont notice most ads on the net now. Just one of those facts of life plus bit-techs do seem unique compared to other sites.

I never knew that tim, from now on i'm gonna click on everything, life is so much more interesting when you push anything and everything! =D
WildThing 21st April 2010, 18:30 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tim S
Bit-tech, and most websites like it, do not get money from clicks, but from how often the ads they serve are viewed. If you block the ads, you're actually hurting the site and in theory, if enough people block the ads, it could lead to people losing their jobs [because we can no longer afford to pay them] or even closing the site completely.

Every page viewed actually costs us a not insignificant amount of money to serve before factoring in salaries for the staff creating the content, the cost of running a test lab, the cost of housing each member of the team (furniture, PC, IT infrastructure, telephone system, etc). You'd be surprised how much it costs to run a website like bit-tech on a monthly basis.

Taking those costs into account, we need to run advertising and our readers need to see that advertising. Alternatively, we could charge for the content, but we'd rather keep it free - paywalls go against the openness of the internet. It doesn't matter if you don't click on the ads (if you see something that interests you, please do click on it, but we are certainly not asking you to click on every ad that you see on your screen), because we're paid per view (well, per 1,000 views).

There's a great article over on Ars Technica about how adblocking is "devastating" the sites you love - it's recommended reading for anyone who blocks ads on every site they visit and thinks what they're doing is harmless: http://arstechnica.com/business/news/2010/03/why-ad-blocking-is-devastating-to-the-sites-you-love.ars

We have always tried to keep advertising relevant and the team does its best to make sure that intrusive or resource-heavy ads never make it onto the site. It's not perfect, but the more vocal you are about certain ads that don't meet the site's typically high standards, the quicker we can actually action them.

If I could run a website ad-free, I would, but it's simply not possible if you want to build a business and actually draw a salary (journalists aren't particularly well paid, for what it's worth). Bit-tech has and will continue to invest in content as the site grows - that's one thing that hasn't changed since the Dennis acquisition. Dennis believes in great content and continues to invest in it.

With regards to his choice of image hosting, he's probably never seen the invasive and horrible ads that are on that rather poor excuse for an image hosting service and doesn't know any better. If bit-tech's advertising was like that, we'd have a hard time saying "please support the site by not blocking our ads" with a straight face. The fact is that our ads are not intrusive and, certainly where this new design was concerned, we worked hard to not only reduce the number of ad slots, but to also make sure they're not slap bang in the middle of the content (the big square ad is no longer in the middle of articles, right below the drop down menu, for example).

Thanks for that Tim. That answers a number of questions I've been pondering recently.
Quote:
Originally Posted by perplekks45
That's why BT is great: They DO listen to requests for change!

+1
Evildead666 21st April 2010, 18:51 Quote
I've already asked at other sites, but could you put a front page sticky or, let new memners know, the IP ranges for the Ads on your site, so we can either add them to the allowed sites, or add then to Peerguardian etc....

That way I would be happy to allow the ads to show, and allow the tracker to let them know i've seen it....


About the site : As with all things, change is a pain, but hey, we'll get used to it.....
liratheal 21st April 2010, 18:51 Quote
I don't even block ads on the site I work for, nor did I when I was a subscriber.
SuicideNeil 21st April 2010, 19:32 Quote
Should we all start hitting the refresh button a 1000 times each visit, if that helps? ( I dont run adblockers either ).

Interesting point about colour choices made earlier, and did you know that according to research ( dont ask me for a link, cant find it ) white text on a black background produces less eye strain than black on white? Try it for yourselves. This is because the eye adjusts to make the most of the visable white light on the screen, making it harder to see the small black text; with a black screen the eyes can relax and focus on the white text much more easily. Something to think about if you can implement colour & background colour choices for the main site along with the forums..
mars-bar-man 21st April 2010, 19:42 Quote
Another point/question, is the forum colour scheme going to be looked at? To match the rest of the sites 'darker' colours? When I first came to B-T after the re-design I loved the look, then I clicked on the forum... Colours didn't match too well.

Just a thought.
leslie 21st April 2010, 21:31 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hugo
Not to mention the Torrent client running, as well as Usenet and BitTorrent site bookmarks. I'm willing to bet that those copies of Adobe Illustrator, Photoshop CS4 and Office weren't paid-for.

You do know Bit Torrent is used for legitimate reasons as well right.
The same applies to Usenet.

Granted in this case it looks shady, a person isn't guilty until proven so.

You are doing exactly what the B.S.A. wants and feeding the hysteria which leads to software being outlawed. You probably don't remember, but at one time there was talk of banning network testing tools such as port scanners because of people like you said everyone who used them was using them for illegal reasons.
leslie 21st April 2010, 21:32 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by SuicideNeil
Should we all start hitting the refresh button a 1000 times each visit, if that helps? ( I dont run adblockers either ).
Only if you want to hurt them.

They will at best lose revenue due to cost per view going down.
At worst, they could lose their ad serving contract entirely. Google is particularly draconian about this.
perplekks45 21st April 2010, 22:08 Quote
And you, Sir, should learn how to use the edit and/or multi-quote buttons. :p

I have no idea why it's that hard to white list sites that you support. I use AdBlock as well but BT is most definitely white-listed.
Tim S 21st April 2010, 23:53 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by WildThing
Thanks for that Tim. That answers a number of questions I've been pondering recently.
No problem. Although I don't work for the site now, I'm still here to help. I guess you could now think of me as a bit-tech reader who's very close to the inner workings of the site. ;)
perplekks45 22nd April 2010, 00:04 Quote
Then change your title over your avatar, mate. :p
Phil Rhodes 22nd April 2010, 00:57 Quote
To be honest, anyone who uses the word "content" in that appalling catch-all sense that diminishes journalism (and music and filmmaking) to the level of a commodity immediately loses any credibility with me, so I guess that's fair.
kenco_uk 22nd April 2010, 01:27 Quote
Is there a way of telling how many people are using variable or fixed width?
Otis1337 22nd April 2010, 02:21 Quote
i know the width has been explained, but holy crap its narrow.... its less than half of my screen size (1920x1200). And just because other sites use the narrow method does not make it the right method.
Happy with the new site apart from that.
Farfalho 22nd April 2010, 02:26 Quote
Love to see a mobile format!

Sometimes, in a shop, the reviews can become quite handy in the time of choosing which one. Let it roll please
BLC 22nd April 2010, 07:54 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Phil Rhodes
To be honest, anyone who uses the word "content" in that appalling catch-all sense that diminishes journalism (and music and filmmaking) to the level of a commodity immediately loses any credibility with me, so I guess that's fair.

What's wrong with that? It's a perfectly acceptable use of the term, it doesn't denigrate journalism in any way at all. It's also is quite a common term when it comes to web design and business in general; that's why systems like Drupal, Blogger, etc, are called CMS: Content Management Systems.


I lost ad-blocking functionality when I switched to Chrome last year; I've never thought that bit's ads were particularly intrusive. Just please don't ever use those stupid rollover things!
perplekks45 22nd April 2010, 08:14 Quote
Other than heavily flash-based ads, IntelliTXT and ads that somehow grow when you mouse-over I'm fine with ads in general. Oh, and I hate ads that play sounds!
Tim S 22nd April 2010, 08:43 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Phil Rhodes
To be honest, anyone who uses the word "content" in that appalling catch-all sense that diminishes journalism (and music and filmmaking) to the level of a commodity immediately loses any credibility with me, so I guess that's fair.

Good to see you're still trolling your way around Bit-tech Phil. Things don't change, eh?

Also, if you haven't noticed , Bit-tech produces more than just articles these days, there are podcasts and videos as well. Collectively, it's known as content... or, just for you, would you like me to refer to it as news, reviews, previews, features, blogs, analysis, podcasts and videocasts? It's OK, I'm sure those extra few key presses will do me good.

With that said, you probably haven't noticed that we produce more than just news, reviews, previews, features, blogs and analysis articles because you're too busy waiting for the next opportunity to make a clever comment. :(
Bindibadgi 22nd April 2010, 08:58 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Phil Rhodes
To be honest, anyone who uses the word "content" in that appalling catch-all sense that diminishes journalism (and music and filmmaking) to the level of a commodity immediately loses any credibility with me, so I guess that's fair.

Jeez Phil, if you get any more anal and you'll be engulfed by a chocolate starfish.



EDIT: Ah, Tim gave a better reply. I gave a personal one. You know, from me.
SchizoFrog 22nd April 2010, 09:44 Quote
Just a tip that I think would be useful. Throughout the website you use various colours to identify different article themes, Gaming, Modding... etc. It would be clearer and easier to understand what those colours mean if you had a background of the topic colour around the topic headers on the main page. Then you would see the topics and their associated colours and understand the reference and use of the vertical coloured bars attached to the articles on the main page.

I hope that all makes sense.

*EDIT - I know that you have highlights of the colours that appear once the mouse is over the topic but I feel that is too discreet. I didn't notice that for a few days and I visit the website many times throughout each day.*
Xir 22nd April 2010, 11:21 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by SchizoFrog
Just a tip that I think would be useful. Throughout the website you use various colours to identify different article themes, Gaming, Modding... etc. It would be clearer and easier to understand what those colours mean if you had a background of the topic colour around the topic headers on the main page. Then you would see the topics and their associated colours and understand the reference and use of the vertical coloured bars attached to the articles on the main page.

I hope that all makes sense.

*EDIT - I know that you have highlights of the colours that appear once the mouse is over the topic but I feel that is too discreet. I didn't notice that for a few days and I visit the website many times throughout each day.*

Pssst, it was that way on the o.l.d. website...don't mention it! Besides, colour is out! :D

No, you're right, it would make sense to me too
Sifter3000 22nd April 2010, 11:40 Quote
Re colour coding - we do still do it, if you click Gaming, for instance, the 2nd level of the top nav turns red, and all the stories are colour coded red. Is that not what you mean?
Jediron 22nd April 2010, 13:36 Quote
i really can't understand why people love the new font. I just noticed i see the page with 125% zoom. Even then the font here is very, very tiny and hard to read. Back to 100% it becomes unreadable. Maybe there is something wrong with my eyes, but i surely hope so not.

Why o why is it so sexy to use these tiny fonts ? The only reason i can think of is page-design. For the user it's a nightmare, atleast for me it is and i think i am not alone in this matter.

Yes, i have the zoom option. But you also now that using it srews up the design/layout. So that is not really a option, but a nasty "workaround".

Is it too much too ask for a more readable font, for people like me, who don't have the "hawk-eye" ?
Jamie 22nd April 2010, 14:13 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jediron
i really can't understand why people love the new font. I just noticed i see the page with 125% zoom. Even then the font here is very, very tiny and hard to read. Back to 100% it becomes unreadable. Maybe there is something wrong with my eyes, but i surely hope so not.

Why o why is it so sexy to use these tiny fonts ? The only reason i can think of is page-design. For the user it's a nightmare, atleast for me it is and i think i am not alone in this matter.

Yes, i have the zoom option. But you also now that using it srews up the design/layout. So that is not really a option, but a nasty "workaround".

Is it too much too ask for a more readable font, for people like me, who don't have the "hawk-eye" ?

Have you got a screenshot showing the small font?
Jamie 22nd April 2010, 14:20 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by SchizoFrog
Just a tip that I think would be useful. Throughout the website you use various colours to identify different article themes, Gaming, Modding... etc. It would be clearer and easier to understand what those colours mean if you had a background of the topic colour around the topic headers on the main page. Then you would see the topics and their associated colours and understand the reference and use of the vertical coloured bars attached to the articles on the main page.

I hope that all makes sense.

*EDIT - I know that you have highlights of the colours that appear once the mouse is over the topic but I feel that is too discreet. I didn't notice that for a few days and I visit the website many times throughout each day.*

You make a good point
javaman 22nd April 2010, 14:23 Quote
Some feedback - One small problem im having is on the blogs page. when wanting to post a comment you have to scroll back to the top to click a tab. On my netbook i can get over it but on my mobile its kinda annoying. Articles are scaling to fit screen width automatically using opera mini and load times are still the same. Only problem is the front page being so big that I get lost on the mobile xD
perplekks45 22nd April 2010, 14:31 Quote
Anything below 75% get's unreadable for me. That is on an HP LP2275w @ 1680x1050.
You might want to go and get those eyes checked. :p
DeathAwaitsU 22nd April 2010, 14:31 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by NickCPC
Do you honestly think that if you keep saying "change it back" it will magically reappear in the old state? If I facepalmed every time I saw this comment, my hand would currently be resting on the back of my skull. If you're that bothered by it, vote with your feet and just don't visit the site any more :S

Way to support your readers tbh, you sir are a *fool*, and one of the many reasons why me (and many others) are starting to dislike BT. I hope your not employed for much longer. but its quite obvious your mentallity is that of most of the staff so you probably wont be.

PS - i kinda like the site, not feelin the new content layout tho, it may grow on me tho :)
Claave 22nd April 2010, 14:51 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by DeathAwaitsU
Quote:
Originally Posted by NickCPC
Do you honestly think that if you keep saying "change it back" it will magically reappear in the old state? If I facepalmed every time I saw this comment, my hand would currently be resting on the back of my skull. If you're that bothered by it, vote with your feet and just don't visit the site any more :S

Way to support your readers tbh, you sir are a cock, and one of the many reasons why me (and many others) are starting to dislike BT. I hope your not employed for much longer. but its quite obvious your mentallity is that of most of the staff so you probably wont be.

PS - i kinda like the site, not feelin the new content layout tho, it may grow on me tho :)

NickCPC is not employed by Custom PC, bit-tech or, as far as i know, Dennis Publishing.
Jamie 22nd April 2010, 15:00 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by javaman
Some feedback - One small problem im having is on the blogs page. when wanting to post a comment you have to scroll back to the top to click a tab. On my netbook i can get over it but on my mobile its kinda annoying. Articles are scaling to fit screen width automatically using opera mini and load times are still the same. Only problem is the front page being so big that I get lost on the mobile xD

A clear problem, there is a back to top link in the footer though.
SchizoFrog 22nd April 2010, 15:14 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sifter3000
Re colour coding - we do still do it, if you click Gaming, for instance, the 2nd level of the top nav turns red, and all the stories are colour coded red. Is that not what you mean?
They are colour coded as I mentioned in my edit... what I mean is that the colours should be visable at all times, either through coloured surrounds of the topic headers or different coloured text, and not just visable when the mouse moves over the text.
SchizoFrog 22nd April 2010, 15:16 Quote
Something else I don't understand is why use a different font size for when writing comments on article pages? If we are supposed to be able to read at the current font size used, should we not be able to write at that size too? Maybe it's just a way of making our text stand out while typing... not sure.
javaman 22nd April 2010, 15:31 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jamie
A clear problem, there is a back to top link in the footer though.

Cheers Jamie, Ive missed that before. should make things a little easier.
Xir 22nd April 2010, 16:27 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sifter3000
Re colour coding - we do still do it, if you click Gaming, for instance, the 2nd level of the top nav turns red, and all the stories are colour coded red. Is that not what you mean?

Before, on the main page. :)

There you've got mixed (colour coded) topics in the left column but the buttons indicating the corresponding sections are only mouse-over colourcoded.

(at least i think that's what he meant...)
SchizoFrog 22nd April 2010, 16:47 Quote
Indeed Xir... You are correct, that is what I meant... lol

Might I also suggest that the 'Top' link in the footer becomes more of a 'Back To Top' button to partner 'Post Comment'? That would make more sense to me as it would stand out more and be more useful, as would a 'To The Bottom' button to go at the top of the comments section.
Sifter3000 22nd April 2010, 18:38 Quote
I see what you mean; the site is missing a "key" at the moment. We consciously moved away from the coloured backgrounds on the section buttons in the old header - I wouldn't be too keen to bring them back, TBH, as I'm not a fan of the multi-coloured splodge look... Something to think about.
Jamie 22nd April 2010, 19:00 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by SchizoFrog
Indeed Xir... You are correct, that is what I meant... lol

Might I also suggest that the 'Top' link in the footer becomes more of a 'Back To Top' button to partner 'Post Comment'? That would make more sense to me as it would stand out more and be more useful, as would a 'To The Bottom' button to go at the top of the comments section.

We've added a few buttons to help move around the comments page.
leslie 22nd April 2010, 21:19 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by perplekks45
And you, Sir, should learn how to use the edit and/or multi-quote buttons. :p
Two in a row! Won't someone please think of the children! http://www.leslieplutonianclothing.info/loopyBlonde-blinking.gif
Madness_3d 22nd April 2010, 21:56 Quote
*sorry ignore*
SchizoFrog 23rd April 2010, 01:48 Quote
I like the added buttons. I still think that a 'Back to Top' button in between 'Post Comment' and 'Discuss...' buttons would be better than the very discreet link in the footer.

As for the colour key, I understand your point Sifter3000 but I feel it's wrong to use a colour code and then not have a key on the main page for easy reference. Even if the text of the topic headers were different colurs then you would have the key in a simple manner without the big blotches of colour you are trying to avoid.
Andy Mc 23rd April 2010, 10:39 Quote
I must admit after using the site for a few days I am liking the new layout less and less.
Busy would be an understatement. It just seems that far too much has been shoehorned into the front page, why?? as it is just far too cluttered.
Jamie 23rd April 2010, 11:15 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by kenco_uk
Is there a way of telling how many people are using variable or fixed width?

Yes, 344 so far have switched to variable width.
SchizoFrog 23rd April 2010, 11:15 Quote
I kinda agree with Andy Mc although I am still giving it more time. But I think too much has been designed around the adds and the amout of wasted space on the website is ridiculous. I mean just glancing up while writing this on a 22" @ 16x10 and the comments are less than 4.5" out of the 10.5" used for the page. Personally if I had to go with a 3 column design I would have had the Articles in the middle and using more width and then had the 'Adds' and 'Other' on the left and right. The way it is now I can't help but feel distracted from what I am actually trying to read by either adds or links to something else.

I have also noticed a physical change too. As I tend to open my browser in the centre of my screen, the comments are on the left of the screen as I look at it and after a few minutes I tend to lean to the left to focus on what I am reading... By the time I finish reading an article I actually feel uncomfortable and tend to click to a different site.
TWeaK 23rd April 2010, 16:18 Quote
Would just like to say that the colour for the hypertext links is a bit ambiguous, in that when you've visited a link it has a lighter colour, but this colour is almost indistinguishable from the original colour.

Liking it overall more and more each day :D
cool_dude 23rd April 2010, 21:50 Quote
hey guys

any update on the colours of this site? They look very washed out !
whisperwolf 23rd April 2010, 22:22 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by cool_dude
hey guys

any update on the colours of this site? They look very washed out !

what colours are washed out? I've just had a quick nosey at the web archive version and they seems pretty much the same as they were to a quick visual check, though I admit I haven't broken out a spectrometer to check if they are the exact same shades.

One thing I've noticed why does the bits page not have a coloured tab bar under the first menu tab bar, like all the other heading pages?
SchizoFrog 23rd April 2010, 22:28 Quote
What 'I' have noticed over the last couple of days is the lack of interest and response from Bit-Tech. Well **** you too. I'll still pop by to have a look, but I am done with input on the site as you really do not seem to give 2 F@#KS what we, YOUR CUSTOMERS actually think.

This is the same reason I stopped buying CustomPC...
leslie 23rd April 2010, 22:42 Quote
ANY site redesign will get complaints, you can't please everyone.
It wouldn't matter if it was the greatest design in the world.

To be honest, out of all the customers, this isn't many complaining. The real tell will be in hit counts. So no, they may not be listening, yet. Also, just because you state an opinion, or even if they ask for it, it doesn't mean they have to follow it.
Jediron 25th April 2010, 19:19 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jamie


Have you got a screenshot showing the small font?
no, but the problem was ie showed smaller font, my mistake.
I like the Arial font though ;-)
GunsAblazin 25th April 2010, 23:26 Quote
Wow, talk about scrolling. You guys at Bit-tech might want to make the page a lot wider. Like who doesn't have widescreen these days, especialy Bit-tech reaters. I just finished a web design class and I think I can do much better.
perplekks45 26th April 2010, 00:45 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by GunsAblazin
Wow, talk about scrolling. You guys at Bit-tech might want to make the page a lot wider. Like who doesn't have widescreen these days, especialy Bit-tech reaters. I just finished a web design class and I think I can do much better.
You didn't read this thread or the other one, did you?

And if you can do it better... go ahead, we'll be here waiting. :p
Sifter3000 26th April 2010, 09:41 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by SchizoFrog
What 'I' have noticed over the last couple of days is the lack of interest and response from Bit-Tech. Well **** you too. I'll still pop by to have a look, but I am done with input on the site as you really do not seem to give 2 F@#KS what we, YOUR CUSTOMERS actually think.

This is the same reason I stopped buying CustomPC...

Really? I tell you what 'I' have noticed, aside from 'your' inability to know when to 'use' quotation marks, is that on page 6 of this thread, 'you', 'myself' (the editor), and Jamie (the developer) have a back-and-forth discussion about colour coding and visual design. 'Your' points are responded to within less than two hours, including a code change to the site to address some of 'your' issues on commenting. In fact, 'you' even professed to like the changes.

But that was at 00:48 on Saturday. By the end of the day, you've decided to post the above foul mouthed rant, and, to be honest, I've got no idea where it comes from or even what you're on about. Throughout this process - and I include the open public beta - the staff have sought and responded to comments from readers. I've written two long and balanced blogs posts explaining our decisions. We've not changed everything people have asked us to, because you simply can't please everyone all the time - I have however, done my best to explain when decision have been made, why they've been made.

But clearly, that's not enough for 'you'.
mi1ez 26th April 2010, 09:48 Quote
My only problem with the design of bit-tech is that "discuss in the forums" is where I would expect "post comment" to be and I keep losing my comments by clicking the wrong button!

Nice work besides that though and I'm sure I'll get used to it.
perplekks45 26th April 2010, 09:51 Quote
I love people who don't do anything themselves but start bitching immediately if they don't get a reply within 10 minutes...
smc8788 26th April 2010, 10:04 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by SchizoFrog
I am done with input on the site

Kbai.

I think I speak for everyone when I say you won't be missed. Have fun over at Tom's Hardware or wherever it is you end up.
kingred 26th April 2010, 10:17 Quote
now with 30% more adverts.
kingred 26th April 2010, 10:19 Quote
And with no text justification for comments, forcing your eyes over to teh left, leaving tons of white space.
Bindibadgi 26th April 2010, 10:29 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by kingred
now with 30% more adverts.

Actually there's technically less adverts now since we no longer have skyscrapers making the forums true variable width if you really want them to be. We do have the extra MPU on the front page, but in terms of pixels rendered for adverts, there's less.

But, you know, jump to conclusions and all that.
Xir 26th April 2010, 10:44 Quote
Ummm, I've been very pleasantly surprised of how well you guys take the criticism, and how fast you've made corrections (that were well founded).

Hurrah! ;)
Bindibadgi 26th April 2010, 10:50 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Xir
Ummm, I've been very pleasantly surprised of how well you guys take the criticism, and how fast you've made corrections (that were well founded).

Hurrah! ;)

You get hugs \o/

impar 26th April 2010, 14:01 Quote
Greetings!

A week has passed and I have to say dont like the new look.

Unlike most that complain about the width, I dont mind that since at work I only have a 15" LCD.
My main complain is about screen use.

There are three main columns on the page now.
The firtst uses about 45% of the screen area and offers the new content BitTech produced.
The second uses about 25% of the screen area and is reserved for news.
The third column, about 30%, is just a waste, I just dont care on its content.

PS:
For reference, check XbitLabs site. It only uses the "Content and "News" columns and functions well.
I understand you guys want/need to have some integration with other branches of the group you belong to, but its just a waste of space.
perplekks45 26th April 2010, 14:08 Quote
Did you change the layout for the articles on the front page? 1 big picture instead of 2 smaller ones?

Like it! ;)
Sifter3000 26th April 2010, 14:49 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by perplekks45
Did you change the layout for the articles on the front page? 1 big picture instead of 2 smaller ones?

Like it! ;)

We have for today - the featured article boxes are really flexible. For big launches and cool products, we can put more of a focus on one thing - there's a launch tomorrow, so I expect then we might have just the one, or maybe two articles in there, so the pics will be huge :D
Sifter3000 26th April 2010, 14:52 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by impar
My main complain is about screen use.

There are three main columns on the page now.
The firtst uses about 45% of the screen area and offers the new content BitTech produced.
The second uses about 25% of the screen area and is reserved for news.
The third column, about 30%, is just a waste, I just dont care on its content.

Well, it's the third column that pays the bills, and trust me, I think you'd prefer the third column over a little coin slot in the side of your PC that you had to put 10p in every time you loaded bit-tech ;)
mars-bar-man 26th April 2010, 15:03 Quote
I really like it actually.

I'm still getting lost around places, trying to work out where I'm going and what the hell is going on sometimes, but I love the new look. Looks a tremendous load better than the old one.

Although saying that, my FF bookmark for this site goes straight to the forum, so I don't often visit the main site all that much.
LightningPete 26th April 2010, 16:23 Quote
I dont think bit-tech anticipated Humans using their website, in other words most humans reject change from their comfort zones... On a good note: Troll training can re-begin :)
perplekks45 26th April 2010, 16:32 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sifter3000
We have for today - the featured article boxes are really flexible. For big launches and cool products, we can put more of a focus on one thing - there's a launch tomorrow, so I expect then we might have just the one, or maybe two articles in there, so the pics will be huge :D
Did I mention that I like the new design? ;)
BLC 26th April 2010, 18:26 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Xir
Ummm, I've been very pleasantly surprised of how well you guys take the criticism, and how fast you've made corrections (that were well founded).

Hurrah! ;)

Indeed this is one of the reasons I stick with bit-tech, despite the zillions of other tech sites in existence. There's much more of a sense of community with the bit-tech staff.
Xir 26th April 2010, 21:24 Quote
I'm using a computer thats not mine right now, and it runs Opera 9.51 (don't know if thats current)
Anyway there's a glitch in the "header Bars"

Looks like this (can`t take a picture) imagine the dots gone, space doesn't work for formatting)

HO..HARDWA..MODDI..GAMI..BI..BL
ME..RE............NG........NG......T...OG
..............................................S

Revie..Featu..Previe
ws......res......ws

Also, theres no way to "go to the Forum" from "Comments"
mrbens 26th April 2010, 21:27 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by mi1ez
My only problem with the design of bit-tech is that "discuss in the forums" is where I would expect "post comment" to be and I keep losing my comments by clicking the wrong button!

Yes, I did that too!

Can the 'discuss in the forums' button be at the top of the comments please, next to where it says 'reply', instead of having to scroll down to the bottom of the comments to click the link to the forum for that article?
tron 27th April 2010, 07:47 Quote
Overall, I prefer the new Bit Tech website. ;)

I understand that changes needed to happen and I welcome new fresh designs.

The higher quantity of news articles on the homepage has its advantages by obviously maintaining longer periods of exposure for each recent article. The only negative to that would be that, for regular bit tech visitors, the homepage can look very similar to how it may have looked days before, giving the impression that not much new 'news' has happened. I suppose a visitor could go away for a few weeks, return, and not feel they have missed out on much. Apart from this, and one or two other extremely minor negative points, the new look is great.
Anakha 6th May 2010, 04:56 Quote
I've done a little tweaking in Stylish, and I've made the site look (I think) more than half-way decent for a widescreen monitor. I've even kept the ads (what ads I could, the background ad is a loss unfortunately) intact, as these screenshots show:

http://img34.imageshack.us/i/wshomepage.jpg/
http://img693.imageshack.us/i/wsblog.jpg/
http://img62.imageshack.us/i/wsarticle.jpg/

It should work well at higher resolutions than mine (1680x1050), but as this is all I've got, it's all I can test it on.
jezmck 7th May 2010, 22:12 Quote
Yeah, now try reading it.

There's a reason newspaper/magazines use narrow columns.
Anakha 7th May 2010, 23:20 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by jezmck
Yeah, now try reading it.

There's a reason newspaper/magazines use narrow columns.

I do read it. It's how I have the site set up by default now, and it's a lot less tiring and less work than having to read back and forth again and again. It also means there is much less scrolling to do.

And, contrariwise, there is a reason why books don't use columns. The reason newspapers use columns is so that the page is readable even when folded. That is not an issue with online media, as you don't fold your monitor.

Besides, it's not like I'm forcing this on everyone. If you want it, you can load it into Stylish yourself, and if you don't, you don't have to.

Here's the CSS to paste into Stylish (Give it whatever name you like):
Code:
@namespace url(http://www.w3.org/1999/xhtml);
/* For all pages under www.bit-tech.net... */
@-moz-document domain("www.bit-tech.net") {

/* Set things up for 100% width... */
.pageContainer {
   width: auto !important;
}
.grid_18 {
   width: 100% !important;
}

/* Position the nav container background correctly. */
.navContainer {
   background-position: top center !important;
}

/* Give the feature blocks a width. Then the smaller headlines can float to the right */
.singleFeatureBlock, .doubleFeatureBlock, .tripleFeatureBlock {
   width: 406px !important;
   margin-right: 10px !important;
}
.alpha.grid_8.omega {
   width: auto !important;
   position: inherit !important;
}

/* Front page articles list. Set width of each article to 406px and let floating wrap them */
.grid_8 {
   width: 100% !important;
}
.grid_8 .listBlock {
   width: 100% !important;
}
.grid_8 ul.articles {
   width: 100% !important;
}
.grid_8 ul.articles li {
   width: 406px !important;
   float: left !important;
   clear: none !important;
   padding-right: 5px;
}

/* Headers for lists are 100% wide and breaking - causing a hard break */
.listBlock h2 {
   float: none !important;
   clear: left !important;
}

/* Set up the frontpage columns. */
/* If you want column 2 to be only 1 story wide, (for narrower screens):

#column_1.grid_8 {
   width: auto !important;
   margin-right: 515px !important;
}
#column_2.grid_4 {
   margin-left: -505px !important;
   width: 200px !important;
}

As it is, however, this works well for 1680x1050, at the very least.
*/

#column_1.grid_8 {
   width: auto !important;
   margin-right: 715px !important;
}
#column_2.grid_4 {
   margin-left: -705px !important;
   width: 400px !important;
}
#column_2.grid_4 .listBlock li {
   width: 185px !important;
   float: left !important;
   clear: none !important;
   margin: 4px 0px !important;
   padding-left: 10px !important;
}
#column_2.grid_4 ul {
   width: 100% !important;
}
#column_3 {
   margin-left: -302px !important;
}

/* Set up the article page columns */
#column_1.grid_12 {
   width: auto !important;
   margin-right: 305px !important;
}
#column_2.grid_6 {
   position: absolute !important;
   right: 0px !important;
}

/* Purely cosmetic. For some reason on FF, this is a little too wide, so narrow it. */
.search input {
   width: 150px !important;
}
}
jezmck 8th May 2010, 13:03 Quote
I find narrower columns easier to read because it's easier for the eye to go the next line when flicking back to the left.

I'm amazed you found it so bad that you went to the effort tbh.
smc8788 8th May 2010, 13:24 Quote
Yeah, making it wider has the ironic effect of putting even more information on the page - something many people were complaining about even with the current fixed-width design. In fact, although I said before that it was too narrow and would like it to be wider, now that I've seen what it could potentially look like I'm glad it's the way it is now.
Sifter3000 8th May 2010, 14:12 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Anakha
I do read it. It's how I have the site set up by default now, and it's a lot less tiring and less work than having to read back and forth again and again. It also means there is much less scrolling to do.

And, contrariwise, there is a reason why books don't use columns. The reason newspapers use columns is so that the page is readable even when folded. That is not an issue with online media, as you don't fold your monitor.

Besides, it's not like I'm forcing this on everyone. If you want it, you can load it into Stylish yourself, and if you don't, you don't have to.

Got to say, I'm not a fan (you shouldn't expect me to be, given that I played a fairly big part in the redesign); super wide sites just aren't good. *However*, I think the fact you've made the code available for people to try is pretty cool :)
Anakha 24th May 2010, 21:04 Quote
Some people have suggested that having the content in columns is the way to go, to aid readability. Fortunately (in Firefox and Webkit, at least), this is a simple matter:
Code:
@namespace url(http://www.w3.org/1999/xhtml);
/* For all pages under www.bit-tech.net... */
@-moz-document domain("www.bit-tech.net") {

/* Set things up for 100% width... */
.pageContainer { width: auto !important; }
.grid_18 { width: 100% !important; }

/* Position the nav container background correctly. */
.navContainer { background-position: top center !important; }

/* Give the feature blocks a width. Then the smaller headlines can float to the right */
.singleFeatureBlock, .doubleFeatureBlock, .tripleFeatureBlock {
   width: 406px !important;
   margin-right: 10px !important;
}
.alpha.grid_8.omega {
   width: auto !important;
   position: inherit !important;
}

/* Front page articles list. Set width of each article to 406px and let floating wrap them */
.grid_8 {width: 100% !important; }
.grid_8 .listBlock { width: 100% !important; }
.grid_8 ul.articles { width: 100% !important; }
.grid_8 ul.articles li {
   width: 406px !important;
   float: left !important;
   clear: none !important;
   padding-right: 5px;
}

/* Headers for lists are 100% wide and breaking - causing a hard break */
.listBlock h2 {
   float: none !important;
   clear: left !important;
}

/* Set up the frontpage columns. */
/* If you want column 2 to be only 1 story wide, (for narrower screens):

#column_1.grid_8 {
   width: auto !important;
   margin-right: 515px !important;
}
#column_2.grid_4 {
   margin-left: -505px !important;
   width: 200px !important;
}

As it is, however, this works well for 1680x1050, at the very least.
*/

#column_1.grid_8 {
   width: auto !important;
   margin-right: 715px !important;
}
#column_2.grid_4 {
   margin-left: -705px !important;
   width: 400px !important;
}
#column_2.grid_4 .listBlock li {
   width: 185px !important;
   float: left !important;
   clear: none !important;
   margin: 4px 0px !important;
   padding-left: 10px !important;
}
#column_2.grid_4 ul { width: 100% !important; }
#column_3 { margin-left: -302px !important; }

/* Set up the article page columns */
#column_1.grid_12 {
   width: auto !important;
   margin-right: 305px !important;
}
#column_2.grid_6 {
   position: absolute !important;
   right: 0px !important;
}

/* Purely cosmetic. For some reason on FF, this is a little too wide, so narrow it. */
.search input { width: 150px !important; }

/* Some people wanted columns. Can do! */
.articleCopy {
   -moz-column-count: 2;
   -webkit-column-count: 2;
}

}

That will put the text into 2 columns for you. (The only thing that's different to the last version is the ".articleCopy" definition at the bottom there.) Still works (And looks) great @ 1680x1050.
Chaos_Engine 25th May 2010, 10:28 Quote
Please please please mobile version.... would be soooo sweet!
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