I’ll admit, I’m a little bit gullible sometimes. When Matt Cutts posted on his blog
that he was going to go offline and live in a tent in his backyard for a month, it did take me a few minutes to realize it was April Fool’s Day and that I was a complete idiot.
So when I meandered over to TechCrunch
this morning and saw the site redesign they’ve been working on since last fall, I first had to go looking around to see if it might be some kind of hoax.
Where is the clean, easy-to-navigate, magazine-style layout? And what in God’s name did Pacman vomit up on the screen in place of a logo?
In a cursory search, I found the aptly titled “Redesigning TechCrunch: We Picked This Logo Just to Piss You Off
” by redesign product manager Dave Feldman. It seems the new logo and chunky, bold, uber-green design were, in fact, intentional; it seems to be some sort of statement. “TechCrunch is bold. It’s raw. It’s fast-paced,” his post proclaims.
It’s bold and raw. And it’s hurting my eyes.
Was I being too harsh, I wondered? So I called over everyone in the office to have a peek. It seemed almost unrecognizable; one person asked if we had a new web designer in town. When I pulled up the previous version for a side-by-side comparison, manic laughter and much head-scratching ensued.
It seems we’re not just mean and heartless up here in Ontario, as this WebProNews compilation of tweets
about TechCrunch’s redesign demonstrates.
But let’s put the aesthetics of it aside for a second. It took me three times back to the top of the page to notice that the black and white top navigation bar was not, in fact, part of the black and white banner ad just beneath it. (Note: the black and white banner had been removed at time of writing; excellent choice.)
Where are the Subscribe icons that were so conveniently placed in the top right, above the fold, in the old layout? How is it improving the user experience that I can only see two paragraphs of one article now, as opposed to the preview of several on different topics in the previous version’s slider?
And why am I still here? Can I leave now? To those who appreciated the steps made in online design over the past fifteen years, it's not all bad. They might just change it back.
It’s okay TechCrunch, all the cool kids pee their pants.