The Gadgeteer is getting an update!

maintenance

I’m very excited to tell you that later tonight, if all goes as planned, the site will get a much needed facelift. We’ve been working on this for a few months, so I hope you will like the results. The site may be offline for an hour or longer starting around 7pm EST tonight.  Send us some good thoughts that the update goes without a hitch! Of course, you are encouraged to leave feedback once the new layout is up.

Posted in: News

18 comments… add one

  • Julio December 28, 2013, 7:22 pm

    Good Luck and great way to start the 2014!!!!!!

  • poqeteer December 29, 2013, 12:18 am

    My compliments. Nice look. =)

  • Gravity Four December 29, 2013, 1:55 am

    You have been working on this for a few months? Really? Sorry, you need to go back to the drawing board.

  • Chris Jones December 30, 2013, 11:56 am

    I must say… I very much don’t like the new website. I’ve been visiting your site since the days of you and Judie running the site. The simplicity of the site is one of the things I always liked. It was never difficult to find the latest posts or know which posts *were* the latest.

    This new webpage I think has lost that. It’s not clear what posts are new or old unless I focus on the date. Yeah, I know the date info is there… but it’s just not the same. And then the big yellow links to click on that *appear* to be short cuts to find some prior blog posts that are really advertisements? Don’t like.

    I’ll keep visiting the site and hopefully I’ll get used to the new layout. Keep up the gadget’ing. :)

    -chris

    • Julie Strietelmeier December 30, 2013, 12:05 pm

      @Chris thank you for your feedback. Let me explain the new layout to make it easier to understand. The top post will always be the newest review and then all the other posts are in order just like they always were. The posts are just arranged in rows left to right now instead of one long horizontal list of posts.

      As for the yellow button links ad, that was always on the site as well. It was just on the right sidebar and now it’s on the left. :)

  • John Selden December 30, 2013, 2:25 pm

    Hi Julie–

    I like the new look. I do see one oddity in the layout, and I wonder if it is intentional, an error, or just bizarre rendering on my chromebook. There’s a big white space in the first spot under “Latest Posts” (where it looks like the first post should be) and more occasional white spaces throughout the Latest Posts section at seemingly random intervals. Are those supposed to be there?

    • Julie Strietelmeier December 30, 2013, 2:26 pm

      @John I’m guessing you have some ad blocking software installed. Those blank areas you’re seeing are ad blocks :)

  • John Selden December 30, 2013, 2:47 pm

    Ooops, so busted!

  • Fuzzy Wells December 31, 2013, 2:36 am

    Julie,

    Been with you for a dozen or so years now and, like Chris, I’m not a fan of the new design. I prefer simplicity in my treasured websites. Gizmodo/Jalopnik/Lifehacker went from simplistic, easy-to-read blogs to the thumbnail/too-many-boxes style a few years back and I haven’t been back to them since (like 80% of their pre-redesign viewers). The loading for all these chiclets takes too much time and causes too much clutter on mobile gadgets (you remember you’re about gadgets, right?), it’s simply too much visual garbage. I feel like I’m mucking through the refuse of an auto-generated/PR-spouting/news-hole site vs perusing the the insightful wisdom provided by thoughtful reviewers that I’ve come to expect from the gadgeteer. So the question you have to ask yourself is… when viewing your site (for the first time or to get your daily/weekly fix), do you want the reader to be overwhelmed by the quality or the quantity of your articles? You simply can’t do both in the few minutes I have to devote to your site each visit. Before the redesign, I would swipe/scroll down, catch a decently large image and a paragraph or two that would determine whether I dove deeper. If the pic or commentary captured my eye, you had me for additional minutes. Now I get 2-3 hard-to-read sentences and an icon-like image that I assume may have something to do with the article. So I scan (not read) the page, which reminds me of thinkgeek.com (i.e., geek trash), and if I don’t get dizzy, I quickly try to make out the blurry tiny images, see that there isn’t enough verbiage to justify me reading further, and I’m done with the site in seconds flat. That’s not the experience you want. That’s not the experience I want. So one of us will have to change our view of websites. I’m hoping it’s you. Happy new year!

  • tivoboy December 31, 2013, 9:00 am

    I’m with Chris ( and Fuzzy), I was a fan of the old site. I know, I know, nobody like change, but certainly sometimes change is good. I’m not really sure what the objective with this site redesign was actually. I don’t see more ads (I don’t really care about ads though, but that might have been a reason to change) and I don’t see more ease of access, or more information on the page. It MIGHT be that one can get more info up top, meaning crawlers and SEO will see more of the information on the first pass.

    Regardless, the new design takes actually MORE time to scan and grasp what is new, what is interesting, what should I be focussing my attention on. The new layout requires a back and forth, left and right scanning of the page which isn’t very appealing to a viewer. It MIGHT end of up meaning that SOME viewers will actually spend MORE time on the site, since it takes more time to scan, filter (in ones minds) and then click through, but for me that isn’t the objective. It’s finding some interesting articles/reviews QUICKLY, opening them up (usually in a separate tab) and then reading (usually commenting) and then moving on. I don’t really view this site on mobile devices (I know you’d prefer that, but coming here is a morning routine not an all day one) so for some it might not be as much of an issue.

    • Julie Strietelmeier December 31, 2013, 9:41 am

      @Sue we’ve changed to black text. Is it easier for you to read now? It is for me. Thumbnail image quality has been fixed as well.

      @Chris, Fuzzy, tivoboy You’re right, no one likes change. This reminds me of all the other times we’ve changed the site design over the past 16 years. A handful of people would complain that they hated it and would never come back. But then a few of those people would be the same ones that would complain the next time that they LOVED the old design and hated the new one. So please give yourself a few days to get used to the new design. You might just start liking it better than the old one.

      Why did we change? Because we had many people complaining that it was too hard to find old content. I think the new menus really help.

      Regarding viewing the site on a mobile device… This layout is responsive, so it actually resizes down to small screens on the fly. If you’ve visited the site with your phone or small tablet, In portrait orientation, it’s a long horizontal scrolling list of posts. So I’m not sure where the complaint is for mobile viewing. Yes, there are ads you have to skip. But other than that, it’s all articles.

  • Red Owl January 1, 2014, 10:11 am

    Julie,

    I am a long-time daily (sometimes multiple times daily) reader of The Gadgeteer. Thanks for this wonderful service and for the all the information you and your colleagues have shared with me and others. But I’m sorry that I cannot say that I like the new site format.

    It seems to me that you believe that the only reason that several of us don’t prefer the new web site format is that we just object to change in general. I’m sure you appreciate, however, that it is also possible that some of us just don’t like the new look or find it as functional for one reason or another. After all, the site’s beauty is in the eye of its beholders.

    Let me say for the record, then, that I’m very much in favor of change — and the sooner you change this new format to some other format (whether that be back to the old or forward to an even newer one), the happier I will be as one of the web site’s beholders. I understand how much work was involved in converting to the new format, so I won’t hold my breath that change will come again anytime soon — but we can always look forward to 2015.

    I will still read The Gadgeteer daily because of the great information you provide, but I will be reading the site despite the new format and not because I find it an improvement over the old.

    Happy New Year!

    : )

  • johnkes January 2, 2014, 5:03 pm

    It was a bit disconcerting at first. I thought you were copying the crazy format from Gear Diary, but like you said, your articles simply flow left to right. It looks good on my computer screen. It reverts back to the single column format on my iPhone, and displays very clearly. Thanks for the hard work.

    • Julie Strietelmeier January 2, 2014, 5:20 pm

      @johnkes it’s called magazine style or magazine format. Yes, I realize that it’s similar to geardiary – which wasn’t intentional. Hopefully we’re different enough :)

  • johnkes January 2, 2014, 5:55 pm

    Your format is still easier to follow.

  • Fuzzy January 6, 2014, 2:04 am

    Julie,

    Found a way we can both be happy. You can keep your redesign and I can keep reading the gadgeteer from this site: https://www.facebook.com/gadgeteer. Still not enough teaser text for my liking, but larger pictures and half as many columns.

    • Julie Strietelmeier January 6, 2014, 7:33 am

      @Fuzzy I’m glad you found an alternative that you can be happy with. I’ve looked into having my designer make an alternative layout that users can change to, but that’s a feature that is on the back burner at the moment due to the amount of time needed to implement it.

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