Give the DN team a chance

over 8 years ago from , Product Design

Coming in yesterday morning, I was surprised to find that one of my daily read has undertook a re-design. This was a signal that DN is taking a direction on it's own post LayerVault. I wasn't used to it yet as I was still adjusting to the new environment like walking in my favourite store to see what's new.

So I went through the each link, trying to find out what has changed and what is different, and I found some cool stuff along with couple of things that needs ironing out. Posted my feedback about it and went about my day. Came back a few hours later, saw some of the bugs have been fixed. Wow, talk about quick response! Pretty excited about the team taking this forward.

Then I came back this morning and was reading through some of the comments and reaction. My heart sank a little as there were a lot of negativity about the redesign (along with lots of good ones too). I can strongly relate to this situation.

Professionally, this happens too and it is something I can stay objective on, but I felt DN is closer to home on a personal level. Designing for designers is like baking for pastry chefs, they can be extremely critical about it because they value their craft and do tend to strive for perfection. Sometimes we forget why we do what we do beyond all that perfection…

DN is a place for us designers to get together, share insightful ideas, news and experiences amongst many other way we connect. It is a community about sharing, and we do it with decency. That's why the quality of the content has always been so good.

If you want to share your feedback, be nice. Be constructive and hold the snark. Help the team behind this who manage to keep this community free and open to make it better. Do what you want others to do for you.

Give the team behind this a big pat in the back. They are doing an amazing job trying to take in all the feedback. Let them have some time to take where they envision this.

Big thanks toAndrewMaxJody & Farzad

P.S If you really really dislike the new design and want your own flavour, then go try out something like stylebot to customise your own DN with your own CSS.


  • Laurens SpangenbergLaurens Spangenberg, over 8 years ago

    My biggest annoyance were the Firefox bugs, the low padding space, and the low contrast.

    All were fixed within 12 hours.

    I completely love it now.

    DN you rock!

    31 points
  • Jon MyersJon Myers, over 8 years ago (edited over 8 years ago )

    Did we read the same discussion?

    Sure there was a little snark.

    Corny one liners and winning the Upvote Penny Slots.

    It's the internet.

    However, I found the majority of comments to be constructive and appreciative of both the DN team's effort and need to pay the bills to keep this going.

    Or to expand the baking metaphor, just about the right critique recipe.

    I really don't understand what you mean by "give them a chance".

    Nobody say anything and carry on?

    Feedback is critical for excellence. Sometimes it's harsh.

    So is life.

    Clearly, the DN team is working their butts off racing to keep up here. Seems like most understand that fact.

    Obviously, you are well intentioned, I can appreciate you taking the effort, but it seems a bit attention seeking and excessive to start a whole thread about it.

    14 points
    • Jonathan Yap, over 8 years ago

      I guess the ones that did surface quickly for me was the ones with a little more negative air to around it. I was re-reading a lot of the comments, and I do see a lot more are being helpful.

      What I meant for giving them a chance was give to them the time to do what do what they have in store. A lot of design decision might not be just moving things, and a lot more considerations behind on a technical level how the site would function. Again drawing back, I can see there are more being helpful than otherwise.

      You can see it as attention seeking, I just expressed what I felt like was right and I wanted to get the message out. Well life is sometimes harsh, but the way I see it, you don't have to make it harder for someone else by being too critical.

      1 point
  • Andrew WilkinsonAndrew Wilkinson, over 8 years ago

    Thanks so much for this post, Jonathan. To be perfectly honest, we 100% expected the controversial response we received. Redesigning a site for designers is always going to be a challenge because everyone has strong opinions. Just adds to the challenge :-)

    Thanks everyone for all the great feedback and support. We're working through a metric ton of tweaks, enhancements, and bug fixes.

    8 points
    • Jonathan Yap, over 8 years ago

      Spoke to someone recently about working with developers on developer tools. Same sort of challenge, similar reaction, and it's tough! Your team is doing some pretty brilliant work with blazing speed too. I'm sure you'll eventually get to the where you vision this place to be. Thanks for keeping this place amazing. :)

      0 points
  • Tiago MuraroTiago Muraro, over 8 years ago

    I really liked the DN's new design!

    I'd just change visited links to a lighter grey color and align these header texts like this http://take.ms/wGp6l

    Anyway, new DN is gorgeous :)

    5 points
  • anthony thomasanthony thomas, over 8 years ago

    Kudos to the team for fixing issues at lightning speed. But getting butthurt over a little snark and acting like a self-righteous design warrior with this thread ain't cool in my book.

    This thread should focus on acknowledging the team for their hard work, NOT complaining about snark. You're taking the glory away from them by blowing something that comes with the territory out of proportion.

    Every designer should know you have to tear something down to fix it. And every internet user should know people are always going to express themselves in their own special way. If you can't handle it, don't be a designer and get off the internet.

    3 points
    • Jonathan Yap, over 8 years ago

      I apologise if this comes across as that being as what you deem a 'self-righteous design warrior'.

      When I was writing this, there were things going through my mind on how reactions came across and I thought it would be nice to spur the guys on. I felt there were just better way of passing on information, so I said what I said. That's it :)

      0 points
  • James MejiaJames Mejia, over 8 years ago

    I think the DN team has been really responsive to the feedback. Also, I think any redesign is going to make you double-take. I'm glad they're sticking with something familiar. They could've decided to go into a completely new direction like that MTV redesign with horses and saxophones.

    2 points
  • CTodd LombardoCTodd Lombardo, over 8 years ago

    Remember when Facebook introduced the NewsFeed? THAT was negative. But then what happened? People adjusted and came to really like it.

    When something becomes a routine part of one's day, and then it changes - people don't like that, generally. However over time, if there's real value in the change, it will be accepted.

    I'm more a lurker than a commenter here, and I appreciate the direction the new team is taking DN. There will be bumps on the way, and no place worth going is free of bumps in the road, right?

    2 points
    • Jonathan Yap, over 8 years ago

      Oh I remembered that! Behavioural change or challenging it is probably one the easiest way to tick people off. Still happens with some friends every time there is a change on Facebook.

      It really takes a lot for a team to steel themselves and push through in the faces of confrontation, I felt that is worth commending.

      0 points
  • Ethan Clark, over 8 years ago

    I can't click blue Reply link. Anyone else?

    1 point
  • Tom WoodTom Wood, over 8 years ago (edited over 8 years ago )

    I just used stylebot for the firs time. That was fun!

    So I changed the colours of the links to make them slightly less black, made the visited comments much lighter, removed the border on the upvote button (and added a border-right) and increased the padding for each news item.

    For me, on my monitor, it gives each story room to breathe and makes me feel instantly more relaxed when I scan the stories.

    I've always used DN as a break from work, to get some inspiration and headspace -- having it be so crammed in took away from the zen.


    1 point
    • Jonathan Yap, over 8 years ago

      Stylebot gave me the myspace jitter when I first came across it. But I've seen how people use it on reddit and craigslist, pretty cool tool.

      It's something that you can hack around if you have something that really grinds your gear. I use it for development in my local environment on some nasty internal pages that no one else wanted changed.

      0 points
  • Prabhu SPrabhu S, over 8 years ago

    I know I'm a bit late to this conversation but just wanted to say i really like the new design and congratulations to the them on puling this off.

    0 points
  • Some DesignerSome Designer, over 8 years ago (edited over 8 years ago )

    What, people don't like the new design? It's much better! And this is a very hopeful sign that it's going to be much much better.

    0 points
  • Dan CoatesDan Coates, over 8 years ago

    IMO the problem was not with the design itself (I rather like the new design) but with the way it was rolled out. There is an established way of doing these sort of things that wasn't followed.

    There should have been a beta.designernews.co site running alongside the main site that allowed the site to be tested with real content and for the community to feed back on issues. After some time the beta site would replace the existing site and there would be no scrambling to fix bugs and users would have already familiarized themselves with the new design.

    I do really appreciate the efforts of a small team in getting a new design out and responding quickly to reported issues but they made this much harder for themselves than was necessary.

    0 points
    • Jonathan Yap, over 8 years ago

      I do like BBC's and Guardian's approach when they are doing this. Maybe this could have been a better way to launch, maybe there are reasons we don't know about, I would have gone for this approach but it has its own challenges too.

      Still, pretty cool that the team are responding quickly to all this.

      0 points
  • Vincent MillikenVincent Milliken, over 8 years ago (edited over 8 years ago )

    Personally I think there just needs some small adjustments, plus there has been a huge amount of work put into a lot of the details throughout the site. But I would say all these issues will be ironed out with all the updates/changes going on.

    Small changes

    0 points
  • Philip AmourPhilip Amour, over 8 years ago (edited over 8 years ago )

    I am pretty much happy with the new DN (besides some annoying bugs and usability issues - i.e. Sign In/Sign Up button doesn't react sometimes).

    hint I just wish somebody from the DN team would take a look at https://developer.apple.com/library/safari/releasenotes/General/WhatsNewInSafari/Articles/Safari_9.html and provide 'Icons for Pinned Tabs'. hint

    0 points