Boing Boing redo

I gotta say that I’m enjoying the Boing Boing redesign so much that I’m actually breaking down and making a real blog entry about it (as opposed to a witty twitter quip, or simple delicious link, or a lowly screenshot posted on flickr).

I thought the old design was showing its age and the ad layouts were very distracting (the jokes about it looking like NASCAR weren’t too far off). I even sent a mockup of a cleaner layout to Xeni and Cory a couple years ago, but I never thought it would change and assumed it would putter on for several more years in its previous state. I don’t know what prompted the change, but the new look is a great improvement. It’s way cleaner, easier to read, and the ads are no longer distracting. I disagree with Nelson on the change (though I agreed with his previous assessment). At this point in the lifespan of Boing Boing (one million dollars!), I no longer compare them to other blogs and instead to major media outlets, so I’m cutting them slack on three ad zones. Look at any page at even nicely designed media sites like the New York Times and you’ll see 3-5x more advertisements. So among top-shelf media sites, their advertising is barely noticeable.

I’m also happy to see a new gadget blog that’s unlike all the other million gadget blogs out there. It helps that it’s authored by my all time favorite gadget blogger, a man that deserves a medal for getting hired to write a regular column on Gizmodo, only to get fired after Gawker editors and readers took his first essay way too personally and seriously. It’s clear from day one of this new Boing Boing blog that this won’t be another shopping or wishlist gadget blog. Free from all the pointless gadget lust that powers other sites, this looks like it’ll be more along the lines of “interesting crap someone built that looks cool/works in a cool way.”

Bottom line, it was a great surprise to see Boing Boing’s new layout and direction today and I think it’s a huge positive change (and adding comments was nice too).

10 Comments

  • It is a refreshing redesign, so rare that people take away clutter on high traffic sites.
    One downside of the redesign is that their statistics no longer seem to be publicly available. boingboing.net/stats is now a blank page :(

  • As I mentioned on my blog, the problem with comments is that they require you to get an account on their server, even though MT4 allows for OpenID and TypeKey for authentication. One more username/password to remember.

  • I’m guessing they require local site logins for the purposes of blocking/banning down the road. If they allowed OpenID, any jokester could just sign up using one of a thousand free OpenID services to continue to pummel them.
    With the single login, they can throttle the number of signups per IP or block certain members from doing stuff, and other stuff they couldn’t do if they let anyone login using different services.

  • Any site with the kind of traffic and readership BoingBoing gets would be crazy to leave comments open and unmoderated without required registration. Spammers and trolls would ruin the comments section in no time.

  • The weird spacing on the posts (title/metadata line/post) and the comments doesn’t bug the shit out of you? The little details are a mess.
    Prediction regarding the ads: there will be more in the coming months.

  • I have one small quibble: They’ve got a great bottom navigation — except that there’s no link to the BB front page nor to the Gadget blog down there. If I’ve gotten to the bottom of the front page (or to the end of a long line of comments on an individual entry), I don’t want to have to go all the way to the top to navigate around the site.

  • There’s a fine line between clean and bland. Black Georgia text in a fixed-width column on white background is the absence of design. This is good design in your opinion?

  • Aw, I just now saw this. Thanks, Matt!

  • Hello, very nice site, keep up good job!
    Admin good, very good.

  • Hello, very nice site, keep up good job!
    Admin good, very good.

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