A mere 19 days ago the Cosby Sweater staff decided to take bets on how long it would take Gawker Media to scrap their new design. To be honest, when we first took the bets I started to get worried. Four members of CS staff immediately took the OVER (@30 days) while the folks at Gawker Media were doing a great job of weathering a nasty barrage of negative comments and articles regarding their new design. For myself, I was fairly confident that something needed to be changed. The interface was confusing, crowded, and nearly impossible to navigate. I found myself not even going to Gawker anymore, I still frequented Deadspin but was getting frustrated. One of Cosby Sweaters’ own forwarded an article to our staff today which was entitled “Redesign: Gawker 2.0.1” Here are some of the highlights:
I should first explain the radio silence of the last couple of weeks. We’d wanted to respond to feedback not with promises of future improvements but with actual fixes…
“The most important remedy is the introduction of an internal scrollbar to move up and down the headline index on the right. We had mistakenly thought mouse scrolling (via scrollwheels or trackpads) and keyboard shortcuts were enough for story navigation—an overly optimistic expectation to say the least…”
“We got ahead of ourselves—and now we’re rowing back”
“For devotees of the traditional blog view, we preserved a version of the site in which the story excerpts (not just the headline index) are arranged in reverse chronological order much as in the past. But it wasn’t obvious how to set that option. So you’ll see a button at the top of the page which allows a reader to switch back and forth.”
“But the transition was definitely more bruising for readers and our own staff than it needed to be. When the redesign first launched, a lot of features simply did not work—which is no way to introduce readers to something new.
We’ve made more than a hundred bug fixes and user interface changes and continue to work through the list.”
So, this begs the question. Does this mean that I won the bet by successfully predicting that Gawker would scrap their new design? Or, are these changes not enough to warrant me gloating and collecting the rest of the staff’s money? We will let the readers decide.