Our New Look

by The Tech.pinions Team   |   May 9th, 2013

Many of our regular readers may have noticed something different with our site this morning. We have upgraded our look. This is the first major redesign of Tech.pinions since we launched the site in June of 2011. The goal was to eliminate as much clutter and all un-necessary design elements in order to put the focus on the columns. Our goal was to simplify the reading experience to focus on the content and I think we did just that.

Another goal was to make a better experience for mobile devices. I am particularly fond of how the site looks on iPad (and other tablets of course). We have a great team of designers working with us and we will keep building upon this new experience to continually bring new features and functions to the site.

As always we love to hear from our readers so we appreciate any thoughts and feedback on the re-design. We are always in search of new features to add so ideas are, of course, always welcome. Goal number one for us is to cater to those who find reading our long form editorials valuable and provide them with the best content and experience possible.

Tech.pinions started with a simple idea: Create a credible destination for long form opinion commentary about the technology industry from seasoned industry professionals. Our new design and many of our upcoming features will continue us down that path.

The Tech.pinions Team

Tech.pinions is dedicated to bringing you the most informed opinions on the technology industry.
  • Defendor

    Looks like a nice improvement here on the desktop as well.

    While it is early to judge I would get a lot of glitches on the previous version, things like overlapping text and the comment box disappearing mid comment.

    So far solid and glitch free. So aesthetic and functional improvement here.

    • benbajarin

      Thanks! I know what you mean, to be honest I’m surprised that old template took us as far as it did. We launched the site and that template on a shoe string budget and once we got up into the hundreds of thousands a month of readers, I don’t know how it didn’t break down daily.

      Glad everybody is liking it so far. Lots of cool stuff still ahead.

  • http://twitter.com/mattada matt adams

    So excited to see this live. It’s a project we are pretty proud of here @factor1.

    • capnbob67

      Teeny, tiny shill. I guess I would too in your place ;-)

      Seriously, what do you use as your benchmarks of great websites (tech or otherwise) for low volume blogs? I realize you can have a different design stance when there are only 1-3 articles per day vs. massive news sites (e.g. Verge or Engadget) or stream of consciousness blogging like Daring Fireball but I’m interested in what you think is good design (money no object).

      • http://twitter.com/mattada matt adams

        Good questions.

        We took a lot into account for this site. Admin management, ease of use, sharp graphics, retina ready, mobile responsive, etc. We wanted a user experience like that of a magazine. We looked at some of the great sites daily content producers like fast company, huffington post, tech crunch, the next web. We also saw inspiration from Audi, Apple, Microsoft metro UI as seen in win8 / xbox, and industrial designed furniture like Herman Miller.

        Verge, Engadget, and Fast co, are all massive sites with tons of content per day, they also have dedicated web publishing teams to help manage the chaos. Great sites, but also great resources and budgets to manage the volumes.

  • mhikl

    Clean, simply uncluttered, yet still has the links to past articles. Good job.

  • http://www.BarnesFamily.com/ davebarnes

    Hate it.
    Too many pictures.
    Have to scroll.

    • benbajarin

      Thanks for the feedback Dave. That was my initial feeling as well but most sites other than the personal blogs require some scrolling.

      It all depends on the device also iPad in portrait for example has lots of room to read before scrolling.

      • http://www.BarnesFamily.com/ davebarnes

        Ben,
        I have a 27-inch iMac.
        I don’t want to scroll. I just want to read titles and a snippet and then make the “click on” determination.

        • benbajarin

          Interesting, thanks for sharing. Hopefully we will get to the point where the quality of the column and/or the credibility of the author deems each article worthy of a click.

  • capnbob67

    Since the previous template was seemingly from c. 2003, this is a nice improvement – all the way to 2008 or 9. Desktop is OK but not great. A lot of space to trail 6 items (with additional info on only one). How much do you guys love your illustrations?

    Glad its finally mobilized. It was a shocking horror on an iPhone. Now it is basically a super long string of pictures until you scroll down a fair way. It’s like Facebook but without any visible value on the main page (can’t see an initial paragraph). At least I can see from an FB post if I should bother clicking through. Given the amount of clickbait in the world, I prefer not to trust headlines. TP articles are rarely so but the principle applies.

    Sadly, the photos are utterly irrelevant to the content or its value and unfortunately are no works of art. Yet they are the biggest things shown in the phone version and take up too much space in every version. iPad is better where you can see the 1st para on articles you read days or weeks ago (not any of the more current ones).

    Once clicked through, again massive irrelevant pictures, tons of grey-space and tiny text. The comments are more readable than the articles… thanks disqus. Sometimes that is a good thing too ;-)

    Super clean text only example is Asymco’s WPTouch template for WordPress (I guess), though its iPad design is just desktop and not great. TechCrunch mobile works well. More expensive, but apps work well. AppleInsider’s new one is pretty good (and they are not a massive conglomerate funded site ala Engadget or Verge).

    Still, it is definitely a step forward and it is an improvement but you know that it was a pretty low bar. Keep up the progress.

    • benbajarin

      Thanks for the feedback. As budget and opportunity allow we plan on investing in more original art, whether photography or illustrations, so the image can tell and be an important part of the story. I like single person blogs out there but at the same time I feel images can be powerful and help frame the context when done right.

      On mobile, we went with making the same site applicable on all screens. I hear you on the phone and we can make tweaks to add. We can add some mobile specific elements over time as well.

      We have more to come so stay tuned. Thanks again.

      • capnbob67

        Thanks for your response. I’m not sure that even the production of transcendental stereograms containing elements of the meaning of life would really add value to the story vs. title + 1st para or so. But have at it and I am prepared to be surprised.

        For all my snarky criticism, this is a real step forward and much better than before. I do want to be constructive and appreciate this site (by coming every day ;-).

        • benbajarin

          Much thanks again, and of course all good criticism is welcome. What I am pleased with is that we have a foundation to build upon. Modifying layout as necessary is easy but I am pleased with the foundation for us going forward.

          Especially since none of us do this full time :) I am pleased with were we got.

    • benbajarin

      Also don’t get me started on Disqus.

      • http://www.BarnesFamily.com/ davebarnes

        Me love Disqus.
        Works across many websites. Don’t have to log in for each site.
        Does not require Facebook (which I despise).

        • benbajarin

          I share your despise of FB. I should write more columns on my thoughts on why FB will not stand the test of time. I have written many for TIME and they do really well. Thanks for making me think of that Dave. I’ll bring some of those thoughts here in the near future.

      • capnbob67

        I realize Disqus may be a bear for site owner but it really is a boon to users. Please, never go to “FB login required”. Even those clickbaiting jackasses at BGR have relented and gone back to Disqus and it tripled commentary overnight. Turns out people are at least as big a jerk using their FB accounts as any other. Since they changed, I think the quality of comments has actually gone up! (a bit). Commentary quality is not a problem here.

        • benbajarin

          Yes, that is why we are keeping it, but on the backend it is a real headache at times. It also has drastic performance implications on load times. I’ll obviously never use FB comments for this. We are stuck with Disqus because I agree from the end-user perspective it is solid.

          • steve_wildstrom

            It’s also amazing and depressing that it remains nearly impossible to administer Disqus from a mobile device. It really wouldn’t be that hard to fix.

    • TheEternalEmperor

      Whew. Tough room.

  • jfutral

    I wouldn’t say the images are utterly irrelevant. That’s a bit of an exaggeration. While they may not be custom fabricated, they are associative enough that I can quickly recall the article by the image. I would like a little more abstraction from the text with the image, however. And they are a bit of an overkill on a phone.

    What I appreciate most about the mobile style, especially on my phone, is I can zoom in and out on the text. Most mobile sites seem to think they have figured out what the text size should be. Those of us with not so young eyes heartily disagree. So thank you for letting me be able to actually read your articles on my phone.

    I’m torn about how much real estate should be clickable. On a desktop I like not having to be exact with my mouse. But on my touch devices I am constantly frustrated when I am trying to scroll and the iPhone thinks I clicked a link. Maybe not have the whole abstract box the link, but at least the text in addition to the headline? Not sure. Tough call.

    Nice job.
    Joe

    • benbajarin

      Yeah, the mobile part, meaning smart phone, is one area were over time we will advance. For the time being we went with one design that worked across all form factors rather than a dedicated mobile only version. That is certainly a possibility but of course I believe in this route rather than building a dedicated app for mobile devices.

      Curious about everyone’s thoughts on that as well.

  • Pert

    I like it. Thanks.