TR’s news page gets a makeover

As some of our more loyal readers might know, TR used to have a blog-style layout where news took up the whole front page. Because we wanted to put a greater focus on our articles and other content, we abandoned this layout when transitioning to our new site design a year and a half ago. However, your suggestions allowed the blog-style layout to live on in the form of our news page.

Ever since then, the news page has featured only our latest article at the very top—a reminder for folks who wanted to bookmark the news page instead of our new front page. But that design posed a problem: old-school readers could easily miss a new article simply because we had posted two in quick succession. Our increased productivity as of late has exacerbated this problem.

Well, we’ve now addressed the problem. I spent the better part of today implementing a new featured article widget that highlights our four most recent articles. The widget is still crammed away at the top, so the news comes front and center, but readers should no longer miss new articles if they don’t visit the front page.

On top of that, we’ve reorganized the right column to better highlight our blogs and image gallery items, since we’ve also been posting more of those lately.

Enjoy! As always, feel free to post your suggestions and comments below, and do let us know if you run into any problems with the new design.

Comments closed
    • eitje
    • 11 years ago

    Okay, so, ArsTechnica just did a major overhaul on their site. I hope you guys don’t get the itch to do any more updates in the near future. I know some kind of weird change-envy can sometimes kick in at a time like this, so just take a few deep breaths and be proud of your accomplishments here today. 🙂

    • desertfox84
    • 11 years ago

    Is there any way you could give the blogs page the same treatment as the news page? I don’t like having to “enter” each blog to see if there’s a new post (especially since some blogs don’t get updated for weeks at a time).

    I’d much prefer it if the last /[

    • Prototyped
    • 11 years ago

    Ooh. The single-article issue has bitten me a few times in the past. (I tend to use the news page rather than the front page myself because I like fulltext newsbits.) Thanks for fixing it.

    • Peffse
    • 11 years ago

    I liked the featured articles smaller. Now I can’t even see news on the news page without scrolling.

      • Usacomp2k3
      • 11 years ago

      You’re browser is only 600 pixels high?

        • Peffse
        • 11 years ago

        Nope, 1024×768. It seems silly to me to take up all that space and have no content that the user was looking for.
        §[<http://www.freewebs.com/peffse/temp/silly.png<]§ EDIT: Oh, browser only 600? It's possible, but I don't have anything non-essential enabled.

          • crazybus
          • 11 years ago

          q[

            • Peffse
            • 11 years ago

            Which would give me a single line of news.

            Technically it would help, but it doesn’t defeat my point. The news page no longer shows me news.

    • Tumbleweed
    • 11 years ago

    I don’t like the new layout; I have to scroll a lot more just to see what’s new.

    • Dodger
    • 11 years ago

    Wouldn’t posting a news item for each article accomplish the same goal (actually being more in-your-face for us newsies) and avoid taking up half of the screen with a big article widget?

      • Cyril
      • 11 years ago

      Doing that would introduce redundancy in the latest news widgets on the front page, article pages, discussion pages, section pages, etc. Basically everywhere except the news page. Also, news posts about new articles would slip out of sight after a couple days, so news page users could still miss them.

    • PerfectCr
    • 11 years ago

    Yes I am just a curmudgeon, but I miss the old TR still. And beige is blah.

      • indeego
      • 11 years ago

      Click A/A top rightg{<.<}g

        • PerfectCr
        • 11 years ago

        Um, obviously I know that.

      • getbornagain
      • 11 years ago

      And the St. Patty’s day green!

    • Usacomp2k3
    • 11 years ago

    Haven’t seen that page in quite a while. Looks good though.

    • derFunkenstein
    • 11 years ago

    see, that oughtta be the design of the front page right there. Not enough page hits if you do that, i know.

    • MadManOriginal
    • 11 years ago

    Posting promo screenshots of the TR website in brown rather than blue is blasphemy!

      • Meadows
      • 11 years ago

      Indeed, make blue the new beige and keep me from having to switch again when I delete cookies.

      • Mourmain
      • 11 years ago

      Nah, get with the New Testament, man!…

      Beige rocks.

    • MrJP
    • 11 years ago

    Since the big change, I’ve kept the front page as my bookmark, scan this quickly for new articles, perhaps open some of the latest forum threads in new tabs, then click straight to news page to read through the news items.

    With this change, I might just bookmark straight to the news page, though I’ve come to like the way the main page highlights blogs as well as articles. It’s good to have options. Thanks, Cyril.

    • StashTheVampede
    • 11 years ago

    Why do so many custom sites have a .x extension? I’m going to write my own and it’ll be a .y

      • indeego
      • 11 years ago

      There was a coder from shacknews that did it all, IIRC. used to be called funk.y back in the dayg{<.<}g

    • FireGryphon
    • 11 years ago

    I’ve missed quite a few articles, so this fix should work well. You should also consider using the blue theme in your pictures. It’s much nicer, and more appropriate when doing a blog entry on ‘old school’ stuff.

    • Sargent Duck
    • 11 years ago

    I thought I’d hate the new layout back when they changed, but I very quickly adapted and have totally forgotten about the old style news.x thing. Clicking on that link and seeing the news.x old style just looks so…old.

    That being said, Great job Cryil. Even though I don’t use, many still do and it’s great to see the commitment.

    However, I still hate that TR tan that’s default when I visit from other computers! LONG LIVE TR BLUE!!!!!

    • Bion1c
    • 11 years ago

    Yep, good improvement, i used to miss front page articles sometimes because of this.

    Be interesting to see some stats though on which page regular uses hit the most. Anyone who reads daily is going to go straight to the news section- seems a bit strange to give a more awkward URL to your most loyal readers.

    • SomeOtherGeek
    • 11 years ago

    Yes, me like! Keep up the awesome work. You all better slow down or we are going to expect more and more from you, so much so that you’ll never sleep to satisfy our need!

    • Jive
    • 11 years ago

    I personally used to miss the old look, but now i’ve come to love the new layout just as much.

      • Scrotos
      • 11 years ago

      My process: go to §[<http://www.techreport.com<]§ and then immediately click on "More" and "News". Sometimes if something catches my eye on the main page I'll take a quick look, but the front page layout is pretty worthless to me so I just make a b-line (bee line?) to the news column/blog for actual information. Different strokes for different folks, I suppose. addendum: I only noticed this blog because I scan the "latest blog posts" in the upper-right when I am reading news.x; the shacknews and discussion topics on the right side are also nice. Beyond3D is ok but they don't update enough to be all that interesting. I like their content, just there ain't much of it. Kinda like the old Ace's Hardware when it started to slow down near the final few months--except it's slow news day all the time with Beyond3D.

        • Cyco-Dude
        • 11 years ago

        or just bookmark the news page (or make it your home page, like i do).

        • Flying Fox
        • 11 years ago

        You can just move over to the right and click on the “More News…” link under the news section.

          • Scrotos
          • 11 years ago

          Yeah, I do that too, now that you mention it. Funny how you just kind of go through muscle memory with things and you forget the exact steps you take unless you really think about it. Like clicking the news link. Or killing that man in Reno.

    • R2P2
    • 11 years ago

    The picture for the newest article seems awfully big. It might be better to shrink the picture and put the featured articles in two columns so the news doesn’t get pushed as far down the page. Maybe have the newest on the left, with its summary, and then the other three on the right?

      • cygnus1
      • 11 years ago

      It could be smaller, but it definitely works the way he did it. I’m betting he just kept it the same size as it is on the front page so as to reduce image resizing.

      • robg1701
      • 11 years ago

      Amen to that, just look at the screenshot – the entire point of being on the page (the news) almost isnt visible…ironically enough, I have a 30″ monitor and I still came in to post exactly the same comment you did 😛

      • lethal
      • 11 years ago

      maybe shrink the image 50%, “Read more” overview to the right and just the “more features button” below?

      edit: cant count 😡

    • khands
    • 11 years ago

    Haven’t been here long enough to remember the old look, but I like the image ya got there. Shouldn’t take too much getting used to.

    Edit; Extra words

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