Yep, we’ve updated the layout of the front page of the site. Although our old layout did a good job of presenting a lot of information in a small space, we’ve long had some reservations about it that we just couldn’t shake. As I said in my earlier post, we think restoring the rolling news to the site’s main page will help to open up our design a little bit, give it some room to breathe, and simplify navigation for most readers. Yes, there’s more scrolling but fewer clicks, a trade-off we believe most folks will appreciate in the long run. We also think this layout is a little less intimidating and just plain friendlier than our incredibly information-dense prior front page.
Thanks to your feedback, we made a couple of tweaks to this layout before taking it live. The "Hot forum threads" box is now prominently placed near the top of the screen, and the Breadbox is linked just above the first news story. Also, to help those who wish to track a range of ongoing comments discussions, the "Top discussion topics" has moved up the page a bit and has been modified—across the site—to show the most active discussion topics posted in the past 36 hours, which should make it more immediate and relevant.
We’ve also realized from your feedback that we simply won’t be able to satisfy everyone with any single design. To ease the pain for those who preferred the old layout, we’ve moved it to a new location and renamed it to TR at a glance. You can bookmark that page if you like, or it’s available from the "More…" menu at the top of each page.
In a similar vein, we didn’t want to have a third such page to maintain indefinitely, so we’ve redirected the old "News page" to point to the new front page. The two pages are very similar, but we think the new layout is an improvement in a lot of ways.
My ultimate hope is that once the new front page layout settles in, folks will begin to find it comfortable—that includes me and our other editors. There’s a certain ease of throwing up a quick post on the front page that I think we kind of lost with the prior look. Perhaps we can regain a little of that informality and sense of fun with the return to scrolly news. If so, I think the change will have been worth it.
That’s not to say what we have now is entirely where we want to be. We have a ton of ideas for improving the site with broader changes and nifty new features that will let us present all of the information you want in a clean, compact format with a contemporary look. All we’ve done here is a minor tweak to one page. Those larger changes will come later, when the time is right. We’ll be sure to get your feedback on those, too, when we’re ready.