While Scott's busy benchmarking some very exciting hardware due out in the very near future, other members of the TR team have been putting the finishing touches on TR v3.0. We've already shown you mockups and taken you around our new comment system. Now, we're ready for the next step: a public beta test of the entire new site, which is currently running on our development server at http://trweb2.techreport.com/.
We'd appreciate if you, our intrepid readers, could head over there and kick the tires on this thing. That should help ensure an optimal experience when we switch over for good... which will hopefully be very soon.
Now, I should note a few things.
- Beside the new look, TR v3.0 is also rocking a brand-new comment system we've built from the ground up. It wouldn't hurt to kick the tires on that some more—feel free to tinker with it in this comment thread. As before, you'll need to log in with your forum user ID, which will log you out of the forums on the current production site. This won't be an issue once we switch over, for obvious reasons.
- We've made a number of design changes based on your feedback, including desaturating the blue look (yes, there's a blue look; check the button under the search field in the top-right corner), increasing contrast in our comment system, tweaking the background gradient color, and minimizing jaggies in curves.
- Some parts of the new site have yet to be updated to match the new look. Those include the search feature, the forums, the job search page, and our price search engine. We'll update those components when the time comes.
- Folks using the wide version of the current site will note that we've yet to implement a wide version of TR v3.0. That feature is in the works, and we'll make sure to get it up and running as soon as we can.
- Finally, a note about browser compatibility: I've worked hard to make TR v3.0 look and behave consistently across all modern browsers as well as Internet Explorer 7.0, but we've dropped support for IE 6.0. Judging by the small percentage of TR readers still using that browser, we don't feel it's worth the development time. If you're stuck behind a corporate PC that hasn't been upgraded since the Clinton administration, sorry!
With all that said, feel free to dive in and tell us if you notice anything that doesn't work right or could be improved.