Gawker failed to kill the scrollbar

Gawkers 2.0.1 redesign:

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. News web sites may indeed become more application-like and readers may grow accustomed to swiping instead of scrolling. But they’re not there yet, as the extensive criticism of the sidebar made clear.

Back when the now almost universally panned redesign was first unveiled, the usual posse and myself had a discussion on Gawkers rather non-traditional new layout. The scrollbar is a good first step, but the real challenge for Gawker will be to get their fancy AJAX layout to load in a reasonable, fast, predictable way and ensuring the back button works properly.

Responses to “Gawker failed to kill the scrollbar”

  1. matthew says:

    and removing that damn #! from the URL!

    breaks for posting to FB as you have to remove that form the URL, pointless.

  2. matthew says:

    “But they’re not there yet..”
    Sounds like theyre saying their readers are stupid.

    • Joen says:

      and removing that damn #! from the URL!

      breaks for posting to FB as you have to remove that form the URL, pointless.

      That’ll be difficult if they want to keep the AJAX (which I’d be fine with them removing altogether by the way). Though Google with that HTML5 book showed that it’s possible to do AJAX loading without #! in the URL!

      “But they’re not there yet..”
      Sounds like theyre saying their readers are stupid.

      Hmm. I agree that phrasing is a bit off.

      Though the whole reason I’ve followed this story is the fact that I think it was a bold new redesign that was interesting on a number of levels, one of them being that Gawker tried to not just be another “blog”, not just another “RSS feed”, and took influence from the new navigation metaphors from iOS apps. I actually applaud them for trying.

      Sure, they failed. But heck, some of our most valuable experiences come from failing.

  3. Nicole says:

    Oddly enough, as an Ubuntu user with a Chrome browser, I have not had a single issue with their new layout. From what I hear, though, I am very much in the minority.

    • Joen says:

      Nicole,

      The problems I experienced were these:

      - Links from RSS feeds wouldn’t work.
      - Mobile view wouldn’t work
      - Sometimes pages wouldn’t load at all, the AJAX spinner would just sit there
      - Scrolling of the right sidebar wouldn’t work on iPad (ironic, since it’s a very iPad-esque look)
      - The click history would bork — view a post, click an image to see the gallery, click “back” and you’d be screwed.

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