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new main MacNN site
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Professional Poster
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Sep 2, 2009, 10:33 AM
 
is that theme/design being carried over to the forum as well?
     
Games Meister
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Sep 2, 2009, 10:34 AM
 
Oh my god lord its yellow again.
     
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Sep 2, 2009, 10:35 AM
 
ipodnn and electonista sites look better
     
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Sep 2, 2009, 11:19 AM
 
I have no problem with the new design, but I do wish MacNN would quit redesigning every couple of years and focus on things like quality stories, better writing, and not posting a teaser title (with no main page content on the topic) just to get us to take the jump. I'm still a daily MacNN reader, but I increasingly get my Mac news from Mac Rumors (which hasn't been redesigned in ages).

The continuous redesigns smacks of newspaper redesigns to me. Changes in appearance, not content, makes it seem like they're just rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic.

This may sound a little harsh, but MacNN feels a bit "light" to me now compared to what it used to, bloated with press releases and such. Give us something fresh! We're still here!
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Clinically Insane
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Sep 2, 2009, 12:01 PM
 
If you don't mind my unsolicited suggestions/feedback,

It looks like there is some non UTF character in the template that is preventing any sort of validation using the validator.w3.org validator (and I see a few things in the code that I know will generate validation errors), and I see a ton of inline event handlers and CSS styles that could be external which would make the site more search engine friendly and quicker to load. All of the event handlers attached inline to your body tag would work better externally, for instance.

With Javascript disabled I don't see a way to access the submenu items, which is going to be a big problem when it comes to your search engine placement (unless there is another way to access this content that I'm not seeing).

Here is the validation error:

Sorry, I am unable to validate this document because on line 3889 it contained one or more bytes that I cannot interpret as utf-8 (in other words, the bytes found are not valid values in the specified Character Encoding). Please check both the content of the file and the character encoding indication.

The error was: utf8 "\xE9" does not map to Unicode
     
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Sep 2, 2009, 12:05 PM
 
Yay!!! Now MacNN looks just like all the other Blog Template sites.
     
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Sep 2, 2009, 04:06 PM
 
Bug report: updated news stopped reaching legacy.macnn.com some time last night.
     
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Sep 2, 2009, 04:09 PM
 
I had nearly written off MacNN. Mainly because of it's content of oftentimes questionable quality, but also very much because of the mediocre design. But man, I absolute love the new design! It's awesome. Congratulations, guys!
     
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Sep 2, 2009, 04:29 PM
 
That looks nasty!
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Sep 2, 2009, 04:30 PM
 
Technology, Gadgets, Mobile Phones, DVR, GPS, Camera, Music News | Electronista
Warning: require(/var/www/dev.esta.com/_inc/classes/sqlClass.php) [function.require]: failed to open stream: No such file or directory in /var/www/dev.esta.com/_inc/config.php on line 32
You shouldn't make fun of nerds... you'll be working for one some day.
     
Clinically Insane
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Sep 2, 2009, 04:35 PM
 
Also, a usability thing: what good is the little widget to allow you to switch between layouts within each section when it doesn't remember your preference the next time you reload? I'm not really sure I see the point of this?
     
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Sep 2, 2009, 05:22 PM
 
Unfortunately, I have some harsh feedback.

No amount of redesigning is going to fix the ugly amount of advertising displayed on the site. This has always been the problem with MacNN.

I would recommend expanding out the content area into a wider width and then focus the redesign efforts on getting more targeted advertisements instead of overloading the site with too many. Quality over quantity.

At the moment MacNN is cramming content into a smaller area so that there is enough room to fit in all the advertisements.
     
Clinically Insane
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Sep 2, 2009, 06:09 PM
 
Most people would kill to have access to this sort of free feedback and testing directly from your target audience. What I don't get is why nobody thought to post an early prototype of the site here for our feedback in the way of general impressions and usability testing?

That being said, I like the look, congrats on the launch!
     
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Sep 2, 2009, 07:54 PM
 
Originally Posted by iFrankie View Post
Unfortunately, I have some harsh feedback.

No amount of redesigning is going to fix the ugly amount of advertising displayed on the site. This has always been the problem with MacNN.

I would recommend expanding out the content area into a wider width and then focus the redesign efforts on getting more targeted advertisements instead of overloading the site with too many. Quality over quantity.

At the moment MacNN is cramming content into a smaller area so that there is enough room to fit in all the advertisements.
You get what you pay for.

It's a free site - advertising makes it so.
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Posting Junkie
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Sep 2, 2009, 09:35 PM
 
Your designer needs to learn about CSS Sprites. Waiting for image rollovers in 2009 is unacceptable.

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Clinically Insane
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Sep 2, 2009, 10:23 PM
 
Good suggestion, Erik!

The image rollovers on the site now are preloaded, but still, they are a pain to manage, define, and every time you want to change your nav you have to slice up your navigation bar again and waste a whole bunch more time. CSS sprites are a godsend.
     
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Sep 3, 2009, 01:49 AM
 
If the images on Macnn.com were preloaded I wouldn't stare at a blank background for up to two seconds for each tile

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Clinically Insane
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Sep 3, 2009, 02:08 AM
 
They are being preloaded. The site is using the very old school Adobe Javascript function MM_preloadImages that Adobe uses with apps such as ImageReady, and this is triggered onload right from the body tag (not a good place to put this).
     
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Sep 3, 2009, 02:31 AM
 
Yeah... except that doesn't really work.

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Clinically Insane
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Sep 3, 2009, 02:40 AM
 
All of those images shouldn't be image tags anyway being a part of the template, so it's hard to see what was behind this decision.
     
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Sep 3, 2009, 04:23 AM
 
I don't think the new design's so bad. I used to go the front page for my Mac news multiple times a day years back. Then there was the format switch and drifted away.

"The natural progress of things is for liberty to yield and government to gain ground." TJ
     
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Sep 3, 2009, 11:14 AM
 
I've been noticing that the news on the http://legacy.macnn.com was not updated for the past couple of days and for kicks - went to the new redesigned (again) macnn and that was fine.

Was the plan to ditch the legacy pages or is it just a bug? I still love reading the news on the older design.
     
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Sep 3, 2009, 01:21 PM
 
Legacy has slid back. Yesterday, it showed the news articles through midnight Tuesday. Now, it shows news articles from a week ago.
     
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Sep 3, 2009, 02:02 PM
 
Originally Posted by richwig83 View Post
That looks nasty!
This. I used to have the frontpage bookmarked, but I think I’ll change it to the forums now.
"The road to success is dotted with the most tempting parking spaces."
     
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Sep 3, 2009, 03:26 PM
 
Legacy is updating again.

About the new design. I like the return to blue with yellow trim. The news blurbs variation now looks similar to the design that preceded Legacy. I've bookmarked both and will give the new one a regular look.

In the past, I'm one of those who have resisted the new designs. This one looks clean, with familiar elements. I'm liking it.

edit: just had a Flash floater appear for Microsoft Office 2007 while checking the site with Safari. Is this normal? Maybe I'm just used to Flashblock in FireFox.

edit2: the floater for M$ Office appears if you mouse over the double-green underlined "operating system" in the Snow Leopard story.

edit3: correction, the floater for M$ Office 2007 appears if you mouse over *any* double-green underlined word.
( Last edited by reader50; Sep 4, 2009 at 11:02 PM. Reason: corrected link)
     
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Sep 3, 2009, 03:34 PM
 
All I know is it definitely has an iPhone/iPod Touch feel to elements.
     
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Sep 4, 2009, 01:42 PM
 
The new design seems nice. Forums drive me to a particular blog however and MacNN needs some work in this department. I've wandered over to macrumors myself more and more--even though I like it better here. The posts seem to be a bit more mature on MacNN(outside of the political lounge) and people are more helpful with technical advice. On Macrumors you post something and instantly you get a mix of helpful replies but a slew of hate as well. Nevertheless, the anemic membership here often means a topic will sit for days without a reply or never have any at all. I was shocked one day when I checked back on a topic that had been posted by someone without a reply to find that it was still in the most recent threads after 2 weeks.
     
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Sep 4, 2009, 05:38 PM
 
Zeeb, things used to be more lively around here. I'm not sure if the rise of MacRumors has anything to do with how quiet things have gotten, but even the old Hardware forums felt like they had more action. Maybe life was slower back then so it felt faster...

Either way, I agree that I like it here better. Not sure what to do about that, though.
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Sep 4, 2009, 06:22 PM
 
Two suggestions dealing with the Top Story images:

1) Roll-over should pop up a short synopsis of the story--like you used to get when you rolled over story links in the previous version

2) Add left-right Navigation arrows for the images in addition to the four dots. I can click the same spot on a right arrow three times to easily scroll through the images, but with the dots, I have to look at them, move to the next dot, and then click.

Another major suggestion: I'd REALLY like to see a spiffy version optimized of the iPhone. The main page seems to be kind of clunky to load and display on my iPhone, and the MacNN Mobile version was anything but spiffy when I took a look.

Others agree? Disagree?


-Jay
     
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Sep 4, 2009, 07:51 PM
 
I actually only noticed the change recently because I almost never go to the main site but rather only come to the forums. The main site and forum seem like two different sites because there isn't much interaction between the two.

For example, other sites like Mac Rumors have their comment sections actually link back and post on their forums. I believe this drives more users to their forums and vice versa. With Mac Rumors I can look at all their news post on the forums themselves instead of jumping back and forth between the main site and forums.

I do agree with Zeeb in that this forum is more mature for the most part than some of the other sites out there. It makes it more enjoyable to post and read when threads don't breakdown to people insulting each other back and forth.
     
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Sep 5, 2009, 03:17 AM
 
Well, I like it. It's different. Think Different®
     
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Sep 5, 2009, 07:55 AM
 
Originally Posted by besson3c View Post
What I don't get is why nobody thought to post an early prototype of the site here
As far as I know there has been a feedback group.
     
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Sep 6, 2009, 12:14 AM
 
Never knew it was updated, I'm a longtime legacy user. Took one look at the new design and went right back.
     
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Sep 8, 2009, 07:44 PM
 
Originally Posted by Hinson View Post
Two suggestions dealing with the Top Story images:

1) Roll-over should pop up a short synopsis of the story--like you used to get when you rolled over story links in the previous version

2) Add left-right Navigation arrows for the images in addition to the four dots. I can click the same spot on a right arrow three times to easily scroll through the images, but with the dots, I have to look at them, move to the next dot, and then click.

Another major suggestion: I'd REALLY like to see a spiffy version optimized of the iPhone. The main page seems to be kind of clunky to load and display on my iPhone, and the MacNN Mobile version was anything but spiffy when I took a look.

Others agree? Disagree?


-Jay
1) Good Idea. I will look into this.

2) Not sure On that just yet. I will ask our designer.

3) iphone.macnn.com finally went live. It is just the first version and the second should be much more streamlined (2-3 weeks away).
     
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Sep 8, 2009, 08:14 PM
 
Speaking of mobile versions, have you seen Macworld on your iPhone lately? I swear I had accidentally loaded a macnn.com page.

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Sep 9, 2009, 11:19 AM
 
Originally Posted by mkbhatia View Post
3) iphone.macnn.com finally went live. It is just the first version and the second should be much more streamlined (2-3 weeks away).
Two things about the new iPhone site (one positive, one negative).
  1. I love how much faster it loads. The difference is night and day. Kudos.
  2. Pages open in a new window. This is a terrible behavior. It's bad enough in a desktop browser, but it's inexcusable on the iPhone, where closing the new window takes much more effort. Plus, Safari's memory footprint can go through the roof if too many new windows open.

If you fix #2, I think the iPhone site will be a resounding success.

Edit: Oh, and on the briefs page, drop the grey text and switch to black. It's hard to read.
( Last edited by TimmyDee51; Sep 10, 2009 at 01:59 PM. )
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Sep 13, 2009, 01:50 AM
 
Nice!
     
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Sep 13, 2009, 03:45 AM
 
Absolutely love the new design.

I used to use the legacy site, as I just hated the old 'new' design, as for the new one, it is a winner with me! After a long absence, I have also started to post again too, all because the new front page design drew me back in...
     
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Sep 13, 2009, 04:44 AM
 
Originally Posted by TimmyDee51 View Post
Two things about the new iPhone site (one positive, one negative).
  1. I love how much faster it loads. The difference is night and day. Kudos.
  2. Pages open in a new window. This is a terrible behavior. It's bad enough in a desktop browser, but it's inexcusable on the iPhone, where closing the new window takes much more effort. Plus, Safari's memory footprint can go through the roof if too many new windows open.

If you fix #2, I think the iPhone site will be a resounding success.

Edit: Oh, and on the briefs page, drop the grey text and switch to black. It's hard to read.
Absolutely agree.
     
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Sep 16, 2009, 12:51 PM
 
This is what I came to say, so I'll just echo this post. New windows on the iPhone is unacceptable.

I'd also like to see a few more words in the truncated titles on my iPhone. How about 2 lines per entry? Or an option for choosing this?

Otherwise looks great.

Thanks.

Originally Posted by TimmyDee51 View Post
Two things about the new iPhone site (one positive, one negative).
  1. I love how much faster it loads. The difference is night and day. Kudos.
  2. Pages open in a new window. This is a terrible behavior. It's bad enough in a desktop browser, but it's inexcusable on the iPhone, where closing the new window takes much more effort. Plus, Safari's memory footprint can go through the roof if too many new windows open.

If you fix #2, I think the iPhone site will be a resounding success.

Edit: Oh, and on the briefs page, drop the grey text and switch to black. It's hard to read.
     
   
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