Redesign thoughts

The “new Guardian”:http://digital.guardian.co.uk/guardian/2005/09/12/ gets better as you go into it. Perhaps that’s another way of saying that it works better with fewer stories on the page. I hate the front. Making allowances for the fact that all readers hate all redesigns, I dislike the front. I think it’s just too cluttered, especially on the skyline and the new logo. Similarly, the news pages look short and tabloidy, though, of course, much better than the _Times_ or even a properly done tabloid. But it’s a Monday, so the news pages would look odd anyway.

The first real winner is the double-page photo spread in the middle. That does everything we dreamt of on the _Independent_ but at higher resolution and larger. From there on, the layout is a triumphant success: good looking, easy to manage, invitingly laid out, and with enough words on each page for thought. Media guardian hugely improved. Not sure about G2; haven’t really looked at it carefully except to notice that there seems to be no Doonesbury. This can’t be real.

UPDATE: “Let freedom reign”:http://blogs.guardian.co.uk/editors/archives/2005/09/13/doonesbury_returning_to_g2.html

I still think there’s too much noise and colour on the front page. But there almost always is when newspapers redesign, and it always takes about six weeks to shake down and for the subs to get the trick of laying ot a page that looks just right. So by Christmas we’ll have a much clearer idea of whether it succeeds aesthetically. Financially, I think it’s a sure bet. all colour advertising all through has got to be a mosntrous draw.

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5 Responses to Redesign thoughts

  1. SRW says:

    There *is* no Doonesbury! Bah humbug and all that. Kill off If and all the other space-fillers, say I.

  2. ip says:

    dumping doonesbury is just plain daft

  3. Rupert says:

    Doonesbury is very silly, and I hope the outrage building in the Guardian online forums helps this become clear.

    And why get John Sutherland to interview Behe? Most odd.

    Like the redesign, though, and I’m sure I’ll get used to the logo (although I bet it dates quickly – the previous one is impossible to follow). Agreed completely about the DPS in the middle – I wonder how often they’ll get something good enough to justify it. This wasn’t the strongest of pictures but it came as a huge surprise, almost a shock. You don’t get many of those these days.

    R

  4. Ian Hobson says:

    The design may be better, but from someone who views just the digital edition (and pays for it), they have taken a big step backwards (again). Stories are not accessible without the pdf’s themselves. Navigation of the main paper by category (eg Finance) has been removed. To cap it all, many of the stories I got today just didn’t match the headline I’d clicked on (most of the Sports section) – perhaps an edition problem since all football scores were 0-0!
    I would also have hoped they might be able to handle better formatting of tabular data such as sports scores in the newer version.
    We’re supposedly getting it free for 2 weeks, but if previous experience is anything to go by, it’s going to take a long time to iron out these quirks.
    But then, they are still the only (UK) newspaper I know who does something like this.

    Ian

  5. acb says:

    Have you complained? I mean, to someone official.

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