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New Homepage Feedback

Last response: in Site Feedback
May 11, 2011 2:01:27 PM

The new version of our Tom's Hardware home page is up and available for beta testing by our community. If you can see it, you've been selected from our user audience to see a sneak preview of the new page style.

If you happen to spot any bugs or issues, or care to provide feedback, please do so in this thread so we can track it and respond to you.


More about : homepage feedback

May 11, 2011 3:20:48 PM

The active forum thread is new and improved, otherwise, nothing really stands out. However, as a package, I like it.

Thanks for the hard work.
May 11, 2011 3:36:01 PM

I like the "Tweater" feed and the "Latest Articles" scrolling banner but not a fan of the live forum feed... I would say it isn't really live based on what I just reviewed. It would be a nice feature but probably needs to be more "live"... IMO

However, I agree with CompTIA_rep... great work!! Next the forum (fingers crossed!! )
Related resources
May 11, 2011 11:00:32 PM

There is no mention of me on the front page ... this is a bit disturbing ??

Seriously though the layout looks good.

May 11, 2011 11:06:20 PM

Good point Reynod... We need a "Get to know your Tom's Team Member" box or a "Tom's Moderator Hunk of the Month" section & I want to be August :D 
May 12, 2011 12:03:20 AM

The new identification of "hot" news topics is good. I don't think the red coloured links used before really conveyed their meaning well.
May 12, 2011 12:14:37 AM

It does, overall, seem a bit cluttered to me. I think that is due to the lack of white space and eye-catching features, as well as the fact that the headings for each section don't line up to give the page any sense of structure (the old page has mostly aligned section headings). It's a bit hard to know where to look. Often a home page has a single point where the viewer's initial attention is drawn and kept (a large image for example) for a time, but here everything is roughly the same size so nothing immediately stands out.

Upon landing on this page, one's eyes pass over the Latest News section to the Latest Articles section. The latter has images which more readily draw attention than text, and it is also the only section in the top half of the page with a grey background. Almost immediately after attention has been drawn to the articles, the Twitter feed scrolls, drawing attention to that instead. By now the reader's eyes are focused halfway down the page and lost in a sea of text and misaligned section headings.

EDIT: Oops, I had an ad blocker on. I had best talk about it without that on :) 

What I said before about lack of section title alignment is still true. The entire page structure is almost random. However, I'll correct my statement about where attention is drawn. The large ad on the right side and the Latest Articles section draw the viewer's eyes from the beginning, meaning that they miss the News unless they backtrack to the other side of the page (and most people read LTR, not RTL). I would think that it would be better to draw the reader's attention on the left side and allow them to read naturally from LTR across the page.
May 12, 2011 8:22:13 AM

i'll never understand why you guys switched to this very ugly font. besides this, on linux it is very very very small. cba to zoom it every time i read an article and also don't want to install addons and stuff like that just for one site. your competitors are alot better at "readability"

just do this test: fresh install of ubuntu - open firefox with 3 tabs 1. tom's hardware 2. anandtech 3. xbitlabs ... you'll see what i mean
May 19, 2011 4:09:25 PM

It seems to be messier and there's less content right in front of you. I don't see the advantage to this new layout.
May 24, 2011 1:42:44 AM

I absolutely hate it. The previous column layout was much cleaner and easier to read and notice things. The new setup with half columns and rows and feeds, its crowded and ugly. Why is the site being changed to begin with? If it is to integrate the twitter feed then I suggest putting it below the recent questions; and leaving the News feed and Article Columns in place.
May 24, 2011 1:52:06 PM

Smaller article titles/pics, larger ads...

No thanks.
May 24, 2011 1:54:54 PM

Did not really like it. News column on the left was the worst.
May 24, 2011 2:02:48 PM

Looks pretty much like the old site, its just re-organized...what's the point?
May 24, 2011 2:03:12 PM

It's not bad. But my question is: when will we have websites optimized for widescreen monitors? It's 2011, most people have widescreen monitors, there's no point making narrow websites where you need to abuse the scroll wheel to explore it. My laptop screen has an horizontal resolution of 1280 pixels, but only three quarters of it are used by the new site.

Also, with the new monitors (both standard and laptop screens), the pixels are smaller and smaller. Why is the font so small?

What are the web designers thinking???
May 24, 2011 2:05:56 PM

I prefer the old one because I'm used to it :lol: 
May 24, 2011 2:07:38 PM

It will get some getting used to it.!! Seems like the icons have just changed around!!
May 24, 2011 2:13:12 PM

The Latest News column shouldn't have been squeezed in the narrower left column. It should be the prominent column on the right since it's the only thing on the website that is frequently updated and the news titles are usually long(er)! Overall, it feels more cluttered due to a lack of a proper grid system. The older layout has a clear 3 columns grid which is easier for the eyes to follow, even though the layout looks outdated. To be honest, the "new" version is disappointing. There's nothing "new" in this new version!
May 24, 2011 2:20:23 PM

I personally enjoyed the last site as it had previously posted articles in specified - easy to access categories. Right now, the new site feels too full of text some how and doesn't "breath" too much. I also like that other past articles were laid out at the bottom which allowed me to quickly look at the topics by scrolling instead of clicking.
May 24, 2011 2:28:28 PM

1) Missing Graphics section
2) It is slower
3) The moving live feed is annoying - it destructs when you try to focus on something else. There is no need to make it moving (you just made it to look fancy)

Overall do not see anything better, it is about the same, with harder to access topics, and problems mentioned above. I do not like it. Keep the existing format.

WHY change things when they work? What is your specific goal? You achieve NOTHING by new design, no better readability, no easier access. What issues you are trying to address? I do not see anything improved. Do not waste your time please, unless you have specific goal for redesign. This is redesign for the sake of redesign. IF IT WORKS, DO NOT FIX IT! (I thought you, of all sites, should know that!)
May 24, 2011 2:29:05 PM

It looks nice i guess (although i didn't have an issue w/ the old layout)
Only thing, is that the "Latest News" section no longer shows a difference between visited and unvisited links. Not a huge deal, but something i was used to
May 24, 2011 2:47:10 PM

I like the new active forum thread and the twitter updates banners. I have no major problems with the new page, it looks more polished, although it's a bit slower, but this is the beta, right? :) 

Oh, and return the old style News section, i liked the old one much better. I don't like the titles separated like that.
May 24, 2011 2:48:32 PM

If you are going to change the layout, at least take some time to improve the way videos are embedded in articles. Make them span across the whole width of the page and use the NEW embedding code so we can change quality (without havign to go to the youtube page).

The HD "revolution" is long over, but we still can't watch HD videos on Tom's because nobody bothered to embed them properly...
May 24, 2011 2:57:10 PM

Thanks for the feedback, everyone, and please do keep it coming. If you can, please cite specifics when making comments as it helps our development team in the review process as the new design is still in progress and your input is crucial.

It seems to be messier and there's less content right in front of you. I don't see the advantage to this new layout.

What would you recommend as an alternative? Positioning and aesthetic suggestions are welcome. :) 

Why is the site being changed to begin with? If it is to integrate the twitter feed then I suggest putting it below the recent questions; and leaving the News feed and Article Columns in place.

Every site must undergo a periodic update to keep up with the changing environment - even the austere Google has made changes to its landing page over the past decade. We know that there will be basic resistance to the changes for posterity's sake, but we have to keep pace with how we present ourselves to our audience in general. You'd recommend switching recent questions and the Twitter feed? Which do you think you'd end up using more?

Smaller article titles/pics, larger ads...

The ads are the same size as they are now, though perhaps lined up a bit better. Will definitely pass along the suggestion on the font and iconography though.

Did not really like it. News column on the left was the worst.

What's your preference here? News module front and center?

It's not bad. But my question is: when will we have websites optimized for widescreen monitors? It's 2011, most people have widescreen monitors, there's no point making narrow websites where you need to abuse the scroll wheel to explore it. My laptop screen has an horizontal resolution of 1280 pixels, but only three quarters of it are used by the new site.

Current design specs lend towards a preference for vertical scrolling, and you'd be surprised how many users out there still wander around in 1024x768 as abhorrent as the notion sounds. With tablets flooding the market and the lines between desktop site and mobile site getting blurrier every day, I think the web is stuck for now with a given set of width standards that we have to adhere to.

Just to let you know, you don't have to switch to the new version right away, and this is being previewed to a handful of our users to get your direct feedback and make changes as recommended by our community. We're committed to working with our dedicated users and keeping you guys happy while bringing the Tom's design up to date.

Keep the great feedback coming, folks!
May 24, 2011 3:17:51 PM

It seems to be much heftier to load up, just did a speed test between the new one and the old one on my home internet(~3 Mbps), takes about 10 seconds to load up the new one all the way, most of this is the twitter feed, the old one takes about 3 seconds, this is rather significant.

One thing i did notice, i would have put both the live twitter feed and the live forum feed on the same side, and i would also make the live forum feed about half or two thirds its current size as right now its more prominent than the news articles so it seems more important which it shouldnt.
May 24, 2011 3:29:33 PM

I like it, the page is smaller and more to the point. I wouldn't change a thing myself. I have an idea though, how about letting people rearrange the home page with little arrows that move the modules, kinda like how youtube does it with the channels. That way people complaining about the order could just fix it the way they want without ruining it for the rest of us :p .
May 24, 2011 3:39:12 PM

I miss "The torque report" on the new homepage.

First impressions, I find the new layout busy and cluttered.

Make the "Featured Topics" follow the same form as "Latest Articles".

You could then split the remainder of the page in half and make both columns wider.

It would be better to stack the Live Feed - twitter@tomshardware and Forum Live Feed in one column and then stack the other titles in the second column.
May 24, 2011 3:44:35 PM

Just loaded it and my first impression: I don't like it. I mainly visit toms for the news feed, which use to be at the center of the screen and thus at a natural point for the eye to start at - but now it is on the left, which is one of the sidebar locations that is a menu column (by convention of web development, not standards).

However, since I am shifting my Computer Science studies into Human Computer Interaction (HCI) design, I am curious what sort of prototyping and testing Tom's used for their redesign: did you do any paper prototyping with users, did you do a cultural probe or any experience modelling, or did you employ eye tracking software - and what kind of users did you test on before rolling out the new version?

I think qwertymac93 has it right - positionable drag-n-drop modules so someone like me can put the article in the center would be nice.
May 24, 2011 4:14:36 PM

I'd suggest moving the forum live feed and Weekly digesst as downward as possible to touch the bottom of the page.Then,I think it would be better if you swapped the twitter feed with the news and if you moved the Follow us square again as downwards as possible in order to touch the bottom of the page.To compensate for any extra space,you should make the news and live feed as large as possible.It would also look better if you managed to somehow center the news bar,so that it grabs attention more easily.That's my 2 cents.
May 24, 2011 4:15:32 PM

I don't like it, I think that the current version is more user friendly and better organize than the "new" one.

May 24, 2011 4:25:46 PM

Word up for HCI, MDillenbeck. That's what I took, CS was too CS-y.

Too cluttered. As a web designer, it doesn't appeal to me. There's simply too much going on, with no priority of information.

Overall, like... yikes.

Header is a mess. Rearrange as follows: Get rid of all the links that are in the header now, except for the flags. Consolidate all the flags into an on-hover language selector. To the right of the flags, put the icons for Mobile / RSS / Newsletter / Twitter / Facebook. To the right of those, put the Join and Sign In links.

For the nav, get rid of the Home tab to save space. Take the Search box and move that into the space to the right of Shopping, making it smaller so it fits. Get rid of the "Search" label and instead label the button "Search". You can now make the navigation area shorter by trimming the padding on the bottom of the Tom's Hardware logo.

You've got three sorts of things you need to push on the homepage, the three things that define you. Articles, news, and ads/sponsored content. Things don't have to be any more complex than three blocks of content. Something big and rich which shows off your latest articles, something that lists recent news articles, and sponsored content. Top row, first two columns: featured content. Top row, third column: recent content. Bottom row, first column: news. Bottom row, last two columns: sponsored content.
May 24, 2011 4:30:13 PM

The new layout is different, expect a huge raft of people who can't deal with change to freak out uncontrollably.

The same kind of people who when presented with the favourites button on IE9 being on the other side of the screen promptly started smacking themselves in the head like Rain Man withy a smoke alarm on then had a massive aneurysm and died before they hit the floor.

It will take some getting used to, but i'm sure we will all cope.
May 24, 2011 4:33:37 PM

I like the old one. Probably due to the fact that I'm use to it. But for some reason having all the main articles to the left feels off. I like them in the center.
May 24, 2011 4:50:02 PM

Did you put the section blocks on an iPad and <shake> ?

Doesn't feel different, just shuffled. Meh, 'sok.
May 24, 2011 4:51:59 PM

I don't really like either. I use Toms for the breadth of its news articles mainly, and for the (fairly rare) interesting articles.

I'd like to see Toms do 3 things to the site:
-A decent homepage. That new design is not an improvement. You guys have a lot to learn from AT and TPU.
-Proofreading of articles. It isn't hard.
-A UK version that's actually UK localised!
May 24, 2011 5:01:47 PM

One suggestion. The latest news should be on the right hand side. It feels really really weird looking to the left :)  Other than that its pretty good.
May 24, 2011 5:02:20 PM

Everything seems fine except for the News feed being on the left side. Its so unnatural for the focal point of a website to be shoved onto the left side of the screen. The center or right would be good.
May 24, 2011 5:14:14 PM

Featured articles front and center not good as they are not constantly relevent like the news list. Also, the print size on news articles is too small to skim now and in new version. News is Tom's best feature as it makes visiting relevent to every visit to the page, resulting in more hits. Other sites only posting an article or two a day "don't get it" but you do so please do not marginalize this.

And I agree, news to the left is unnatural to regular web viewers.

Oh and don't forget iPhone use should adapt to get to content also. Hard to code for a widescreen and an iPhone but not impossible.
May 24, 2011 5:18:23 PM

I dont like the new layout. It seems scrambled and on my 23" display, i feel tired looking all over the screen trying to make sense of it all. Keep the original layout and just add new stuff to the bottom or off to the right-hand side.
May 24, 2011 5:26:38 PM

First impression: cluttered and confusing. The way the information flows on the page does not make sense to me.
May 24, 2011 5:27:14 PM

If it ain't broke, don't fix it.
May 24, 2011 5:38:16 PM

I swiftly hit the Back button to return to the old layout. The old page is perfect in my opinion. As someone else mentioned, the columns on the left were the worst part.
May 24, 2011 5:39:38 PM

I feels kinda... chunky. I like the old version.
May 24, 2011 5:47:59 PM

Too cluttered, not well organized, and not enough white space to separate major units.

Still enjoy tom's!!!
May 24, 2011 6:06:52 PM

Keep the great feedback coming, guys!
May 24, 2011 6:08:54 PM

I do like the forum live feed, it's an interesting new feature. However I go to Tomshardware for the news, and with it being smaller, and not front and center, that annoys me. I feel like now it's more of a side thing, but with nothing front and center to replace it, it does feel a little mashed together from everywhere. Almost like everything on the front page is competing for the viewers' attention but no one can win.

To clarify: The "featured topics" is centered, but it's so tiny that it doesn't really stand out. Personally, I think the "Discover toms' guide articles" should be more up front because that's more interesting.
May 24, 2011 6:18:14 PM

It looks almost the same, you should maybe focus on better content...
May 24, 2011 6:21:05 PM

I agree with the above, the same stuff not really different, when you click on the page in IE 9 (anywhere without a link) the add of the right flashes
May 24, 2011 6:35:22 PM

I think I like it. It's a fresh new look to the site.
May 24, 2011 6:37:16 PM

It looks exactly the same as the old page...stuff has just been shuffled around and is now in different locations. Reminds me of when my wife talks about 'updating the living room' and then proceeds to put the couch where the recliner was and vice-versa.
May 24, 2011 6:41:22 PM

I'd like for the latest news to be longer and for the current forum activity to be smaller.