Alert and not-so-alert readers of NYTimes.com will notice a little something different this morning: a major redesign of the site's look and feel, from top to bottom (almost). In a Sorkin-esque, marathon session of exhausting and exhilarating proportions, our team spent all weekend implementing this new design, pushing it live in progressive stages starting Sunday afternoon. The home page, that hugely symbolic focal point of any site, went live at 11:33p Eastern Standard Time.
So goes Khoi Vinh's description of the New York Times fantastic redesign. I visited Sunday and thought something was a bit... different. It wasn't until I read John Gruber this morning that I realized there had been a total redesign. Overall, I love it. I have a few piddling remarks — the visited link color seems off, I would love a better top navigation look for the buttons at the top of pages, and a bit more color would be nice — but it's not intrusive, and that's what makes this design so good. Vinh explains:
“The new design looks just like the old design." That would suit me fine, because it would signal a continuity that I think is completely appropriate for such a closely watched site like 'The New York Times', and besides, I know for a fact that it’s more elegant and more useful than it was before.
I couldn't agree more with him. It's nice to see personal sites with a major, awe-inspiring change. Business sites, however, should make you feel confident that the business at hand is the most important aspect of the site. Not the look and feel of the site. Of course, those two factors aid in the enjoyment and usage of sites, but they should not overwhelm the experience.
It almost makes me want to contract out a redesign of my stale site.
Posted by ronn at April 3, 2006 11:55 PM