A message to our readers

We feel your pain!

Topics:

When we redesigned our site, we asked for your comments — and
hundreds of you took us up on that. Though many of you have
written to tell us you liked our new look, most of you let us know in
plain English (“It SUCKS!”) that you disapproved. I’m sorry
that I and the rest of the Salon staff haven’t been able to answer all the
flood of e-mail, but I wanted to address some of your concerns here.

First of all: We hear you loud and clear about the small type size on our
home page. Look for this to change soon, along with other tweaks to the
site design to improve readability.

Secondly, I want to apologize for some of the glitches many of you may have
encountered in the way of broken links, missing story pages, slow site
performance and so forth as we are making this transition. These are
already diminishing, but I know that Salon has been harder to read this
week because of such problems, and we’re all working round the clock to
correct them.

We know that Salon has become a daily fix for many of you, and when that’s
disrupted, you’re understandably annoyed. Some of you have asked us why we
have even bothered undertaking a redesign — what was wrong with the old one?

We’ve regularly reviewed and revised our design at Salon roughly once a
year from the very beginning. This time around we had two big goals. One
is simple: We want Salon to be even more up-to-the-minute. We will be
posting more stories round the clock, and in order to facilitate that we
needed to build a better software back-end with more production automation,
and an interface that supported the display of a lot more content. The
software is still going through its shakedown period, but once we’ve worked
out the kinks you’re going to see a great deal more, and more varied, new
material on Salon throughout each day.

Secondly, we found, and user testing confirmed, that as we added more and
more stories, columns and reader services
to our home page every day, it became increasingly difficult to showcase
the richness and variety of all that content on our home page. Our
solution is to organize
this growing editorial banquet more heavily around our individual site
home pages, and use
our Salon.com home page as a launching point for those pages rather than a
simple story list. (If you prefer a story list, we offer that as well, on
our Articles by Date page.)



We’re not wedded to this, or any other aspect, of this design, and once
it’s had a chance to settle in and prove itself we’ll be evaluating all of
its features, enhancing what works and ditching what doesn’t. We went
through a similar process a year ago. Last April, when we first launched
our “old” design — the one many of you are now extolling — we faced a
similar
e-mail hailstorm: many of you told us exactly what you didn’t like about
it, and we listened and adjusted. We’ll do the same this time around, I
promise.

–David Talbot
Editor

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