An update on our redesign

Issues we're working out, changes we're making, and an introduction to the new look.

Published October 27, 2005 9:45PM (EDT)

Here's another quick update on Salon's redesign with some of the issues we're working out, changes that we intend to make in the near future and a general introduction to the new look.

First, thanks for all of your feedback; we're learning a lot from what you're telling us and from the way you're using the site. Here are a few things we're dealing with in the near term:

  • White-space issue: We've heard from many people that our use of white space is overwhelming, or too bright, especially in the cover box. We're working on ways to adjust our cover box to make better use of graphics and color.
  • Blog Box: We'll be redesigning the Blog Box area on our cover in the next one to two weeks because we've heard that it's not visible enough and we definitely agree.
  • Page-width issues: We're working on restricting the page width in our cover box and we're examining the page-width issues in directory pages.
  • Recent stories listed on cover: We're revisiting the placement of a small image next to every story in this area because we've heard from many people that this space needs to be broken up more.
  • Search: We will be adding a much improved search engine to the site within days. For the time being you can find the old search engine here:
  • Missing links: We will be adding links to things like the RSS feed ( and our Corrections page ( in the next week.
  • Pages in the old format: We have a few areas of the site that haven't yet been transferred over to the new look. We'll be finishing the transfer in the coming one to two weeks.
  • Site covers: We will be adding links to standing features, columnists and other items to site covers in the next one to two weeks. For example, the A&E cover will include links to movie reviews, TV reviews, etc.
  • We've heard from many people who'd like to know how many letters and comments have been posted to individual articles, and we'll be making that available soon. We will also be adding more ways to find letters around the site.
  • Browser-related issues: We have fixed the cover-display issue with Safari and IE 5. We have heard various problem reports in a few other browsers that we're investigating on a case-by-case basis.

    We also have a long list of smaller changes and fixes to make. We'll be working our way through that list in the next weeks, so if you've already reported a problem, please be patient!

    On the bigger question of why a new design, I wrote about this in my first letter, but just to recap: In choosing this design direction our primary motivations were to present our articles in as clear a format as possible and to give us as much flexibility as possible to present new features, lay out additions and the like. Our old design made it extremely difficult to adjust the layout; it handcuffed our ability to present Salon's daily editorial offering in new and varied ways.

    Our general template now looks like this: We have a column of AP wires running down the left side of the page in reverse chronological order, a cover box with the four to five biggest stories of the moment, a Blog Box area, descending below the cover box, where we can break out our burgeoning collection of editorial blogs, and below that a complete index of everything we've published recently in reverse chronological order.

    We arrived at this design because it allowed us to showcase more than one story at a time; in the old design, stories that weren't quite cover stories or were interesting for another reason couldn't be highlighted. Another problem we had in the old design was the lack of a more extensive index of our recent publishing history. The new design lays out everything we've published recently in reverse chronological order so that it's easy to find an article from a few days ago.

    All that is to give you a window onto our design philosophy and the problems that this design was intended to solve. Our entire process was obviously much more extensive and ended up consuming a year of design, testing and functional improvements.

    If you have other questions, notes, suggestions or complaints, please send them to

    We are reading all e-mails sent to this address and responding to as many of them as possible.

    Warm regards,

    Joan Walsh
    Editor in chief

  • By Salon Staff

    MORE FROM Salon Staff

    Related Topics ------------------------------------------