Redesign season: NYT extends redesign to its blogs, Amazon’s new Manage Your Kindle page
The introduction of redesigns at the first of the year is not unusual, or at least it used to be common. Today, many sites don’t feel the need to wait until the year end or beginning to roll out a new design, they just launch it. Part of the reason for this is that so many sites are built off of platforms that allow for quick redesigns – like WordPress.
But websites like The New York Times are massive properties, and so the paper’s launch of its new design on the 8th didn’t reach their entire site. The blogs, for instance, remained unchanged – that is, until today.
The NYT redesign has not impressed me as it has others. Oh yes, I like much of the changes, but I find some things to be frankly sloppy. For instance, the upper navigation menus do seem to match the rest of the site with its tiny logo. Also, I really have no idea what they were thinking creating some pages at one size, but the home page at another (and smaller than the old one). It is almost as if the designers made the common mistake of using one device to design the pages and failed to test it thoroughly on other, different sized devices.
Nonetheless, I like a lot about the redesign and most of my complaints are minor and easily can be fixed over time (though I do find that the new site does not perform as well on my 3rd generation iPad as the old site – that may be my biggest complaint, and one that might not be as easily fixed).
Amazon has not introduced a major redesign, but they did introduce a new Manage Your Kindle page that has received some positive tweets this morning.
Nothing reminds you of exactly how much money you’ve wasted on new devices than seeing them displayed on the Kindle page. Several of my own devices are missing from this screenshot (disclosure: one was Photoshoppped out).
The page allows you to see all your books, magazines and newspapers, though in my case there is actually a lot less content than might be found on other people’s devices simply because much of the content has come in through Apple’s ecosystem rather than Amazon’s.
The one site, or store, that is in desperate need of a redesign, and is really over due for one, is the Apple App Store. While publishers and app developers have been complaining for months about the condition of the store, nothing appears imminent. Many of the subcategories do not have apps appearing in the top carousel, and many of the “New” areas do not actually feature new apps but are just a list of apps in alphabetical order. It is as if the manager of the store has been on vacation for a year and no one has bothered take care of the store in their absence.
Worse, the logic behind which apps are promoted appears to have disappeared. One had hoped that Apple actually had people in their iTunes team evaluating apps and books on their merits. Now the store looks like it is being run by a bunch of frat boys who promote the products of their friends – usually former Apple employees.