what have you done, gawker?


Today, i happened to check out lifehacker.com and noticed the site had been completely redesigned, as had all gawker sites (like gizmodo.com). These are pretty big tech blogs, so when these guys make drastic changes, they’re gonna take a hammering from somebody…

When i first visited the site this morning and seen it, i was angry enough to post a comment about how i disliked the new set up. At that stage i hadn’t read any other comments or seen anyone else’s reaction but i shared my thoughts anyway and my comment is now lost in a sea of comments on this post, it’s too much work for me to find it now.

lifehacker screenshot

Usually, when sites make changes i can see the reasons why they make them. Facebook revamps are a good example. I’ve yet to dislike any new changes Facebook have made, even though others seem very eager to complain. I realise change is necessary and it’s also a bumper pay day too because ad blind users temporarily get disorientated and click on ads as a result. But that is of course not the reason for change, at least it shouldn’t be…

The one major problem i have with this new revamp is that the sidebar stays static and has no scroll bar, the footer stays static and the rest moves as you expect it to. The end result is confusion in my opinion. “Why won’t this scro…. ah now it is…. wait, that’s not i wanted to mo…. ah FFS” – that’s the type of conversation i have in my head when i visit lifehacker now. It’s frustrating to use. Anything with invisible scroll bars and static / scrolling content on the same page has to be confusing for the average user, surely.

Also, i don’t know why they’ve made it so difficult to comment on articles. At first glance you ask yourself “HOW do i comment?”. Comments are called ‘threads’ are pretty difficult to navigate once there are hundreds of ‘threads’. So that’s another fail.

On the plus side i can see they’ve improved performance. That’s the only plus in my opinion. The only reason i’m blogging about this is because i seen a few others ranting about these changes on twitter, facebook & reddit and on lifehacker itself. Will i visit lifehacker & gawker sites less often now? Probably. I don’t want to have to ‘work’ to find and read content and navigate through it.

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