Mashable redesigns (and it’s good!)
I’ve been, er, a little bit critical of the design of two of the largest tech blogs out there over the last few months. First I teed off on Mashable for its overuse of ads (Mashable has a lot of ads). Then I went the other way on TechCrunch late last month, singling out its recent redesign for being too stark and antiseptic-looking (TechCrunch redesigns: over undesigned?).
Well, Mashable has just launched a major redesign, and I’m happy to report that it’s looking pretty good. While I’m fairly certain that they didn’t directly take heed of my advice, I did note in April that Mashable would do well to copy TechCrunch’s use of a three-column style that did a good job of showcasing stories on a wide column on the left while housing ads and widgets and other info on the right. That’s not far off from what Mashable has now done, and the site is quite a bit more readable and eyeball-friendly for it.
Now Mashable is also following the trend of showcasing lots of white space, but it doesn’t feel as hospital-y as TechCrunch’s new design, I’d argue, mostly on the strength of the blue nav bar that runs across the top of the site. That coupled with the soft blue color of the logo, nav bar, and story headers takes the edge of a potential Stark City.
Duncan Riley also notes that Mashable is employing an “after the jump” style, meaning the default homepage “teases” stories and forces you to click a “more” link to see the full piece and comments. This style has become increasingly important in driving up page views to “drilldown” pages. And Mashable founder Pete Cashmore writes that the new design is meant to greatly improve load times, and goes into detail about other new features and wrinkles.