Since 2005, Mashable.com has been one of the go-to sources for internet related news, covering entertainment, video, web development, technology and more. Articles feature popular news and analysis to helpful digital marketing tactics for social media and web design. Mashable has done a stellar job over the years of developing fun, creative and sharable content.
This week, Mashable unveiled its new site redesign. The website is an artistic shift from its previous traditional ‘large feature section, right side-bar’ converting standard to a tablet friendly, widget –style design. It was done to accommodate a growing tablet market. As the US has embraced tablet computers beyond the iPad, it’s become more important than ever to maintain this audience’s level of engagement.
The Pinterest/widget style display has been popular this past year, largely because of the success Pinterest has had with it. The Pinterest design of course is based on an old advertising mood board. The great thing about this layout is that it quickly conveys messages and ideas through colors and patterns, easily featuring items and puts all the information is an easy-to-access format. Its responsive design is also very adaptable to tablets.
This is part of the reason it works so great for Pinterest, whose entire website is dedicated to custom mood boards. How well does this translate into websites holding a significant amount of information like mashable.com? That’s up for discussion. I’m not a huge fan of the redesign, not yet at least. It feels like an intimidating amount of information for the user when they first get onto the site. It may be difficult to find something you’d like to read because the it can be so easily distracting.
I tend to like websites that are built to drive specific actions; whether it be conversions, heading to specific pages on the site, etc. With the new mashable.com, the user’s eyes are not directed anywhere in particular. They have free range over all of the articles and ads at the same time (with the exception of positioning and some varying sizes). The website risks holding little command over how the user will view the site. It may just be too much to take in. Not only are there pictures all over the front page, but excerpts as well.
Why would this design pass review at Mashable? It’s possible that the redesign will work well. It’s possible that Mashable has no interest in what you click on, only that items are clicked. It makes it easy for the user to navigate throughout the different articles in the site – my only question is if they’re getting what they’d like out of it and fast enough. Only time will tell how users react to the new design and how it changes the reading habits and the visibility of posts further down the line.
But that’s just my opinion. What do you think of the Mashable redesign?