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I'm DZone's Graphic Designer. I enjoy coding, gaming, running and jumping. Austin has posted 7 posts at DZone. View Full User Profile

DZone's Different!

02.03.2012
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Hello DZoners!

My name is Austin Kowitz and I’m a graphic designer at DZone. And you can mostly blame (praise?) me and DZone developer, Ross Jernigan, for what you see currently at DZone. We still have tons of ideas we haven't implemented yet -- but we're doing the agile thing, releasing early, releasing often. So we'd love hear your feedback, whatever it may be. I’m bracing myself for the whirlwind of..criticism? excitement? We await your response with bated breath. :]

So let’s go over some of the changes and the reasons we made them.

First, in general, we wanted to make the site much more legible and feel less cluttered. So we increased text size for important elements, while giving every element a bit more elbow room.

You’ll especially notice the larger article headlines on the Zone homepages. The goal here?  Letting you scan the whole Zone feed more quickly, making it easier to find stories particularly interesting to you.

Also on the Zone homepages, check out our new thumbnails! Now every article will boast a visually interesting counterpart -- which I'm definitely excited about. But we're hoping the thumbnails will also help you all find cool content.

The new masthead at the top of the site is definitely a significant change. This brings the best stories from all the Zones to the top of every page. The masthead is expertly curated by our excellent editorial team — guaranteed awesome, fresh every day.

The trending topics bar, just below the masthead, gives you a quick feel for the pulse of software development today. Please do send us any and all feedback on the masthead in particular — we’d love to make it as useful as possible.

So yeah, please let us know what you think. We're really excited about the redesign, and look forward to hearing your feedback. Enjoy the new look, and help us make DZone better for you!

Thanks!

- The Dzone Team
Published at DZone with permission of its author, Austin Kowitz.

(Note: Opinions expressed in this article and its replies are the opinions of their respective authors and not those of DZone, Inc.)

Comments

Cody A_ replied on Fri, 2012/02/03 - 2:02pm

Looks great in FF10b6 w/1680x1050 res.

I'm a big fan of the new article thumbnails, very creative.

It will take some time to adjust to the masterhead, but I can manage.

Nice work, glad to see DZone stay relevant. Still one of my most trusted sites for valuable reading.

 

Mitch Pronschinske replied on Fri, 2012/02/03 - 2:12pm in response to: Cody A_

Glad to hear it, Cody!  It's going to get even better.  We need to start thinking about aligning this design with Links now.  Stay tuned!

Robert Greathouse replied on Fri, 2012/02/03 - 2:14pm

But it still isn't formatted to phone screens?

Fred Grott replied on Fri, 2012/02/03 - 2:29pm

Fix the dzones links list on Chrome its been broke for over 3 years, its not showing the scroll bar left side to sroll down the list of links

Austin Kowitz replied on Fri, 2012/02/03 - 3:02pm in response to: Fred Grott

Hey Fred, we actually have a change coming to the links page soon. And while it's not quite going to match the rest of the site - it will fix the locked scrolling issue. We will eventually update it fully to the new design. We're definitely trying to release early and often these days. Let's see if it pans out :P

Ibrahim Levent replied on Fri, 2012/02/03 - 3:13pm

Text font size is so big that it is uncomfortable to have a preview of articles. Thumbnails and titles are also very large. I don't know which screen the design team is using, I'm browsing from a laptop desktop having 1280x800 resolution, and scrolling down the page bothers me a lot.

Marcos Antonio replied on Fri, 2012/02/03 - 3:21pm in response to: Ibrahim Levent

Agreed. Font is too big and scrolling is very annoying. Better as it was before.

Harris Goldstone replied on Fri, 2012/02/03 - 3:24pm

When I'm on the front page of java.dzone.com... the first article is almost below the fold. That's bad. All I really want to see is the list of articles, the rest is just noise. Clean and simple is how it should be, but isn't right now.

Harris Goldstone replied on Fri, 2012/02/03 - 3:25pm

PS: What value do those thumbnails bring? What info do they provide?

Tim Garrett replied on Fri, 2012/02/03 - 3:50pm

I get about 5 headlines and summaries top to bottom on the page now. The headlines look ENORMOUS to me at 1920x1080 on 23 inch screens. I think pagination should more closely mirror the number of items that fit on a target screen (whatever that may be). Preferably, the headlines would get a little smaller. I would never have thought to give feedback had you not asked, so keep that in mind :) I do love the site.

Rob Gordon replied on Fri, 2012/02/03 - 4:31pm

Wow - everything has got so big all of a sudden! I'm getting used to it but thinking maybe it would look better smaller. The layout is an improvement, EXCEPT, where have the announcements gone? Am I going to have to start writing something interesting to shamelessly promote my project now? - and find a cool graphic for it! DZone's still my site of choice for lunchtime reading - Keep up the good work!

Harris Goldstone replied on Fri, 2012/02/03 - 4:46pm

Yes, missing the Announcements too...

Ross Jernigan replied on Fri, 2012/02/03 - 4:56pm in response to: Ibrahim Levent

Thanks for the response Ibrahim! We tried several different font sizes, and leaned towards the larger size hoping to make the feed more scannable and legible. We really appreciate your response, and will definitely adjust the scale of the article feed items for lower resolutions. This is only the beginning of the new theme, and we will be updating it based on user feedback. We fight for the users!

Silvio Bierman replied on Fri, 2012/02/03 - 5:44pm

I like the new look. Now please give us a site filter preference so I can finally hide the devops stuff. The percentage of material that interests me keeps decreasing and having to scan for those articles becomes increasingly annoying.

Sivaprasadreddy... replied on Fri, 2012/02/03 - 11:25pm

Hey,

New look is fine but missing lot of things.

1. Heavy font size. I could see the title of first article only.

2. No Author picture beside Article titles. Sometime I read posts by author.

3. No Promotions and Popular Links.

-Siva

Jonathan Fisher replied on Sat, 2012/02/04 - 2:30am

There is way too much whitespace on the page and the fonts are too big. I can read dzone from 6 feet away now... 1080p 24" monitor! Please compact the layout a teeny bit and reduce the heading font sizes! otherwise looks great

Andy Jefferson replied on Sat, 2012/02/04 - 3:59am

Too much wasted space (header etc), massive icons, not concise. Is this designed for people with sight difficulties ? Just that the majority of us don't have them fortunately, so you ought to allow the *option* of that but not the default. Where is the "top articles in DZone" that used to be down the side?
The dropdown menus in the top line aren't configured right ... you have a pixel or two just below the menu and the dropdown appears below that ... so when you move your mouse down, the menu appears, and then disappears before you can choose the item in the dropdown.

Mathew Bukowicz replied on Sat, 2012/02/04 - 5:25am

Neat. I like it.

Andrea Del Bene replied on Sat, 2012/02/04 - 8:49am

Good job indeed! But I miss so much ' Popular Links', but I'm sure you will make up for it soon ;-)

Seb Cha replied on Sat, 2012/02/04 - 11:03am

There are 2 menu banners ? I dont get it.

On my screen (1680x1050) i can only see the first 2 article titles. It needs 4 screens to see only 15 titles. What a waste of place.

Roger Lindsjö replied on Sat, 2012/02/04 - 2:32pm

On my screen I only see part of the title of the first article when entering the site. It actually took me a couple of reloads before I realized that the the css was applied correctly. To me it looks as a design for a physically small, high resolution touch screen, except that is not what I'm using. 

 To be frank I think it looks like a Fisher-Price version now, but maybe that appeals to other readers.

And what's up with the gigantic icon? What does it add except removing 25% of the preview of the article?

Lund Wolfe replied on Sat, 2012/02/04 - 5:12pm

Congratulations. It looks equally bad in Chrome, Firefox, and IE. The larger font in the articles is okay (I can take it or leave it), but the main page with huge font and huge icons is horrible. The vast majority of articles are irrelevant to me and I already have to go through too many pages to scan the subjects that might be useful or interesting. I did like having the sections for new software releases and highlighted articles on the right hand side, too. It would be nice if could bring them back. One of the worst mistakes a developer can make is to remove features and functionality already in production. You're the only Java community site out there. Do the right thing.

Lund Wolfe replied on Sun, 2012/02/05 - 4:22am

One more problem to fix: the visited links should change color so you know you already read it when you come back in an hour or a week.

Hannah Myeres replied on Sun, 2012/02/05 - 6:24am

The large icons are meaningless and take up too much space. The titles are much too large and completely unnecessary. I miss the list of Announcements. Can you just revert everything to the way it was before these changes were made?

Mason Mann replied on Sun, 2012/02/05 - 1:16pm

Have to agree on overly large icons and heading font size. Looks ridiculous on 1440p

Erwin Mueller replied on Sun, 2012/02/05 - 3:11pm

+1 from me for the headings and icons. They are really large. My monitor is on 1920 resolution.

Daniel Tuchtenhagen replied on Mon, 2012/02/06 - 4:23am

Also on 1920 icons and heading is way too big. Also top link to author seems to be broken on some pages, as:

http://java.dzone.com/articles/i-dont-nullpointerexceptions

 

And I miss the "Popular links" on the right side.

 

Werner Hammann replied on Mon, 2012/02/06 - 4:24am

You’ll especially notice the larger article headlines on the Zone homepages. The goal here? Letting you scan the whole Zone feed more quickly, making it easier to find stories particularly interesting to you.

IMHO for me scanning is now slower because I have to do more scrolling.

Andre Parodi replied on Mon, 2012/02/06 - 4:43am

Good work. much clearer.

Walter Laan replied on Mon, 2012/02/06 - 7:12am

Same for me, I only see one article on the initial visit of http://java.dzone.com/ and only see five when I scroll the first headline to the top. Definitly not an improvement (typically 10-20 new articles to browse when I check this site, so lot of scrolling goign to other pages).

I also miss the author's picture and his/her name name is in a small font (much more easy to regcognize the ones I like.

FWIW, the old design was dog slow in Firefox 3.6 if you opened multiple articles in different tab until I installed Ghostery to block some stuff which fixed it. I haven't tested the new design without it though.

 Also there is some random '--> ');--> -->' in the header with FF3.6.

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