On TSS redesign


News: On TSS redesign

  1. On TSS redesign (43 messages)

    As you can see, TheServerSide has changed its appearance.  Most of the changes are on the web platform that holds the site. Over time, they will allow the editors to update the site with technical articles at a much faster clip. The community forums migrated - mostly intact - to the new platform as well, and they remain the heart of TheServerSide, the place where the community can learn and debate. The team is still tuning for better performance as we speak.

    We are glad to get pointers on pages that render improperly.  Over the years the site used various ways of showing sample code, and our general site update could not account for all the means to show code. Moreover, we are still working out issues with our new platform, to enable it to present code samples more precisely.

    We are glad of course for people to share their impressions on the overall site as well. The original design carried TheServerSide through many good years, has become familiar, and will be missed by many people. We hope the new platform will allow us to roll out new features at a greater clip too.

    This is a big change in the look of the site - it is not a change in the mission of the site. That is: To provide trustworthy information on Java and related technology, and to provide the best Web forum for the same.  Those of you attending TheServerSide Java Symposium this week can easily find the site staff and tell us what you think and what you want to see, of course. For others, use any means to communicate. 

    As always, thanks for taking part in TheServerSide. - Jack Vaughan, interim site editor. Jvaughan at techtarget.com

    Threaded Messages (43)

  2. On TSS redesign[ Go to top ]

    Hi Jack,

    I understand the need to get on a platform that is maintainable for TechTarget. I'm glad to see the purpose of TSS remaining the same. Happy to see that, and it'll keep me coming back. TSS has been going strong for ten years now. Glad to see what Ed and Floyd (and many others) built is still here and contributing to our community.

    My remaining comment would be that the look-and-feel of the new site is less personal, less informal, a bit 'stodgy' and 'corporate'. There have been countless discussions here, and I hope the debates continue.

    Kind regards,

    David Sims
    Flux Job Scheduler
  3. On TSS redesign[ Go to top ]

    Much better design than the original site. But, why you are still using fixed width design? I have a 24" monitor and TSS uses about 60% of the screen real estate with a lot of white spaces on both the sides. I understand that the design should address all monitor types and resolutions, but you could still use about 90% of the screen width without going for a predefined width.

    While this is purely a personal comment, please lose the Arial font. This is one ugly font, which makes any design look bad.
  4. formatting[ Go to top ]

    and, added to that, please design that top header "advertisement" area so that it disappears when somebody has AdBlockerPlus enabled, cos currently it leaves a large white space. Maybe that isn't a concern and you want your sponsors to be seen, but most of us don't :-P
  5. Inevitable ... but ...[ Go to top ]

    I guess it had to be done eventually.  But ...

      - The new site lacks character.  The old site had a distinctive, recognisable look.  The new site is nondescript.  It has the feel of borrowed CSS for a very generic look.
      - The main page shows "0 comments" for this thread, even though there clearly are comments.
      - The user profile page won't allow me to update my email address without adding a bunch of other junk (don't know if this is a new feature, it's annoying though.)

    Are you going to tell us what technologies are used in this site?  IIRC, TSS was previously using Tapestry (3.x?, 4.x?) for the web framework.

    John Hurst
    Wellington, New Zealand
  6. No, not Tapestry[ Go to top ]

    No, I don't believe Tapestry was used for this new site. I don't know of any serious site using Tapestry. Tapestry is an over-engineerd one-man project, slow, bad and ugly like it's founder. It's simply a dying project so not worth considering.

  7. Search[ Go to top ]

    seemingly doesn't bother looking for news articles on TSS. Go search for any software that had a recent news item, and ... nothing. Obviously the previous search used to find them.
  8. The migration seems to have gone well, even the cookie management (site still sees me as logged in).

    It's understandable why IT would want to support one less different platform, but I wish the migration had a more customized look and not the cookie cutter searchXYZ TechTarget site design style. This relaunch feels like a latteral or backwards move at best with respect to the benefits to the end-user. 

    I also strongly recommend that you get a domain expert to review the site taxonomy asap (this should have been done prior to re-launch) as the taxonomy makes it appear that TSS' editorial staff are 8 years behind on their knowledge of trends in the Java community. This will negatively affect your credibility with the community with each passing day that people see that topics bar...

    Floyd Marinescu
    (who originally created TSS back in 2000)
  9. On TSS redesign[ Go to top ]

    The design sucks! The page does not fill browser window. Was anything broken with the last design? TSS used to be the home page for my browser. No more!!
  10. On TSS redesign[ Go to top ]

    Like other people, I don't like to see a large white space on the top of the page (because I'm using adblock) --> I'm thinking of using greasemonkey to remove it.

    I don't like Arial either --> again, greasemonkey to the rescue.

    I also don't like fixed width layout --> you know what I'll put here, right? :)

    If anybody wrote a greasemonkey script to fix those things, please share.

    Thank you TSS.

    PS: The fact I want to spend some time writing a greasemonkey script for the TSS indicates that I love this website.
  11. On TSS redesign[ Go to top ]

    I wrote a greasemonkey script and these are the screen shots for the home page and the article detail page (I don't have much time for this script so ... it messes up everything on the post replying page (I had to turn off greasemonkey to post this)).


  12. Horrible Design[ Go to top ]

    The new page design it terrible!  What a huge step backwards.

    The old design displayed large readable text that scaled the full width of my monitor.  This crappy new design features eye straining text and only scales to half the width of my monitor.
  13. I don't blame TechTarget for this direction, it's to be expected really.  TechTarget is a marketing company.  It's only a matter of time before this site is as bad as Java Developer's Journal (Sys-Con).  

    I suppose the challenge is that TechTarget has to make money, so they need to sell advertisements.  To make their ads worth money, they need an audience.  So it's a balancing act between making the audience (us) happy, and selling enough ad space to be profitable.

    It's no different than radio stations that hardly play any music, or television stations that now have advertising overlaying the TV program.  Tech magazines now have more pages of advertising than content.  DVDs frustrate me the most,  with 20 minutes of previews (sometimes with DVD skip or menu buttons disabled -- Disney!)

    It's very sad when it happens, but it inevitably does to any successful media platform that gathers thousands or millions of people.  

    There's no way we'll ever convince them to stop, so your best options are definitely Adblock, greasemonkey, PVRs, and satellite radio. 

    The only thing that has a chance of overturning this machine is if paid content platforms like iTunes and Satellite Radio manage to become more profitable to content providers and more desirable to users (also a balancing act).  Clearly, this is becoming the case, slowly. 

    The double-edged challenge that a site like TSS has though, is that they don't just depend upon readers, they also depend on "writers".  All (interesting) content submitted here is driven by the community.  If TSS annoys that community too much, they don't just lose readers (like JDJ), they also lose their content. 

    It will be interesting to see how well TechTarget navigates this space, it's certainly not easy given that there are more and more alternatives to content hubs like this every day.

  14. Here here. I second these thoughts. Everything looks like it was jammed into a corporate blender and set on "please advertisers". The community is the strength of this site, always has been, always will be, and we don't need to be so blatantly "sold". The old site did have issues, but it also had character and didn't make me feel like I was just reading a generic corporate site with "java content" plugged in instead of "C# content" or "networking content" or "investing advice content". It feels like the hand of some corporate overlord is driving everything now, and corporate overlords don't belong in a discussion based on technical merit, which is what i expect from the site. What I have expected and enjoyed from the site for going on 10 years now. 

    To be honest, the first time I saw this site, I felt I was watching the end of an era. As if something had once been there and was no longer. It feels almost as bad as the crappy Oracle branding on the Sun download pages. Almost. That was like watching larry ellison punch my childhood dog to death.
  15. On TSS redesign[ Go to top ]

    I personally think this look and feel is too white. It's hard to really parse up the sections by eye and everything looks like a Google Ad.

    I would suggest to apply some visual representation to break up the different sections, articles etc.

    Just my two and a half cents!

    Richard L. Burton III
    Co-Founder of SmartCode LLC
  16. Too much white[ Go to top ]

    I agree, there is too much white. A small background colour change would do the trick I think.
  17. RE: On TSS redesign[ Go to top ]


    I'll be honest. I really don't like the new design. Old TSS design was very distinctive and was like a brand.
    This new design seems very common to me, there is no "brand" on it. 
    And, as I saw here in the comments, Arial font doesn't help on that.

    Maybe, you could do here something like Slashdot did once. Open a contest to have the readers proposing new designs, by providing a customized CSS. Readers would then vote for the best design.

    Anyway, congratulations for the effort on improving TSS.

    Rui Campos
  18. While I congratulate the techtarget team on finally updating the site, I kinda agree with some of the other readers: the soul is missing.

    Some of what I'd wanted to do: http://www.enigmastation.com/?p=137
  19. Hi Joe: The soul of TSS is the incredible team of participants, yourself included. It's just not the same without you guys! -Frank

  20. More work neeeded[ Go to top ]

    Bad News - it's worse than what it is replacing
    Good News - it won't take much to improve it.

    Posting author and comments link on each thread are almost invisible. Why? Darker colour please.

    The heading for the first thread on the front page comes in at halfway down my screen! Should be maximum 30% of height from top.

    Agree with the other comments, to much white, and not enought character in overall look and feel.
  21. Not enough red![ Go to top ]

    ... except in the ads. Honestly, the usability of the site dropped like a stone; the eye is actually guided AWAY from the featured content, which ... is sort of the opposite of what "featured content" is supposed to mean. 

    And TSS readers (well, this one, at least) are used to looking in certain places for certain information; now I pretty much have to scroll to see *anything*, and ad blockers definitely crush the look and feel like a tin can. Adding to this is the lack of red, of course, and the missing contrast.

    I have great eyes; this site strains them now.

    I think the taxonomy's a step in the right direction, although user classification would probably be better... Floyd. :)
  22. On TSS redesign[ Go to top ]

    Its a good effort made by TSS.

    But I really love old site, Old design truly depicts TSS Brand and nice to read. New design is not good in reading and overall look

  23. I'm sure I've posted a comment on this thread yesterday but it's not there anymore.
  24. On TSS redesign[ Go to top ]

    i dislike it ...

    1) Font: why "Arial" ?

    the only default font i like if i have to read a lot, is the font i choose ad a default in my browser => serif, sans-serif, monospace

    For me: Cambria, Candara, Inconsolata

    2) Line Word Count: which is the "optimal" here ? 72 chars line, with serif font, somewhat smaller if sans ...

    Maybe is better to leave free flow and let the user to resize browser
    window to compensate ...

    3) In the past, everyday i used to have a 5 second glimpe look at TSS home page, just to catch interestine titles (with big font, e good color) and eye-catching icons on the right.
    Now i access TSS only via feedy (http://www.feedly.com/) onlyne news reader, so home page is less important.


    I also consider homepage "branding" an important topic
    (as someone already said), "a la /."

  25. old one was better[ Go to top ]

    I agree with all of the complains and I don't think this is a matter of getting used to the new look&feel.
    The old l&f had some kind of warmth that is missing here.(as french say: je ne sais quoi).
    How come the www.theserverside.net still has the old look&feel?
    Is that site owned by somebody else or is going to be ruined soon?
  26. old one is much better[ Go to top ]

    The old one is more dictintive. Character is hard to read and I agrre with other there's too much white in the new look.

  27. Drop-down menu on the top should be reworked for better classification. Some titles are confusing and repeating in different branches. I don't even like parent menu titles(Persistence for "EJB"? Or Integration for "Web Services"? Design/Architecture can be separated?).
  28. Awful design[ Go to top ]

    New design looks very bad to my taste.
    Really guys, this is not step forward, this is a huge leap backwards. 60% of the screen is blank and actual content is crammed in a middle... The Server Side was such a nice place for browsing around, now it looks cheap, unprofessional and sad place.
  29. On TSS redesign[ Go to top ]

    But, maybe, I have just to become accustomed with the new style.

  30. I love it![ Go to top ]

    The old one looked like a turd
  31. "Me too"[ Go to top ]

    This sure looks like a "drag and drop" "cookie cutter" design. No character at all.

    On the bright side, it does seem to look and work decent on the iPhone.
  32. On TSS redesign[ Go to top ]

    Please go back to the old site.  It was better in almost every way...easier to read, made better use of available space, and generally looked much better.

    This looks like a cookie cutter 'tech' site.  I HATE cookie cutter tech sites.


  33. URL problems with new site[ Go to top ]

    Did you notice that if the article by Ben van Eyle is linked to my article. Maybe you can get TSS to fix this? 

    thanks Frank Teti
  34. Don't like it...[ Go to top ]

    ...to difficult to read.
  35. On TSS redesign[ Go to top ]

    The previous design was more.. unique. You could easily identify that you are currently reading TSS.

    Now, when I switch between my tabs, I need to look at the header to realize that this is not something I've followed on reddit or digg.
  36. On TSS redesign[ Go to top ]

    I can get used to design, but site is not operational. When I log in, some random page opens, comments get swallowed, main page shows some random news from like couple of years ago. Seriously, not cool.
  37. On TSS redesign[ Go to top ]

    Too much space at the top before content; absolutely needs to be cut down.

    "Activate your FREE membership today" - Please!

    Don't understand why it needs to be fixed width.

    The front page is sadly undistinguished. Not that I liked the old one, but at least you could tell it was TSS.

    Well, overall it looks better but you should not stop here!
  38. Font is hard to read[ Go to top ]

    Please change font and maybe even size and color, it is harder to read than usual.
  39. First up, good job on trying to migrate to a new platform.

    Couple of points though:
    1. The color: Light grey and light blue? Seriously?
    2. The reason the old site looked...well, old, was because of the color. Some real colors wouldn't hurt. I'm sure you can find something @ Themeforest.net

    3. Do I absolutely have to have a link to the .NET & the other sites when I come to TSS?
    4. I get that you're trying to create advertising space but this is a bit much. It looks like it was designed by a committee that couldn't agree on anything so they compromised on White.
    5. +1 on the taxonomy

    I know its a delicate balance btwn pleasing advertisers & the community and this is a noble effort but if you value the site & the audience, then have a professional UI guy design it. This is too cookie-cutter-ish.  Too much white makes it hard to read.

    Judes Tumuhairwe

  40. I am not a big fan of the new appearance, but my main annoyance is related to the RSS functionality that seems to have been broken at the same time (unless it is just o coincidence):

    It looks to me that the RSS feed exposes existing/old articles as new whenever a comment is added. It did not used to be that way. I just got 84 new articles in my RSS reader today - 99.9% not really new. To make it worse, all of those resulted from the same spam post. Given that I usually access TSS after I see an interesting article in my reader, this is a deal breaker for me.

    BTW, "Search" on the site simply does not work (I know, I can always goggle...)
  41. I'm seeing the same thing.  Very annoying.
  42. The old one was better.[ Go to top ]

    The old design looked better and was more distinctive. Even from small thumbnails one could say that it's TSS in there - it was like the branding of TSS.

    This new one, has no personality, and is not unique at all.

    IMHO you should bring back the old look (since it was you branding), and if you want to improve something, use that old look as a base and improve from there.
  43. On TSS redesign[ Go to top ]

    When redesigning the site, at least a few steps could have been taken to make the site faster like combining CSS/JS, gzipping content, caching static media and other basic means to improve clientside performance. The new site feels slower than the old one.
  44. realy bad desing[ Go to top ]

    sorry the worst design ever