Why did you change what was good? This new site is awful!

I see pics with no idea of what I'm looking at because the titles and brief descriptions are gone. I can't even hover and get a mouse over text.

BTW - the pages don't format right in my OS / Browser combo - couldn't you have tested this first?

This was a great site that needed no tweaking.

Sad, so very sad....

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ewilhelm6 years ago
Hi johnclifford77,

Thanks for the note, and I'm glad you think the site was great before. What OS and browser are you using? We tested in the most commonly used browsers, but apparently missed your combination (make sure you've done a hard refresh; some browsers have been aggressively caching parts of the site, breaking the layout until the cache is cleared).

To directly address the thought that the site didn't need any changes (and indirectly address some of the concerns raised in the comments), I think it did need some tweaks, and here are some specific details why. I wanted to increase the number of Instructables on the homepage so that when a project was featured it would have a longer period in the spotlight (on a busy day, a featured Instructable might spend 10 minutes on the homepage). I also wanted to integrate our new blog onto the homepage. Additionally, we lost a few major advertising campaigns because the site -- and the homepage in particular -- had too much orange; the advertisers thought it clashed with the look of their ads. Finally, some of the advertisers wanted greater separation between the 728x90 and 300x250 ad units. All of these changes taken together required a different layout of the Instructables on the homepage.

Frankly, the smaller images and hover-over text isn't my favorite, but we had a limited amount of width to work with. If this doesn't work, we'll try something else. I like to run experiments and make decisions based on the data. In this case, I'll judge the success or failure of the new homepage based on a few things including increasing the rate that visitors (new and old measured separately!) navigate from the homepage to Instructables shown there or to our blog posts; and increasing the number of advertising campaigns wanting the homepage. For the visitor navigation, I typically gather a week's worth of data. The advertiser feedback unfortunately comes a bit more slowly.

Running experiments requires having a defined measure of success and sometimes getting things wrong. I'm ok getting things wrong provided we always learn something new. For the new homepage's measure of success, if the click-through rate is the same as before, and we don't see an increase in advertising campaigns, I'll use an aesthetic measure; and for that, I've heard your feedback loud and clear.

To conclude quantitatively, the homepage represents 2.6% of our total traffic (a number that's been steadily climbing throughout our various homepage design changes). Since it only represents a small fraction of our total traffic, I tend to be a bit more cavalier with changes to the homepage than you might guess.
randofo6 years ago
I have deleted three threads because all were almost entirely in violation of The Be Nice Policy and there was little about them worth saving.

Constructive criticism is welcomed, but it is completely unacceptable to make ad hominem remarks about anyone on this site, including Instructables staff and interns. No one is above The Be Nice Policy, no matter how entitled they feel.

At this point, it is unlikely anyone responsible for the changes will thoughtfully respond in this thread as the level of dialogue has veered away from civility.

Anyone interested in having a civil exchange about these design changes can contact us directly by emailing service@instructables.com.
mikeandre6 years ago
OK, as of today, June 5, 2011, I like your corrections to the home page from the hover/changing type page that you briefly tried. Looks and navigates nicely now. Thanks.

gmoon6 years ago
Where is caitlinsdad with that "Don't go Changin'" vidclip?
I am flabbergasted at your ability of course I also thought that you looked a bit more human in real life
I just realised you were talking about me...

The real me has a bit more hair...
Ha ha amazing.
I am humbled by your multiple talents. Perfect and says it all.
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