Your Tour Of The New Lifehacker Australia

Your Tour Of The New Lifehacker Australia

Yes, Lifehacker has a new look! We’re rolling out a new look across all the Allure sites this week. Here’s an overview of what has changed, and what will be coming in the near future.

We know that whenever there’s a design change on a familiar site people complain — heck, we’ve done that ourselves — but the aim is to make the site easier to read and navigate, not to radically change the way it works.

We’ve tested pretty hard, but inevitably stuff will get broken when there’s a change on this scale. Let us know if you see any random bugs and weirdness, either through the comments or by hitting the Contact tab on the right.

Your Tour Of The New Lifehacker Australia

The obvious big new feature is the Top Stories block, which lets you easily slide through six stories representing the crème de la crème of our most-recent content. It’s effectively replacement for the old right-side Editor’s Picks box. We’re also using that top section to highlight Regular features such as Planhacker, Road Worrier and Ask Lifehacker for easy access. (In the near future, we’ll also have listings of the most commented and most popular posts.)

Your Tour Of The New Lifehacker Australia

You’ll also notice that our seven key categories are now colour-coded, which makes navigation easier. We’ve made images larger, improved tags (for tag-based navigation), and made the content area about 10 per cent wider on both articles and the main listing of articles. Our comments feed now also supports Gravatars, so you can add your picture to comments.

Finally, page load times should be better thanks to faster image servers, streamlined code, plus slightly fewer ads and improvements with how they’re displayed.

One final quick point, before anyone asks or suggests it: no, this isn’t based on the redesign that happened on the US site earlier this year. We run entirely different code bases for our sites, so when it comes to design, it’s an all-local effort. Let us know what you think, and if you encounter any teething issues, in the comments.

Comments

  • Again, I don’t like it. Looks too much like Kotaku. If you are going to do this, at least make each site have different default colours because I thought I was still looking at Kotaku when it changed.

  • Same problems as Kotaku here…. the banners at the top are gigantic and the comment box doesn’t really have good contrast (although it does look slightly better than yesterday on Kotaku)

  • Will you still be having the annoying full background ads? I know you’re ad supported, and refrained from blocking ads here for that reason until they started to appear. If they’re a thing of the past I’ll stop blocking the other less annoying and faster loading ads

  • The redesign looks OK to me, but nothing special really. I have an ad blocker on – specifically because the ads on Allure sites annoy the hell out of me – and it just looks weird with all that empty space.

    I also noticed that there is no place for a website in comments anymore.

  • As long as I can get all my stories with a brief ‘synopsis’ or intro paragraph, and go page by page in chronological order I’m fine. I *HATE* with a passion the US version of Kotaku / Lifehacker / Gizmodo etc, because it makes it difficult to work out just which stories I want to read in the first place if not using content tags.

    Moral of the story: Looks fine, just don’t change it much more.

  • Sweet jesus! Not a subtle change I’ll give it that much!

    My biggest gripe is that we still can’t track our comments (without bookmarking the URL somewhere) so we can respond to add on comments later.

    Also nice to see that avatar’s are now visible on the desktop site – but I take it they only appear for comments made from a mobile browser?

  • If you’re running a maxmised window, the fixed width area means there is a lot of black on the page when you scroll past the header – just something to think about?

  • I like it, but I haven’t tried the mobile version just yet.

    Does the +1 button update with the number of clicks, just like the other icons for comments, likes and tweets?

  • Overall the site looks good, but I would like to point out that the distance from the top of the page until the first article is quite large. Look at the site from a smaller screen means that you need to scroll quite a bit. I understand the need for advertising, but that coupled with your two heading bars seems excessive.

    Also why do you use so much flash? All that stuff can easily be HTML. That way all visitors would see the ads and content.

  • When zoomed in +1 step (the text is too small for my eyesight), the top stories block doesn’t scroll correctly. Using Google Chrome 15.0.874.106. Also I find the size of the images too large compared to the text size. Not that keen on a dark background, but workable.

  • Nice design overall, but the comment system needs overhaul as suggested earlier. Main lacking feature is the option of ‘notify me of follow-up comments’. Even better way would be to install a full commenting system like disqus.

  • Never having been to Kotaku I dont’ care about any comparison to that site that seems to be upsetting everyone….

    Humans hate change…. it’s that simple… anything that looks very different… a large group will “hate” just because it’s different… our brain says…. “Arrrggghhhh this is not what I am programmed to receive… does not compute… error error…. ” And then after a week… we forget how the old site looked… and when we see that format again… our brain says… Wow… that looks dated….

    I like the new layout. A change is as good as a holiday. If I wasn’t happy I’d ask for my money back :-/

  • Wow, quite a change. From usability point of view, I like the new layout, however, the choice of colors is a bit daunting. Black is not the easiest color to look at. Maybe the intention was distraction free reading and focus on main content, but for me it does not work. Anything but black would work better.

  • Could use a little more whitespace on the left of the content, between the text and the dark background. My eye keeps tracking to the dark background when I move to a new line of text since the text and dark background are so close.

    Tricky to explain!

  • The new look redesign is starting to grow on me, it seems weird that the new look is better suited to a netbook then my PC and laptop.

    I have a Aspire One netbook for the kitchen and the gaps on the side arent as big as they are on my normal laptop, As i use Adblock on Firefox there still is a huge gap where the advertisements are.

    Keep up the good work.

  • Something about the new layout seems hard to read on the blog post. I think it’s the size of the font and the length of the lines. It just doesn’t feel right and it feels kind of uncomfortable.

    Also the heavy use of gradients would be ok if they actually had more purpose instead of being thrown in there for the sake of it. As it is half of them are incredibly annoying because some are fairly blurry. It seems kind of amateurishness from a web designer point of view. This also includes the next and previous buttons on the previous stories. Lastly I think the comment box section looks awful and out of place.

    I do like the comments section (besides the post your comments box) and the section at the top of the post that displays the category looks quite nice.

    Overall I feel it feels like a cheap template that was bought from one of the various wordpress template stores. This isn’t a case of me being afraid of change either, I quite like viewing websites when they change the layout 🙂

    Overall I don’t come to lifehacker to critique your site design, I come to read the excellent (mostly) articles.

  • I think it looks great… Well done…
    As Micahael says… With ABP it looks really sparse as nothing moves around like it does on the mainstream media sites… ie. If there’s a huge ad on the right hand side for example, something will slide up/right to fill that space…
    Looking really slick thus far though…

  • I think what a lot of us have been used to, are compact site designs. What I like about the new look is it isn’t too dark nor bright; easier to read; and the features you’ve explained. It may be hard to read at first, but I think it’ll take time to adjust.

    Top stories block is okay; I think it’s suitably dark and easy ignore for frequent readers (like me) who just want to get straight to recent stories.

    Thanks Allure.

  • I don’t know. Just don’t pull the same crap that the US site pulled I started coming over to the .AU site from the US because of their stupid layout change.

  • I would say it is not enough of a change. Layout doesnt seem to have changed at all. Just got darker. Ads are still too large and too many. The US sites are still light years ahead of the AU ones.

Show more comments

Log in to comment on this story!