Monday, February 21, 2011

This Design Is Not Working

One more piece of inside baseball for Blogfrica... about a month ago, Deadspin updated their design. They've done this before, and it's the same as every other Web site; yelling and puling for a time, then a recovery to the old levels, and if there is a benefit to the new approach, it's more or less missed. Design overhauls tend to work out just for the design agency, not the consumer.

And then there's what Deadspin did.

I've tried to give this time to work out. Heaven knows that trying new stuff should be encouraged online, and trying to do something more than just copy another site is a big deal. But there's good innovation and bad innovation, and boy howdy, is this bad innovation.

To navigate Deadspin, you have to accept a unique site architecture that does not encourage the review of past content. Maybe it works for if you are on the site constantly, but as good as some of this content is (I'm an unabashed Drew Magary fan, and the Masked Writer's "Dead Wrestler of the Week" column is as good as it gets), it's just lost in the silliness here.

And try as I might, I can't figure out why they did it. It's not as if it makes for a better advertising experience, or classes up the place. Traffic cratered after the change, and is only now starting to come back (though to be honest, February is the dead time for everyone in the business). Well, say this for them: you never forget what site you are on when you are there.... and it's not like New Coke killed that company. But hoo boy, it's just not easy to see how this is anything but a self-inflicted gunshot wound.

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