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Looking for Feedback

As everyone reading this already knows, Bwog adopted some major design changes yesterday, and we’re interested to hear your thoughts. We do genuinely want this website to best serve the Columbia community in our traditional fashion, and a part of that is constructing a website that people want to look at and use. So, please, leave a (well-thought-out and constructively critical) comment below, or email us at tips@bwog.com.

Our thoughts so far:

  • We’re still thinking about function over form: bugs, broken links, and small changes that will make a big impact.
  • We chose the white background for a variety of reasons, but kinda miss the dark blues. It was characteristic of Bwog, and easy on sleep deprived eyes. We’re thinking about having two themes (light and dark) that you could toggle.
  • More stuff on the sidebars: Twitter streams, highly voted comments, random facts from WikiCU?
  • Comment sorting by upvotes?

Our tech team is going to grumble about their growing “To Do” list, but we’ll keep them liquored up and well-fed.

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71 Comments

  • Anonymous says:

    @Anonymous Bwog looks too professional now. Not liking it.

    1. Anonymous says:

      @Anonymous @Anonymous: it looks too institutional. bring the sexy back

  • the redesign is shit BUT... says:

    @the redesign is shit BUT... COMIC SANS!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Anonymous says:

    @Anonymous YES PLEASE to the blue background and random wikicu!

  • Joanna Hallifaxen says:

    @Joanna Hallifaxen I miss the dark blue background desperately. Please bring it back.

    1. Anonymous says:

      @Anonymous Du har ett coolaste namn.

      1. Anonymous says:

        @Anonymous omelette du fromage.

  • Anonymous says:

    @Anonymous We chose the white background for a variety of reasons, but kinda miss the dark blues. It was characteristic of Bwog, and easy on sleep deprived eyes. We’re thinking about having a two themes (light and dark) that you could toggle.

    ^^^^ good idea

  • Anonymous says:

    @Anonymous The entire visual identity of Bwog is gone. This looks like the result of a 10-minute design session going through Blogger and choosing all the default options.

    Please, if pride prevents you from completely reverting back to the old design even though the response has been a universal plea to do just that, at least reestablish your uniqueness and save some of the major visual cues that let us know “Yes, this is Bwog.” (Serifs, dark blue, elimination of the godawful boxes everywhere)

    1. Anonymous says:

      @Anonymous Probably a substantive traffic drop after the redesign, huh?

      I’m definitely open to change if Bwog does a good redesign, but I don’t see how any part of this particular redesign is a step up.

  • Anon says:

    @Anon Dark background please. This font is a nightmare, too – words all up in each others’ business the way they fall across the page. GIVE ME A SERIF.

  • Anon says:

    @Anon Bring back the dark blue; I keep forgetting that I’m on Bwog and not the Spectator.

  • Anonymous says:

    @Anonymous Bring back Low Library.

    Or equivalent.

  • Anonymous says:

    @Anonymous Don’t do comment sort by upvotes, I feel like it ruins threads.

    Let people put paragraph breaks in comments again. No one can read anything that’s all smushed together on one line so no one will write anything long and good.

    1. yessss says:

      @yessss totally agree! don’t sort comments by upvotes! much better to be able to read the conversation as it plays out naturally

    2. Alex says:

      @Alex To clarify, the idea would be to give the option of sorting by highest or lowest votes, or regular chronological.

      1. Anonymous says:

        @Anonymous OH SHIT WE CAN DOWNVOTE MODS NOW

        1. Coriolanus says:

          @Coriolanus Hear you this Triton of the minnows?

      2. Anonymous says:

        @Anonymous Ideally you’d be able to sort by old/new/top/controversial/best. Relevant explanation of reddit’s “best” sorting algorithm by Randall Munroe: http://blog.reddit.com/2009/10/reddits-new-comment-sorting-system.html

        Also ideally you’d be able to immediately post links without admin approval and blame the user if they stupidly click on a shady bit.ly link.

        Regarding the white: I turned of f.lux for 5 seconds and it literally hurt my eyes.

  • Anonymous says:

    @Anonymous It sort of reminds me of B@B; which make it hurt. Why have you forsaken us Jae?

  • Please says:

    @Please Bring

    back

    line

    breaks.

  • Anonymous says:

    @Anonymous Favorite comments are way less pronounced now, I liked the coloring on them from before.

  • Anonymous says:

    @Anonymous I don’t mind the font but the navy blue was really characteristic of Bwog and I miss it. I kind of agree that Bwog may be looking too professional, less home-y, but I’m not sure how you would fix it. Something about the old Bwog made it feel more “for the students by the students” instead of an uptight newspaper.

  • Anonymous says:

    @Anonymous Bring back the blue background and get rid of the boxes please! The white background is too rough on the eyes; by midterms and finals your readership will opt for books over this….

  • The comments says:

    @The comments are half the reason I read Bwog. They’re truly the voice of this socially challenged, intelligent and witty community (despite the occasional burst of spiteful vitriol) and I love scrolling through them and watching the conversation evolve. Arranging them by votes ruins the narrative, and in turn, the Bwog experience, for me.

    undo it!

  • Anonymous says:

    @Anonymous I HATE THIS SITE, I THINK IM GONNA HAVE TO START READING SPEC, I CANT BELIEVE IM FUCKING SAYING THIS. I HATE THIS TEMPLATE, GO BACK TO THE OLD ONE, PLSSS. FUCK SPEC, BUT SERIOUSLY, ALSO FUCK THIS FUCKING TEMPLATE. BRING THE REAL BLUE FUCKING BACK.

    1. Anonymous says:

      @Anonymous Suggestion: Ban that guy.

  • Anonymous says:

    @Anonymous The white background is BLINDING.

    I’ve got a fever…and the only prescription is MORE SERIF.

  • Anonymous says:

    @Anonymous If possible, can you make columns into hide-able tabs?

    e.g.) if I click on a “recent comment” tab then it will show a list of recent comments below, as opposed to the list showing fulltime whenever I am reading Bwog.

    What I don’t like about the current designs is that the columns to the left and the right side of the articles create a dizzying look. In the old Bwog the dark blue background and the small font minimized that effect, but with the bright white background, the column texts are more conspicuous than ever and sort of look messy.

  • 2011 alum who should probably move on anyway says:

    @2011 alum who should probably move on anyway Yeah this is no longer Bwog. Whoever used “design identity” up there got it right. I have no idea if this is actually more functional, but how much functionality do you really need? People come to Bwog to find out what’s going on and what people are stupidly saying about what’s going on and to waste time when time needs to be wasted. That was all beautifully accomplished with the old model.

    Dunno how much the alumni-hangers-on nostalgia readership factor plays into the site’s goals, and it probably shouldn’t. But if I want a hit of Columbia goings on it will likely now be at Spectrum. Which itself is not meant as any kind of legitimate threat, because I will still be the sad alum suffering through Spectrum just because I can’t handle a little change to the way I shamelessly live in the past.

  • Real Feedback says:

    @Real Feedback To be honest, I loved the Bwog site as it existed previously. I’m kind of curious why you decided you needed a redesign rather than just a fix-up of the bugs that existed. It seems like you just felt like you had to change, regardless of the real reasons. But if you MUST keep the re-design (and really, just don’t), here are a list of things that seriously need a change:

    1) Dark blue background, come back.
    2) Bring back Helvetica, this font is hideous.
    3) Bring back the old logo/header. It looked nice. The new logo looks like it was made in 5 minutes.
    4) Don’t sort comments by upvotes. It’s important for readers to see the comments in the order they were made.
    5) Actually just go back to the old interface, it was better in every conceivable way.
    6) Except the Comic Sans for downvoted posts. I like that. Keep that.

    1. Real Feedback says:

      @Real Feedback Actually, step #1: DON’T REMOVE MY GODDAMN LINEBREAKS. That makes it impossible to compose a well-reasoned, readable post of any length.

  • @Jason Donenfeld

    For the nostalgic was-a-student-during-the-old-colors folks like me, here’s a little trick from a Bwog alum.

    To force the old background on the new page, you can type this into your URL bar and hit enter:

    javascript:(function(){document.body.style.background=document.getElementById(“wrapper”).style.background=’#2A396A’;})();

    (On some browsers, when you paste it, the “javascript:” part disappears. You have to retype this part. On recent firefox, pasting is broken, but putting the part after the first colon into the developer console works. Your millage may vary.)

    If that fails, here’s a link that has a small chance of maybe working, which if it does, you should be able to drag to your link toolbar for reuse.

    It’s not perfect, and it’s certainly not intended for the current theme, but it’s a small improvement.

    1. Real Feedback says:

      @Real Feedback Unfortunately this doesn’t look great with the current theme, but I think somebody could do some work and get together some CSS to make this Bwog look almost identical to old Bwog…

    2. omg says:

      @omg instantly just got way happier. bring back the blue.

  • Anonymous says:

    @Anonymous The new site is too bright. There is too much whitespace. I would like it a lot more if the side columns were larger and with bigger text. I would not only take up the white space but also make it a lot easier to read.

    Also, please center the title!

  • Anonymous says:

    @Anonymous There’s no sense of highlighting what’s important. Shit on the sides & top is nearly as prominent as the most recent article. The footer for each article is crammed with stuff like tags & dates & shit that all looks the same. It deemphasizes the things that actually matter, like comments.

    Within comments it just loses its flow entirely.

  • Anonymous says:

    @Anonymous Oh God, in the “recent comments” section, I accidently went to that deranged website run by that spec “critic”. You need to get rid of the email and website fields.

    And you need to fix your g-damn captcha bug and simultaneous user post bugs. Damn it!

    1. Anonymous says:

      @Anonymous And the damn linebreaks!Linebreak!Paragraph!ParagraphLinebreak!

  • i like says:

    @i like big butts and i can not lie

  • yes says:

    @yes thumbs WAY up

  • Optional says:

    @Optional you just lost a loyal reader.

  • Anonymous says:

    @Anonymous It seems really stuffy. Please do something about that.

  • ari berg says:

    @ari berg This new design is terrible! When I came to bwog I was so disoriented by the new color scheme, and when the first article I i saw started “It was a tough weekend for Cornell’s women’s teams” I was convinced Cornell had hacked bwog and that that was the explanation for the terrible look.

  • Anonymous says:

    @Anonymous Bwog have you ever heard of “if it ain’t broke don’t fix it”

  • one says:

    @one big ass mistake america

  • CC11 says:

    @CC11 Yikes, this hurts my eyes. Please get rid of the white background. And this whole new look is bland and not in the “unobtrusive design to let the content shine” way, but the “dull and nondescript” way. The old header was nice and distinctive, but there is nothing distinctive about this. Nothing here says “Columbia” or “Bwog,” and it looks like a tumblr default layout. The design should evoke community, fun, or at least SOMETHING. This just evokes eyestrain. And I don’t know if it’s the font selection, the rendering, or the combination of the font and the background but I’m finding myself squinting to read the text.

  • ljsldkfad says:

    @ljsldkfad This font makes things incredibly hard to read. Also, going back to homework because this white background is blinding

  • Wow. says:

    @Wow. This re-design is a major step back. Speaking as a current professional in the fields of UX design (lolz, thanx Columbia humanities major), and more, this thing is all over the place!

    First and foremost: you’re Columbia’s blog of choice. There’s no need to fling all this extra content at us. Do not try to become the Spectator.

    Second, the color flow and contrast of your previous design by Hans (I believe) was great at highlighting your main content areas, while presenting some nice compliments in the sidebar. Main point: the users’ focus stayed where it needed to be.

    Third, sans-serif font selection fail. Get away from the funky letter-spacing: this isn’t your live journal. Bwog is classically in serif. Also, large blocks of text in sans-serif can be difficult to read.

    Don’t try to turn over institutional memory just for the hell of it, Bwog! Revert back to your previous (much more professional) design.

  • Anonymous says:

    @Anonymous Its a mess. Can’t read it. All one color. To busy.

  • GS '13 says:

    @GS '13 I literally had a dream last night that Bwog switched back to the old layout. Then I woke up and went on here, and realized I had been dreaming.

  • Excuse me says:

    @Excuse me Where did the lost and found section go?!

    1. Alexandra says:

      @Alexandra Check the “Resources” tab up top! Lost and Founds from the former design are archived as regular posts. It’s empty now because we haven’t had a new one to add since the redesign launched, but once we do you’ll find it there (http://bwog.com/category/resources/lost-and-found/)

  • CC '14 says:

    @CC '14 This site is awesome. Everything looks great, super professional, legitimated, lovely–like Columbia students actually give a shit about something for once. I think that’s a valuable message and if the slobbishness of old Bwog gradually fades out in favor of people who are diligent and committed to covering the news in a funny but earnest way, rather than just being ironically distanced from absolutely everything, and if the ~design~ was the kernel that made that possible, then I think that’s a really wonderful change and I hope that all the naysayers die in a fire.

    1. Anonymous says:

      @Anonymous you’re the worst. you do not get it.

  • Jane says:

    @Jane a redesign that no one likes and STILL NO MOBILE VERSION?? Get your shit together

  • Jane says:

    @Jane I do like how event are prominently featured on the side, I don’t remember if that was on the old bwog

  • Just.. why? says:

    @Just.. why? I would love to see a post about the reasoning behind literally any given aspect of this redesign. There is nothing that is not worse. The background makes the text hard to read and the site literally painful to look at on normal brightness. The new upvote and downvote icons are also harder to see. The new menu format looks blocky and derivative. The new logo looks boring and pixelated. The tag and comment links are harder to find and read.

    There is nothing good about this redesign and no “tweaks” will make it better. Just scrap it and probably think twice before you try and make any more “improvements.”

  • Anonymous says:

    @Anonymous the new layout doesn’t make me want to read bwog anymore. so thank you, bwog, for making me more productive!!!!!!!

  • zhb says:

    @zhb I think there needs to be a more prominent indication in the header that Bwog is about Columbia. The previous layout had the faded out picture of Low in the header– it wasn’t ideal, but at least got at that somehow. It could be a playful graphic, or maybe a tag line.

    The purple box around the new Bwog header strikes me as odd.

    Also, a bit of color in the background would make the site a bit easier on the eyes.

    Generally, though, the new design is quite readable and presentable.

    In Internet Explorer, the events list on the right, bleeds outside of its box.

    Good luck sorting this out in the absence of a Bwog managing editor.

    zhb,
    Bwog Co-Founder

  • Bwog says:

    @Bwog still has a managing editor…

  • Anonymous says:

    @Anonymous You don’t need to make everything white in order to get whitespace cred with your design friends. Bring back darker blues, and stop crushing our eyes when we read this atrocious font that’s short on leading and kerning.

  • Anonymous says:

    @Anonymous I miss the automatic scroll down when I click to “comments” from the main page.

  • fresh attire says:

    @fresh attire not bad overall — agree that we need some dark blue. maybe make the blue accent/font color darker. also low library or something columbia-esque.

  • toggle says:

    @toggle The “light’ and “dark” options sound really cool. I’d love that.

  • Anonymous says:

    @Anonymous Sacrifice whoever made the new design. All the posts now read as if I’m on the Spec so I immediately leave.

  • Anonymous says:

    @Anonymous I like the idea of being able to choose between the dark and light backgrounds, and also the idea of being able to choose how comments are organized (most votes, chronological, etc.) and you need something on the side bars. so much whitespace.

  • Anonymous says:

    @Anonymous What is this I don’t even

  • bah! says:

    @bah! ghastly

  • Anonymous says:

    @Anonymous I really think the new comment format is harder to read. Honestly, I never thought BWOG needed a redesign. I find the new comments section especially difficult to follow. That being said, I’m sure there are some new features on the website that would be nice to have stay..

  • Needs more contrast says:

    @Needs more contrast The white background really IS blinding, as almost all have said.

    But, worse, the tiny font and sans serif makes it almost impossible to read the tags (the best part of Bwog!) or the headings on comments. It just melds with the background.

    The look may be cleaner, but it is far less legible.

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