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CSS Tricks redesign gets mixed reviews

First of all let’s just say this. What Chris Coyier has achieved is pretty incredible. If you don’t know the full story of CSS Tricks then the following articles are well worth the read:-

CSS Tricks is an indispensable resource if you work in the field of front-end development. Whether you liked the old version or not, one thing that was undeniable about the previous CSS Tricks was it’s identity. It made a bold statement and you knew exactly where you were. The information was logical and easy to find. The articles read well.

A radical departure

The difference between the old site and the new one is vast. Rather than a slight tweak the design has been transformed leaving some users a little confused and disoriented.

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When to listen, and when to ignore your users

when-to-say-no

When to say no image taken from http://www.productstrategymeanssayingno.com/ and slightly out of context. Principle is the same.

Others have been a little more vocal in their disapproval. Knowing when to say no to user feedback is a very delicate area. With a site like CSS Tricks, the growth and success of the site is due in no small part to the large community of active followers.

people-ignore-design-that-ignores-people

Frank Chimero once said, “People ignore design that ignores people.” As designers, we not only have the job of creating something that is visually appealing, but that considers the target audience as well. With the redesign it would appear website performance and speed where quite high on the list, generally getting the thumb’s up by users. It could be argued that Chris has designed for his target audience who, working in the web design field, would appreciate this. But at what cost? There has been a recent spate of articles about web design being boring and soulless. Could this site be a victim of design losing its identity for the sake of performance?

You always get the early haters whenever things get changed. People who don’t give things a chance to let it grow on them or are just not accustomed to change. Perhaps it’s these people Chris was addressing with this comment:-

..you know who preferred the previous version? people that preferred the previous version last time.

What though of others? In all the noise perhaps this time there are some genuine voices of concern. People who like Chris, and like CSS Tricks but have legitimate observations and opinions. Knowing when to listen and when to ignore your users is not an easy thing. Whether Chris will act on any of them only time will tell.

Updated – 30/9/2015

Great news for CSS Tricks fans! Action has been taken on the font-weight issue and the site looks so much better for it.

Normal service resumes..

As one CSS Tricks user puts it..

How I end up at CCS Tricks:
1. Have CSS problem
2. Google obscure CSS problem
3. See Chris Coyier’s face next to a top result in google
4. Trust said result because it’s got his face
5. Problem solved at CSS Tricks
6. Repeat

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