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CN website updates 2011

Page 4 - Get up to date with the latest news, scores & standings from the Cycling News Community.
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Anonymous

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Breakdown of the CN homepage when loaded on a standard monitor (1280x800)

Front page only above the fold

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Over 50% of the screen space is Adverts, Whitespace and Margins, The CN Logo gets just 1.9%, and only 20% of the homepage is standard articles. Will do a few other sites later to compare, but that for me is a very poor use of space.
 
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Anonymous

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Compared with others:

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Cyclingnews leads the way in number of adverts by a fair margin, but outperforms velonews as far as space devoted to articles and wasted space goes. Velonations lack of carousel means that over 50% of their homepage above the fold is devoted to articles.

How you use space above the fold is how people will judge the whole site.
 
May 5, 2009
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New Idea

Look, this page (http://www.cyclingnews.com/news) is just ugly. Why don't you come up with a few new designs with bogus articles, different layouts and ask your readers which they prefer? I bet most people prefer the previous layout. Or why not do something creative and fun like a layout contest where designers submit new layouts for you and you give them a prize? Or a job? Set the requirements (so much space for adverts, etc.) and let people get creative. Practically any design would be better looking than this page. I personally hate the new layout but think your site has more articles than others. (Sigh!) But I hate it.
 
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Anonymous

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OK, those figures need changing. Whitespace on cn has now been replaced by Mavic, meaning that when you first go to the site, over 50% of the screen space is taken by advertising.
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Over half the initial page is adverts? How to put off visitors in one easy lesson. Just idiotic. Sorry.
 
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manolo said:
I personally hate the new layout but think your site has more articles than others. (Sigh!) But I hate it.

And that is the problem. First impressions count. CN has more content than any other site, but the initial impression doesnt give that.

Maybe they are testing it on a massive widescreen monitor but the browsing average is still 1280x800

If I turned up to a job interview wearing a coca cola tshirt, branded jeans and a huge Nike cap it doesnt matter what my ability, they would be put off by my appearance.
 
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agaler said:
Nice picture - where are you getting your data from?

I measure all three sites with a pixel ruler, and chucked the data into excel.
 
Dec 7, 2010
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TeamSkyFans said:
OK, those figures need changing. Whitespace on cn has now been replaced by Mavic, meaning that when you first go to the site, over 50% of the screen space is taken by advertising.
2db77o6.png


Over half the initial page is adverts? How to put off visitors in one easy lesson. Just idiotic. Sorry.
Dim, you really need to add a screen shot of VeloNews, with the exact same Mavic ad that's being used, to fully illustrate the absurdity of it. Individual identity anyone?

If those sidebar ads MUST be used, could the entire frame of the homepage be moved left or right so that the ad space is only one side instead of completely dominating and obliterating the visual experience? I get it, yellow jumps out! But it makes reading the main page...well...I have stopped trying.
 
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Granville57 said:
Dim, you really need to add a screen shot of VeloNews, with the exact same Mavic ad that's being used, to fully illustrate the absurdity of it. Individual identity anyone?

If those sidebar ads MUST be used, could the entire frame of the homepage be moved left or right so that the ad space is only one side instead of completely dominating and obliterating the visual experience? I get it, yellow jumps out! But it makes reading the main page...well...I have stopped trying.

i cant see the velonews one because the page is wider. I cant actually see the cn one in opera as because its wider than the page opera doesnt display it. I had to use firefox to get that screengrab.
 
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TeamSkyFans said:
I measure all three sites with a pixel ruler, and chucked the data into excel.

I was hoping you had a tool so we measure other sites ourselves to compare.

I admire your commitment to proving your point though. I'm glad you care enough about the site to go to all that effort. I disagree with various measurements though. The carousel is promoting articles so whether you think it's a good idea or not, it is space devoted to articles. I also think it's a bit unfair to include the takeover/overlay/background advert image. Yes, the bigger your browser window gets the more space is devoted to adverts but you can equally just make your browser window the width of the site and not see it.

I'll definitely forward your measurements on to our commercial guys. You clearly do have a point.
 
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Granville57 said:
If those sidebar ads MUST be used, could the entire frame of the homepage be moved left or right so that the ad space is only one side instead of completely dominating and obliterating the visual experience?

Changing how the sidebar ad works isn't an option. That's how they work.

Granville57 said:
I get it, yellow jumps out!

To be fair, Mavic's logo is yellow.
 
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Anonymous

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agaler said:
I was hoping you had a tool so we measure other sites ourselves to compare.

I admire your commitment to proving your point though. I'm glad you care enough about the site to go to all that effort. I disagree with various measurements though. The carousel is promoting articles so whether you think it's a good idea or not, it is space devoted to articles. I also think it's a bit unfair to include the takeover/overlay/background advert image. Yes, the bigger your browser window gets the more space is devoted to adverts but you can equally just make your browser window the width of the site and not see it.

I'll definitely forward your measurements on to our commercial guys. You clearly do have a point.

i didnt include the background advert.
I measure the full screen size based on 1280 x 800, the ad panels, header etc, and then whatever was left was the "other".

wasnt so much done to make a point, it was actually interesting to do.

What i found that surprised me was that going around the web, site branding is now taking a very small space (this is true of sites like bbc, espn etc). A few years back sites had large banners with the site branding on, they are now a lot smaller. interesting.
 
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agaler said:
Changing how the sidebar ad works isn't an option. That's how they work.
Just to be clear, I was imagining something like either of these, where the main content is shifted left and there is still ample ad space to the right.
http://www.mountainguides.com/everest-south.shtml
http://www.everestnews.com/

Plus, in that first example, the image on the right doesn't move (or blink/flash) when scrolling through the main frame. Something that I would think would be MORE appealing to an advertiser. Their image could maintain visibility regardless of where one was on the rest of the page (but no flashing, please!).


To be fair, Mavic's logo is yellow.
I understand, and I wasn't trying to point the finger at CN staffers for that. BUT...if that format must be mantained, would it be possible to insist that ads on the right side be Black & White only? The screen shot from TSF really does say it all.

Having bright colors on the left is a bit more bearable because that is where the eye is drawn for the start of each line anyway. But the competing visual zones just seems way over the top.
 
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Anonymous

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Im actually surprised CN havnt gone the infolinks route. Far less in your face, although I have serious issues with them as a lot of people click on them by accident.
 
May 5, 2009
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TeamSkyFans said:
If I turned up to a job interview wearing a coca cola tshirt, branded jeans and a huge Nike cap... they would be put off by my appearance.

Yeah, thats the problem here. It's like dating a girl you really like and she puts on weight, starts wearing baggy clothes and starts dressing in plaid, flannel clothes which look outdated and boring. The new pages look boring, unattractive. I hate them.
 
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dmcalpin said:
Your "update" is rubbish once again - why would I want to go through ten pages of adds to read what used to be on one page.

Can you please employ some designers and developers who are competent

A bit harsh coming from someone who is assumed to be paid by CN. Hardly a way to motivate, IMO.

manolo said:

Bring on the hate, dude. If you don't like the design, instead of invective offer an alternative or constructive criticism like TSF and others.

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My own personal preference, as someone else suggested, is to minimize the use of flash. I mostly use a Mac, but even when I use a PC, flash takes too long to load and sometimes crashes both Exploder and Firefox for PC. I don't really have a problem with it on the Mac, but I prefer layouts as simple as possible.
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I'm not sure if this is the right place to offer a compliment, but here goes. Recently, it seems like there has been more content on women's cycling. Great job! Keep it up. I would love to see much more coverage. The more coverage there is, the more women will be motivated to join the sport and attract sponsors.
 
Jun 15, 2009
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TeamSkyFans said:
wasnt so much done to make a point, it was actually interesting to do.

Absolutely. Users making points and giving opinions which are backed up with actual evidence are very welcome and we do listen.

I'm a lot happier with the updates since we got rid of the gradients along the gutters but there is obviously still a fair amount to do.
 
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gregod said:
Bring on the hate, dude. If you don't like the design, instead of invective offer an alternative or constructive criticism like TSF and others.

I liked the previous version of the News Page. Having all the articles grouped together by date made for a quick easy selection. Now I find myself staring all over the page. I don't think every article needs its own thumbnail. It feels like wasted space. Couldn't you bring back the old format of the previous News Page? Was it that bad? Sorry if it sounds harsh. It's not hate. It's bitterness. I just got used to something, really liked it, and now I'm forced to read in a way that's uncomfortable, unfamilar. It annoys me to be so emotionally invested in this that it matters so much. I guess this was like my morning cup of coffee and now, well, it just feels awkward.
 
Apr 20, 2009
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manolo said:
I liked ...

Well done.

Perhaps it's just me. Except for the new way photos are displayed, I haven't really noticed any changes. This is not a criticism, just an observation. I use Firefox on one computer and Safari on another and everything seems much the same.

However, I would like to echo a point that manolo made. I am ambivalent about the way news is displayed compared to the way it used to be before the previous round of big changes when the carousel was added. Back then, there was the daily round-up. In order to read one story you had to scroll through them all. This was good in that I would read stories that otherwise would have been skipped. On the other hand, The new layout saves time because I only read the stories that attract my attention in the carousel.
 
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One problem I have is those Mavic Ads on the homepage are so big that I click them accidentaly. Because I have a habit of when my computer freezes of quickly clicking a blank part of the screen before I press ctl-t or click a link or whatever to liven up the computer. But those fre*king ads take up every last blank space on the homepage. Could you consider making the hyperlinking part of the ad just 1/2 of the overall advert space ??
That would prevent people like me ending up on the mavic site when we didn't want to go there at all.
cheers
 
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Anonymous

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gregod said:
However, I would like to echo a point that manolo made. I am ambivalent about the way news is displayed compared to the way it used to be before the previous round of big changes when the carousel was added. Back then, there was the daily round-up. In order to read one story you had to scroll through them all. This was good in that I would read stories that otherwise would have been skipped. On the other hand, The new layout saves time because I only read the stories that attract my attention in the carousel.

Compiled news round-ups still exist for those who want to, say, print them out and read them on the train:

http://www.cyclingnews.com/editions

We know lots of people like them, so we haven't killed them off, just devoted the front page to a more immediate way of presenting news.
 
Would it be too much trouble for every race to have a link to the race from the previous year ? Seems kind of obvious, would save a lot of time for us users, and was done as a matter of course with the old site

If you want somewhere to put the link then why not use the race history tab ?

Such a shame that there's so much great info in the vaults of this site going back 15 years and more but actually accessing it in any meaningful way is like pulling teeth