As (exclusively!) revealed here earlier in the week, the Guardian has introduced a new ‘network front’ page at www.guardian.co.uk. It’s a now familiar formula, expanding to fill a 1024×768 resolution, with bigger fonts, bigger pictures, and bigger gaps. The ‘downward wipe’ rollover effects on the promo boxes are the cutest touch I’ve spotted… but don’t all the usability studies tell us people respond to words rather than images? Yet you won’t see the text until the image has grabbed you. Inevitably, the immediate reaction is negative… but doesn’t that always happen?
Crucially, it turns out not to be a site redesign. This one ‘entry point’ page is probably the single most popular page on their site, so it’s fair enough to concentrate efforts there. But I don’t think anything else has changed beneath… and it now looks even more out-of-date than before.
The ‘raft of changes’ promised by Emily Bell could really do with an outboard motor. Creative editor Mark Porter describes it as part of an ‘18-month programme to redesign and rebuild every part of GU’… but frankly, it’s already 18 months too late.