The Consumerist Gets A Site Redesign

Welcome to Consumerist Widescreen. Gone is the sea of black, replaced with a lake of purity.

We’ve tweaked things here and there, everything from headlines to dates to blockquotes. The site should load faster, too. Big props to our techs and designers for doing such a great job.

Overall, pretty simple and clean, letting us focus on the most important things in life: kicking ass.

Let us know in the comments or tips at consumerist dot com what you think, and if you find any bugs. — BEN POPKEN

Comments

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  1. It’s just so … bright.

  2. homerjay says:

    Its got a very “Dick Tracey” feel to it now.
    Though so far it only seems like the background color and font have changed. I’m not seeing much in the way of widescreen. The right side is still empty and the left now has all the same stuff every other gawker site has.

  3. TheUpMyAssPlayers says:

    Neato.

  4. junkmail says:

    meh… don’t like it. I’m sure it took a lot of work and all, but I like the old version better. What can I say? I fear change… change is bad…

  5. missdona says:

    love it. love.

  6. chrismar says:

    This new theme seems to fit in more with the other Gawker blogs (LifeHacker, Gizmodo, etc). Overall, I like it, all though the lighter theme is quite a departure from the black one.

  7. cindel says:

    I can finally access it on my small cellphone.

  8. VG10 says:

    much better!

  9. crayonshinobi says:

    Holy Crap! I thought something was wrong with my browser at first!

    Love the new look!

  10. I like the dark screen better, draws less attention around the office… uses less energy for the monitor… etc etc

  11. MeOhMy says:

    I liked the black background better…seemed easier on the eyes. Otherwise, it’s pretty nice.

  12. IshmealMathers says:

    I’ve got to echo, preferred the black screen. But hey I’ll give it a chance, given what it costs me to read. :)

  13. Kos says:

    Is that guy wearing one of those commie caps (See http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/B00097I99S?v… and http://www.gnomestyle.com/shop.html)? Suddenly I feel very unamerican visiting this site.

    Too much white space on the side. My eyes get lost. Some contrast please!

  14. thatabbygirl says:

    Love the wild-eyed John Wayne/Dick Tracy guy in the corner.

    Agree that with all the white space running around, you need some borders or something to deliniate things better.

  15. MeOhMy says:

    The e-mail/digg/permalink icons, however, are impossible to discern. They just look like little brown rectangles.

  16. shoegazer says:

    I too preferred the old look. But hey, as long as the RSS feed to my phone still works…

  17. TPIRman says:

    I like P.I.-type mug in the upper-left. It’s the best Gawker head-logo yet, easily outshining the apropos-of-nothing Lifehacker stewardess and the late Screenhead’s hideous eye-bulge guy.

    Looks great overall, too. Nice job, Gawker web geeks.

  18. martyz says:

    I think Borat said it best:

    This website is black not.


    I preferred the black…white backgrounds are so 2006.

  19. din says:

    do not want

  20. Roosh says:

    left column can use a different color

  21. Like it but it looks like Wonkette, less a little pink.

  22. misskaz says:

    This is the first Gawker redesign I’ve liked immediately (although I grew to like the others as well). Nice job, love the header image and the stencil typeface.

  23. SharkJumper says:

    I definitely like the faster loading. With the black background, my browser would load black background first, all the black text second, and finally after it had worked on the ads for a while, it would place white behind the words. Annoying. Though this is shockingly bright on my eyes, I think it a good trade.

  24. sp3nc3 says:

    Beautiful! I’d give it three thumbs up, but I sadly lack a third arm.

  25. timmus says:

    I like it… kudos to Ben and our girlfriend. I kind of prefer the sans serif font, too. I’m crossing my fingers that the site’s flaky posting/updating behavior will work better.

  26. Nancy Sin says:

    Much easier on the eyes. Good work.

  27. timmus says:

    Well, ix nae on that last thought… after I posted my message above, the page refreshed and all I saw was one comment: “Justin McElroy says: It’s just so … bright.” I don’t know what blogging software is being used but if I find out I’ll be wanting to avoid it.

  28. acambras says:

    Too bright! It hurts my eyes. :-(

    I too preferred the black background, but I am also typically resistant to change. I’ll try to get over it.

  29. Emrikol says:

    I like!

  30. skeleem_skalarm says:

    At first I thought my bookmarks were messed up, and the Consumerist bookmark was pointing to a different site. I really like this newfangled design!

  31. wenhaver says:

    I like it, but I don’t like the lack of delineation between articles. Love the noir thing going on with the graphic.

    Commenting seems to be a bit weird. When you submit, it only shows the first comment on refresh, even if there’s a thread of like 30. I’m using FF on a Mac.

  32. nan says:

    Woohoo! I like as well. Kind of miss the black a little bit, but not all the red. This is a lot better. I really thought so much red was ugly.

  33. Triteon says:

    Eh, a white background? Because consumer issues are bright and cheery? Take it back to black, and keep the Mike Hammer-lookin’ guy.

  34. timmus says:

    Hey, I found an error… look at the January 4-8 entries here:

    http://tags.consumerist.com/consumer/united/

    In the headlines it appears that images for the calendar dates “01″, “02″, “03″, “04″, “05″, “06″, “07″, “08″, and “09″ are not being generated.

  35. battlerobo says:

    A bit on the bright side, but now I can at least see the text on my sidekick. Geez!

  36. valkin says:

    It is initially harder on the eyes, but I’m not hating it. My suggestion is to balance out the white space on the comments page. My eyes get lost and everything blends in.

    The page doesn’t have as much gravitas as before and is a little “lighter” in feeling.

  37. Metschick says:

    Gah – I’m always confused by change. (I’ll get used to it, but it’s a little jolting at first.)

  38. testkahuna says:

    Like the newness, but you could have warned us it was coming… Loads much more better.

  39. rachmanut says:

    it’s almost impossible to read your tip email address in the upper left corner. also, the graphic is very similar to that of defamer. other than that, it’s okay. is there any semantics to a stencil-like font, though? It’s not like this site is about making things or painting things or cyberpunk (that would be a pretty cool blog though). I’m not dissing on it, I’m just wondering what the motivation behind it was

  40. rachmanut says:

    whoa, also, when i submitted that last comment, suddenly i only saw the first comment in the list. before the redesign, i sometimes had to reload to see my comments, but otherwise things worked normally (mac os 10.4.8, firefox 2.0 w/ adblock)

  41. autonomousgerm says:

    Black is better. More ‘tude.

  42. acambras says:

    THE MOST IMPORTANT QUESTION:

    Where are the damn kitties?

  43. Negative says:

    I like the black better. Now it’s too bright and there is nothing to break up the content.

    I’m ok with plain but barren is a little much.

  44. Falconfire says:

    I love it. Biggest problem I had was one of your tables sometimes never loaded and I would get stuck with black on black txt. Problem solved!

  45. Echodork says:

    Logo is good, but fully one-half of my screen is now wasted white space. I’m not suggesting you take the common route and fill that space with AdSense, but I don’t really feel like you’re using the available space very well.

  46. Paradise says:

    listen dude.

    you can’t just “kick ass.” you can either kick ass and take names or you can kick ass and chew bubble gum.

    the only way you can just kick ass is if you run out of bubble gum.

    oh and the relaunch is a 100 fold improvement.

  47. pronell says:

    I gotta agree with those who think it’s too bright. Even replacing it with a light grey wouldn’t be too bad. That’s my only negative comment, though. I too thought I’d clicked on the wrong bookmark or something, but once it sank in that I wasn’t _that_ stupid (right this moment) I decided I liked it.

  48. amazon says:

    I’m jumping on the “white is too bright” bandwagon. Other than that a-ok.

  49. JeffreyK says:

    Oooo… I love what you’ve done with your place! It’s easier to read, more professional looking, and no longer looks so home-grown, roll-your-own.

    But I think a Wal-mart Nazi t-shirt skull might help spruce the place a little.

  50. grant0 says:

    It’s like Lifehacker now! Then again, I don’t care, seeing as I read via Google Reader.

  51. thunderstruck says:

    Coolness. White, as ominous.

  52. jpsmoney says:

    It’s a bit less edgy and a little more corporate, but it’s still easier for me to read so I like it!

  53. Sorenso says:

    I like it a lot better! Nice job.

  54. infinitysnake says:

    Ypou should have some menus on the right-hand side, I think, and a little contrast would be nice..but overall, much better.

  55. adamondi says:

    Good jorb, guys. This is much better. The key to all design is elegance. The pink-on-black of the old design was the epitome of inelegance. This new layout is functional and elegant. Not overly busy or annoying to look at. Kudos.

  56. More contrast and less brightness. I agree with the comments on visually separating the elements on the site. Love the faster loading though. The previous incarnation took forever to load.

  57. Darren W. says:

    I just inverted the colors in MSPaint, and prefer it that way. Black background, white text, and white-outlined private eye guy in the corner. Of course the reds should stay the way they are.

  58. Anyone besides me coming up with this ‘bug’ in Firefox?

    http://i21.photobucket.com/albums/b268/structuralpoke/Cons

  59. Elara says:

    This makes it easier for me to browse at work since it looks a lot like an official document at first glance. But wow, is it bright. Thought my computer was wonky.

  60. Ran Kailie says:

    Ouch… my retinas… Nice, but you really need to do something to kill all of the white space…

    I don’t see any errors in Firefox 1.5.

  61. rachmanut says:

    @structuralpoke:

    yes, i’m getting it too. looks okay in safari, not in firefox.

  62. curlyheatherg says:

    I’m going to second the comments on the need for borders and clearer lil’ icons. Maybe borders that bring back some of the gravitas of the sea of black, but without the sea of black?

  63. pdxguy says:

    I agree with a previous poster…. where are the kitties? need more kittens!

  64. spin_sycle says:

    i like it..loads a lot faster

  65. Little Miss Moneybags says:

    :(

    It makes my Bloglines all wonky.

  66. 5cents says:

    Faster loading is a bloody boon. Good job. As for white space, bleh, it’ll never be possible to sastisfy people with big monitors anyway. Fill it with Gawker artists stuff maybe, that stuff is really good.

  67. Michael says:

    For people who prefer the old, why not offer a switchable stylesheet? You could even take that idea and run with it by letting us users submit a few custom stylesheets and offering up the best ones.

    Overall, I do like this design much better, but I’m still going to edit it to use more of my screen. I’d be happy to share it when I’m done.

  68. I liked the black theme with the little touch of evil :) but widescreen is nice too.

  69. Chaluapman says:

    I like everything, but the same animated ad in two places on the same screen.

  70. AcilletaM says:

    I like it.

  71. pestie says:

    Yup, I got that bug in Firefox, too. And for the record, I hate the new look. The black look kicked ass. But hey, I’m a tech guy, which means I should never, under any circumstances, be allowed to make decisions regarding design.

  72. SweetBearCub says:

    I must also add my vote of NO for the new look. It is far too bright, and the new page breaks Firefox. the ‘Read More’ links overlap the article text.

  73. - says:

    this looks too much like other blogs now, I liked when it was black and red, felt unique.

  74. ckilgore says:

    it doesn’t look broken to me, but maybe it has been fixed in the mean time? my vote is for yes for everything except the cowboy guy. but that’s just my personal taste. it makes a lot more sense than the gates to hell look that was going on previously.

  75. Antediluvian says:

    Re: bug
    Yes, getting the same CSS bug under Firefox that StructuralP calls out.

    Re: widescreen
    As Inigo Montoya points out to Vizzini:
    You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.

    Re: Suggestions
    Would love to see a list of available HTML tags. I keep forgetting the one for block quotes, and I’d like to know if there’s one for bulleted lists.

  76. fishfucerk says:

    OMG SO SO SO SO MUCH BETTER. background colors need to die.

    thank you!

  77. Ahhh! My retinas!

  78. I’m going to have to change the colors in Firefox back to black now.

  79. Steven Bao says:

    Ah, going Gawker again. I can’t say I like the color scheme better (black and red were awesome) but congrats.

  80. taylorich says:

    It is pretty hard on the eyes…i usually spend about 15-20 minutes per day on the site and now after 10 minutes the eyes are hurting…can you tone down the white or give it something to contrast with? UGH!

  81. The “tips@consumerist.com” is extremely hard to see. Perhaps change it to white? — apologies if someone has already mentioned it, I haven’t had the time yet to read through the comments.

  82. 24fan24 says:

    Awesome change!

  83. Sudonum says:

    My eyes are burning! The nuns told me that would only happen if I looked at porn!

  84. Sudonum says:

    Other than that I like it, and no errors in Firefox

  85. homerjay says:

    I have to say, your graphic work is becoming less and less entertaining. The images you guys have been setting for each post aren’t nearly as funny as they used to be. That was always my favorite part of this whole site.

  86. Vilgrom says:

    I like it.

  87. kingofmars says:

    I love it, I can finally read it on my sidekick phone. Before it was showing up as black on very dark grey.

  88. e-gadgetjunkie says:

    Yeah, I don’t get the whole wide screen thing. I use a widescreen monitor and the whole right side being filled with white kind of hurts my eyes.

  89. Marcus-T says:

    I dislike the change, but as with most sites changing their design I will probably adjust in a week or so. Then in 2 months forget what the old design was.

  90. Orinda says:

    I’m with Sharkjumper. I used to have to use the cursor to highlight the black text against the black background in order to read anything while the graphics were loading. Pain in the neck. This is better.

  91. RapperMC says:

    White is so blinding. Black is easier on the eyes. Can we at least dull it to a grey?

  92. kenposan says:

    Loads faster, which I like. But there is a huge sea of white. Maybe a nice tan??

  93. Mr. Gunn says:

    I get the same overlap with “read more”, but I got it on the old site, too. Maybe I’ll write a style to get rid of that box with the read more and digg icons. I’ll put it up on userstyles.com for any of your firefox users using stylish.

  94. Mr. Gunn says:

    Heh…looks like someone beat me to it.

  95. gwai lo says:

    It is a touch bright, but thats easily fixed by just , you know, finding something to fill up all that neagtive space. Or I guess I can dim my monitor.
    Overall though, I’m loving it. It’s so much less “creepy angry guy coding in his basement” than the last design. I’m sorry if thats harsh but the little flames over the “next” link were just so 1997 hacker.

  96. Her Grace says:

    I love it. Like a few others, the black background and black text were always first to load for me, and the tan background always took a good year or two to arrive on my screen (despite the crazy fast internet everywhere else). I prefer the simplicity of a white background.

  97. Kat says:

    ACK, too much white. Do a pale color of some kind to ease it, please.

  98. acceptablerisk says:

    Hnnnn… How do I change it back? I’m not happy with the changes here.

    I liked the strong contrast of before. It provided an anchor for the text. Now articles are adrift in a sea of sorta-pink.

  99. Plasmafire says:

    How about giving users the ability to choose what colors they would like in their background or for their text? Something like those custom homepages on the internet.

    Either that or find a nice shade of grey to mute out the blinding snowstorm i see here….

  100. TWinter says:

    I liked the old site better. The detective at the top is nice, but once you’ve scrolled down a bit it’s just too bright. You really just went from one hard on the eyes (the black) to another (the bright white). I find soft to medium colors like light gray and light blue to be the easiest backgrounds to look at for a period of time.

  101. synergy says:

    Ooo shiny!

    I like it. :) It doesn’t look too bright to me. Perhaps in those cases it’s an issue of a monitor screen being set too bright.

  102. lookzgood2me says:

    Both designs have their own distinct look, but I like the new one. Nice job. Looks great.

  103. Antediluvian says:

    bug
    It looks like the comment numbers on the front pages don’t match the actual number of comments shown in the article itself. This is easier to see on the items with fewer comments than ones like this where there are lots.

  104. poptart says:

    I’m one of the very few who actually loves the redesign. It’s not too bright for me, but I’m approximately half the age of the average commenter.

  105. Pilam69 says:

    It’s very clean, easy to read, overall I would say “well done.”

    The one exception I would make to that comment is I find it a bit, just a bit, hard to make out your icons under the articles (black on burgundy isn’t very easy to differentiate to me).

    Nice job though, well done.

  106. Coronagold says:

    Almost as pink as my eyeballs. I personally liked the black better, but it does look a lot less like a porn site now.

  107. Coronagold says:

    Almost forgot…who’s that in the upper left corner with a fedora? Matt Drudge?

  108. ririzarry says:

    I love the new clean look! I’m a big fan of black backgrounds but for many people, especially folks with older eyes, it can be tough to read. About a week ago, my site when through a similar change – from black to white background and with a cleaner overall layout in order to focus more on content. Nice work!

  109. vertigodk says:

    I definitely prefer the white background. The only sites using black are (let’s face it) pr0n sites so I used to feel weird reading Consumerist at work.

  110. tinfoil says:

    Let us say that it’s a good thing I’m not coming here for the site design, rather coming for the content.

    I don’t care for the look of any of the Gawker blogs. Denton needs a kick to the nuts for approving this.

    I can see wanting some brand recognition across all of the Gawker blogs, but it’s too uniform. LH, Gizmodo, Consumerist, &c all look too much alike.

    I appreciate the effort and I’m sure it will grow on me. I will say that it’s not as organized looking as the previous skin.

  111. Shutterman says:

    I like it, but you may want to add borders to each story to make it easier on the brain.

  112. ducksauce says:

    prognosis: negative.

  113. lookzgood2me says:

    Well, at least it’s polarizing. People either love it or hate it.

    I love it. Nice job.

  114. someToast says:

    Gone is the sea of black,
    replaced with a lake of purity.

    Ouch. A sea of fugly, more like.

    Almost as bad as Valleywag.

    (Though in the Gawker sphere, Valleywag is the universal constant of ugly which can be approached but never exceeded — much like the speed of light).

  115. SexCpotatoes says:

    If you check out http://www.mentallyincontinent.com, and sign up for a free membership/accoun, you can change your style settings to view the site in “grey, (retina searing) orange, or Classic” do something like that, where a user can set it to the old style if they’d prefer it that way. I know I miss the old design, dearly.