Toledo Talk

New online format for The Blade

I always enjoy reading the Toledo Blade online. The format for my iPad was clean, well organized and easy to use.

I don't like the page changes they recently made. It looks amateurish and jumbled.

Does anyone know why they screwed up something that was working so well?

created by shamrock44 on Sep 04, 2015 at 08:33:41 am     Comments: 8

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I presume they bought into a national news page in which they insert some local items. It is very similar to the Naples Florida paper which I read regularly

posted by gunz1 on Sep 04, 2015 at 12:55:08 pm     #  

You think it might be a canned format?

Too bad.

It's a jumbled looking mess now.

posted by shamrock44 on Sep 04, 2015 at 07:40:00 pm     #  

I'd pay nice money for a Blade subscription if the article pages looked something like this: - (blatant copyright violation. will remove later.)

... instead of this:

... and instead of this:

I don't need a printed paper version. I don't need an app. I prefer one website that responds comfortably on all devices and loads fast with no mountains of JavaScript bilge, no huge irrelevant images, no ads, and no trackers and other gobbledygook that bog down page load speed.

It would be nice if the article page contained a large-ish font size and a lot of negative space. I don't understand why some responsively-designed websites use a tiny, uncomfortable font size on mobile.

I see no need for a bunch of navigation links in the header and footer areas of an article page. No fixed areas. No hamburger or similar menu icons, like I use here. The only link needed is a link to the home page. The reader can find all the site's link cruft on the home page.

Outside of links contained within the article, the only other acceptable link would be to a separate page that contains the Facebook comments, pertaining to the article. If I'm a buying a subscription, I do not want to see Facebook comments loaded on the same page as the article because that slows down the page load and fouls the overall look of the page.

On an article page, I want at least 99% of the page to focus on the article: Title, secondary title, author, contact info, publish date, and content.

Give non-paying customers the hideous views, and give subscribers something worth buying. Until this utopia exists, I'll continue reading with JavaScript disabled, which improves the web-viewing experience a lot.

While not perfect, some good design concepts for an article page can be gleaned from this site.

The humorous content is directed at web designers/developers. Excerpts:

Let me describe your perfect-ass website:
  • Shit's lightweight and loads fast
  • Fits on all your shitty screens
  • Looks the same in all your shitty browsers
  • The motherfucker's accessible to every asshole that visits your site
  • Shit's legible and gets your fucking point across (if you had one instead of just 5mb pics of hipsters drinking coffee)

This is a real, naked website. Look at it. It's fucking beautiful.

What I'm saying is that all the problems we have with websites are ones we create ourselves.

Websites aren't broken by default, they are functional, high-performing, and accessible. You break them. You son-of-a-bitch.

"Good design is as little design as possible."
- some German motherfucker

posted by jr on Sep 08, 2015 at 02:52:40 pm     #   7 people liked this

Yeah clean like your website (most of the time), that 3rd link took about a minute to load, watched what was loading, including twitter feed, and ad-junk. I don't like waiting a minute for a page to load, and even after it stopped loading the first picture still didn't show up.

posted by MIJeff on Sep 08, 2015 at 07:00:59 pm     #  

jr: If you haven't checked out Windows 10 yet and used Microsoft Edge, your example of how you would want the blade to look is about dead on. Makes it nice to take out the clutter (even if the browser isn't useful everywhere yet).

posted by webrioter on Sep 09, 2015 at 08:38:04 am     #  

webrioter posted at 08:38:04 AM on Sep 09, 2015:

jr: If you haven't checked out Windows 10 yet and used Microsoft Edge, your example of how you would want the blade to look is about dead on. Makes it nice to take out the clutter (even if the browser isn't useful everywhere yet).

Thanks. The Microsoft Edge browser is intriguing.

I use Linux for my desktop/laptop system. On Linux, I use the Chrome and Firefox web browsers.

For Firefox, I have JavaScript disabled by default for all websites. I use the NoScript and Ghostery plugins. I can enable functionality as I need it with NoScript.

For Chrome, cookies are blocked for all websites by default, but I have JavaScript enabled for all websites by default. Then I use cookie and JavaScript exception rules to allow or disallow those functions for various sites.

On my iPhone, I use the Chrome and Safari web browsers.

With Chrome, I have the Readability extension installed, which "cleans up" a web page.

Sep 9, 2015 Blade gardening story

Normal view with everything enabled within the browser.

Same page viewed with the Readability extension.

posted by jr on Sep 09, 2015 at 09:17:09 am     #  

Edge browser using reading view, same page.

I also use Ghostery and such, definitely helps cut down on useless junk. Bring back popups, at least those can be blocked relatively easily :)

posted by webrioter on Sep 09, 2015 at 10:58:24 am     #   1 person liked this

The Edge browser view definitely looks nice.

posted by jr on Sep 09, 2015 at 11:03:12 am     #