Boing Boing: zine, blog, and back again

Long-time Boing Boing reader, and I, sadly, don’t like the new design either. But for some very specific reasons:

  1. Add dates. Just do it, it costs you nothing and it helps us figure out when something was posted (and as a result, when something was relevant). The only reason not to show dates is to hide a lack of activity.
  2. At least make the division between features and regular posts 50/50. I read BB for both, and I feel that now there’s too much focus on the featured articles.
  3. Label the two columns. Now, for new readers, it’s incredibly awkward to find out what the difference between the content on the left and the content on the right is. I showed it to someone who didn’t know BB and they assumed the left column was the ‘side bar’ with ‘less relevant information’ – to be ignored.
  4. Everyone who’s mentioned more text before the ‘read more’ link is right. It allows us to decide earlier on whether an article is going to be interesting to us or not even a little. Forcing us to click through will add frustration to our visits and might make some stop visiting. This would be bad.

I understand what you’re trying to achieve. I don’t agree that the way you’ve decided to go is the best way to achieve it. A website is always better the clearer and straightforward it is. Obscuring any kind of helpful information (as you’re doing with limited text before the click, lack of dates, lack of labeling of what column contains what kind of content) makes your site less useful and pleasant to visit and read.

Someone before me said it well - you’ve got an audience of readers. You’ve just made Boing Boing harder to read.

And that makes me a little sad.

Boing Boing had, for years, been something I love reading. There’s always something that makes me go ‘hey, that’s kind of awesome’ (or, in some cases, ‘holy crap, that’s awful!’). I hope this design gets tweaked to remove the aforementioned flaws. Because I don’t even understand why those flaws ended up in a ‘finished’ design in the first place.


It looks like the Slate redesign, or that wretched thing Dave Pogue is failing with at Yahoo. I gave up reading Slate and have looked at Pogue’s excess a couple of times. But why do this to my beloved Boing Boing? So readable, so accessible, so not new trendy font land. The new design is visually a jumble to me, a person who hates multitasking now that I have to deal with it at work all the time. Yes, Boing Boing makes me think of my daily grind. Dear God, is Metafilter the only refuge of sanity and good design left on the web? I guess so. Goodbye Boing Boing.

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Doesn’t work for me. One stream is easy to scan, two that go at different speeds, not so much.

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Well that should be fun regardless of how the site looks!

That would make sense if those comments weren’t already on a topic intended for discussion of this very thing… Is being on topic really that hard to understand?

I am sure @beschizza and co. will tweak the design to improve it as they go. Every new design takes some time to get right. It is the nature of the beast.

(While we are at it, can we get comment counts and links for each article on the homepage too somewhere?)

That’s actually what the word actually is for. :slight_smile: Literally should be used when you intend for someone to take a word or phrase at face value, and not apply a possible metaphorical interpretation.

The bbs page is usually my entry point to the articles…

The way it’s presented is click-bait. I have to click!

It’s a royal PITA to have so little offered upfront.
Either option leaves me cold, but at least I can stand looking at /page/1.

The nice thing about Boing Boing regarding AdBlock? They don’t care if you use it. So use it!

We’d appreciate it if adblockers bought a t-shirt.


What do we want?
Boing Boing!
When do we want it?

Download :: 573 Kbps 72 kB/s is my norm; I’m out in the woods, stuck with DSL.
I refresh BB to check what’s new dozens of times/day.
What I need to see is always loaded within seconds; all the rest did take time, but I’m not needing to see all the ads and side filler.

FALSE…’'it immediately evicts a lot of people from any kind of usability."

I’d love to. Any chance of a 3XL option in the future?

Edit: Yeah, probably not the best place to chuck in merch requests. :slight_smile: They’re awesome designs and if you could spare a thought for us lofties next time you revamp the shop, that’d be cool.

I’m… I’m not entirely sure you understand what is meant by clickbait, here? The article isn’t clickbait, no. No one is saying that. What’s on the front page, though, describing and linking to the article? That blurb is most definitely clickbait, according to… pretty much everyone I know who browses the internet. Maybe it’s a regional thing?

There might be a better term for it, one that I don’t know, but it’s frustrating to deal with vague and deceptive blurbs geared towards generating click-throughs instead of informing about contents, and at least for me generally results in me not bothering to click through at all, not consciously but just because clickbait, like ads, has fallen into that “auto ignore” bin in my brain.

To be honest, my only major criticism on that front is that you guys have found a way to make really interesting stories sound incredibly boring and not worth clicking through to read… I know I’m going to be missing out on stuff like Maggie’s article because the clickbait blurb advertising it makes it sound like a waste of time. (and I don’t generally have time to read every article posted to Boing Boing)

Also, on a technical note, the front page blurbs can’t be copy pasted, which is also pretty annoying, but possibly just a bug?


Boing Boing has always been to me a place to find articles which entertain, educate, and challenge me. Sometimes all at once. The mix of well curated links to other content and the top notch original content has me check Boing Boing multiple times a day.

In the old design I appreciated the wealth of content available in the article stream. I was able to get enough information to know if I wanted to click more. I especially liked the small morsels that were entirely contained in the article stream. Yum. If there were a few text heavy items that I wasn’t interested in, well, I’m quite capable of scrolling past them quickly and the layout was such that I was able to easily identify where the next item began.

I find the new design to be visually distracting. I have this issue with most websites laid out in this fashion. There’s too much going on, I can’t focus. As a somewhat savvy reader I found on the old layout that the featured section in the upper right was quite adequate in helping me not miss original content.

I am pleased that you’re keeping a reverse chronological order option. May I suggest that while it may not be the default that it be easily toggled to and preferences be remembered for people who allow that sort of stuff to happen on their browsers. Ars Technica does a good job at this.

I do miss the automatic “infinite articles” functionality. I always loved getting to the end of what was already loaded and getting to see Jackhammer Jill go to work and bring me more “wonderful things.” I love the wonderful things here, yes I would like more.

I have also noticed that off-site links now don’t spawn a new tab but load in the currently open one. I dislike this. It causes me to loose my place in my Boing Boing reading.

In the end what I fear may happen is that this will make it harder for me to enjoy Boing Boing. Maybe not, but after suffering through redesigns on other sites experience tells me that my fear is probably correct. If that comes to pass there’s a chance I’ll move on to other sites. Not sure what though, kinda afraid I might be loosing a friend here.


Nobody likes change. Big surprise. Me? I’ll try anything once.

I’d like to make a key suggestion: I don’t like using the NYT app more than I like reading the NYT. Why? The app arranges stories by the preference of other users, rather than by the same criteria used to arrange stories in the physical paper. Arrangement of stories is an editorial decision and should be treated as such. Don’t leave it up to the algorithm.

Absolutely. PM me and we’ll email Alex Santoso, who runs Neatorama (we white label his shop, he prints our t-shirts on demand) and I am sure he’ll be happy to oblige. It may take a couple days extra to get them to you, but we’ll get them to you.


That’s about as valid a sales pitch as I’ve ever heard. Done.


There’s too little text for me to to be able to tell, in many cases, whether an article is worth reading or not. I’d be interested to hear whether your pageviews change. My guess would be that there’s a sudden drop caused by regular readers being put off by the lack of text. But maybe I’m wrong…

I also unfollowed BoingBoing on Google Plus. Whoever is posting your articles there often does so several days late, and shows zero engagement with commenters. It’s rather sad. I don’t think I’ll be back much.

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+1 for at least adding a comment count to front page articles, please. That’s generally the gauge I use to see if I’ll click through to the article and on to BBS.