The New Template Has Arrived!

When we decided that our template needed a remake several years ago, we knew it was going to be a long and difficult process. We offered you a chance to give us some input in a recent post and now we are releasing the first iteration of the new template.

For those that saw the mockups and gave us your opinion, you will be happy to see we actually listened to many thoughts and incorporated them in our final design.  We worked with some people at Google to determine what features should be tossed and what to keep, and what we have ended up with, is what you see. We also acknowledge that not everyone will love the change, but we feel it is a move in the right direction. We’re really happy how it has ended up.

I want to offer a special thanks to [Stephanie Froehner] who put tons of time into making this template pretty, even if it has been hacked and slashed a bit since then.

Join me after the break for an explanation of some of the new features and upcoming features.

New features that are active right now:

  • Related hacks: After each story there are links to 5 hacks from the same category.
  • Staff picks: In the right column is a section for “staff picks” each week the staff agrees on a select few posts to add to the “staff picks”.
  • Social media stuff: You can now connect to social networks easier. We’re not forcing that on you. Don’t worry.

Features we plan on implementing soon:

  • Popular categories list in the right column: Displays a list of the categories that have posts with the most comment activity.
  • turn on the lights: a button to switch to a light colored theme for those that find the black and green to be too high contrast.
  • Possibly a new commenting system: There are several other systems available to us. We need to do more research before making any decisions.

Fixes slated to happen in the immediate future: (we will be fixing things. We won’t be doing everything anyone asks).

  • double spacing: needs to be a little tighter   fixed
  • post titles shouldn’t change size when you click on a post   fixed
  • favicon needs uploaded    fixed
  • related post formatting is not there for some reason.
  • speed improvements (changing the social buttons at the end of posts just helped a bunch) — ongoing

Comments

  1. Anonymous says:

    Having actively viewed this site almost every day for the past six and a half years, I’m rather unhappy that the old template is completely gone. With all due respect to anyone who put the time in to make this new one, I think it looks like a quick color tweak on a crappy default template. I liked the old template, not just because I’m used to it, but because it conveyed the theme/mood of the site. This looks like a default template tweaked by some kid on his first free-hosted site to make him look like a “computer hacker”. If there was a way to choose the old look it would certainly make me happier about it. Though I’m sure I’m in the vast minority so I’ll only have memories of what it once looked like.

    • jeremy says:

      Seriously this. I left a more uncouth message than this guy because the fact is I could do this with my whole no experience at all and it would look equally a clusterf*ck. The old design was not only good; it was characteristic of the web page. Regardless of the content you put here, it’s never going to feel the same. While new features and change is always welcome in web design the prevailing attitude today that the entire house should be burned and rebuilt is frankly insulting.

  2. Corrosion says:

    I like the new design, I’m very happy to see that you’ve switched back to a regular search engine rather than that “custom google search” shit you were using.

    And that you actually took a lot of suggestions and the site just looks generally cleaner.
    I guess now I don’t have to release my firefox plugin to put back the original search now :)

  3. dalokin says:

    Had to reply for the first time,
    I love hackaday but I have to say I don’t like the new layout:
    - The font is too bright and spaced on the background
    - It has that “omg we need web 2.0″ factor, the old layout fitted better
    - the header and menu look out of place

  4. am i the only person noticing that the new template takes longer to load?

  5. MS3FGX says:

    Lots of wasted space and that sidebar is just a complete mess. Overall, this new layout manages to look less professional than the old one. The old layout was clearly trying for the retro minimal approach, while this one just looks like somebody’s first attempt at a custom WP theme.

    Though for what it’s worth, I expected it to be a lot worse.

  6. Ptolom says:

    It’s okay but it would be better if it looked and functioned exactly like the old site.

  7. jeremy says:

    Hideous. It used to be very simple, very streamlined, without pointless borders, without retarded “TELL ALL YOUR FRIENDS ON ALL THESE NETWORKS” buttons popping out awkwardly. These idiots think they know how to design web pages because they’re getting educations detailing how to do it but the REALITY of PRACTICAL USE is being lost in the translation. Sad to see one of my last few favorite websites transition to a SUPER COOL FORMAT. I mean really sad. Where is the quirky, absurd, entertaining category list thing? That thing was plain text, and when I came here the first time it’s what grabbed me. Just a justified column of alphabetized hyperlinks. For shame. This website has been declining for a long time, but I never blamed it’s maintainers; now that it’s gone the way of Engadget, I do.

  8. word clock says:

    Nice, nice :-)

  9. Anonymous Coward says:

    That [name] thing still makes my teeth itch.

  10. c3p says:

    really nice, suggestion:
    smaller header (i see only the logo in a black block)
    dump the social media crap plz :)

  11. quert says:

    Ok, nice and clean but could you please turn on mobile version? It’s been taken down few days before this new template and as old site was readable on my phone this is just unsusable.

  12. tjb says:

    I miss the reply count as well, I use it to decide if there are new posts to read. perhaps a search for new comments?

  13. Six_Shooter says:

    New layout looks good. Just one issue I’ve discovered since the new template has gone live.

    I tend to leave one of my browser tabs open to HaD, so every few hours, or next morning I can just click refresh, and see the new content, however, since the new template has gone live, the refreshing doesn’t seem to be working correctly. Opening a new browser tab does update correctly, as it should. Sometimes the failed updating doesn’t just stay at the last loaded hack, but updates to somewhere between where the last hack was shown in the browser tab and the actual newest hack. Refreshing again at that point doesn’t update farther.

    Just thought I’d let you know.

  14. erico says:

    It could use better the horizontal space in here… It’s using half the 1920 iwdth

  15. furan79 says:

    Can you put the comments link at the bottom rather than at the top? It’s inconvenient to finish an article and then have to scroll up to comment.

  16. Eliot says:

    Looks like the new template loses the “Read” links on classic posts http://hackaday.com/2005/09/21/robotic-sentry-gun/ That’s something special we had to take care of when moving from Blogsmith to WordPress.

  17. zygomatic says:

    I like the new format, the only thing I would like to see is links for “Older posts” and “Newer posts” at the top of the page as well as the bottom.

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