You may have noticed this morning that things that looked large on this website yesterday are now looking small, and things that were at the top are now on the side, and some things have disappeared while other things have appeared. Welcome to the latest iteration of Gawker.
In a memo to the staff, Gawker proprietor Nick Denton described this new design as providing more opportunities for readers to circulate among stories, with "more moderate images" and greater density. Denton wrote that he expects the design to last at least 16 months,"to the end of 2014." (Update: Denton clarifies that this design was already in place on two of Gawker's sibling sites, io9 and Kinja's Front.)
During that time, the design will of course be subject to adjustment and refinement. If you have thoughts on how it looks, on features you'd like to see or not see, or on what degree of moderation best serves the images—or on anything else—please offer them up for discussion in our Kinja comments below. Now is the time for feedback, and this is the place.
Thank you for your continued readership of Gawker. Denton's full email is here:
From: Nick Denton
To: The Staff
Subject: 2014 template
Congratulations to all — especially Tom, Etele, Joco, Lauren, Diego and the others in the product team on this project. And to those in Sales who have navigated clients through the transition. (Seems very smooth so far, partly because the ad units remain much the same.)
This version brings back one of the most popular features of the 2011 design, the persistent list of headlines. That will encourage more circulation from post to post without requiring readers to always go back to the front page. (They are more likely just to click away.)
The sidebar headlines, more moderate images and the inclusion of related links on all stories: together this makes for a denser page. Readers have more options and are more likely to see something that grabs their eye.
All sites on the Kinja platform are also now able to republish external stories with their own introduction. That will help with repurposing stories from other Gawker Media sites, from satellite Kinja blogs and from the archives. This is what front.kinja.com has been testing the last few weeks. The functionality is now universal.
Plenty remains to be done. For example, image annotation may be a couple more days. But the system will apply to every large image in a post, not just the lead image. There are sure to be bugs. Please send in any you notice to [internal bugs email]. And we intend to make more use of any space to the right of the content column, for additional related items on the front and for annotations on inside pages.
However, the most important feature of this template is that — after some tricky balancing between user and advertiser needs — it's done. This template will last us, with minor modifications, through to the end of 2014.
Once we're through the fixes, we'll be able to focus better on further improving the discussion interface. That's our top priority. More (rather exciting) news on that soon.