Hacker News new | past | comments | ask | show | jobs | submit login
Ask HN: Is “new” Reddit completely unusable for anyone else?
262 points by aosaigh on July 14, 2019 | hide | past | favorite | 184 comments
I notice that when browsing Reddit day-to-day I am constantly getting either "Sorry, we couldn't load posts for this page" on a subreddit page or "Cannot load comments" on a thread page. This isn't just happening occasionally, it's been happening daily over the course of weeks.

There's been a lot of hate for the "new" Reddit design but outside of the actual usability of the site, there seems to be some huge problems from a technical perspective.

I've tried multiple browsers, internet connections,VPN enabled/disabled and it's always the same. I now just use https://old.reddit.com, but I'd be interested to hear if other people have the same experience?

It boggles my mind that a redesign could be implemented so poorly on such a popular site.

It is the worst redesign I've ever seen on a major website like this for a number of reasons. It's needlessly heavy on resources, it's slow, it's difficult to navigate, it's filled to the brim with ads, it's uninspired and takes away all of the charm of the old design in favor of making Reddit look like a more generic social media, it doesn't work with the wayback machine, and that's just scratching the surface.

It's such a awful design. I've explicitly opted out of the new design on my account, and I use old.reddit.com whenever I'm not signed in.

It's also needlessly redundant. It has two completely different viewers for comments.

When you click the comments link on a story from the story list, it opens the comments in some kind of overlay on top of the story list. There is a "close" link near the top that dismisses the overlay to get back to the stories. The story list is still loaded in the browser, just not visible because the comments are in front of it.

Well, not visible to you. The story list is still visible to the browser's "search on page" feature, often making such searches useless. Also, scrolling in the overlay is way off on some browsers.

If you hit refresh, you get the more useful comment view. It's just the comments, without the story list lurking behind, and with unmolested scrolling.

They should just scrap this redesign, except for the fancier post editor. Port that to the old reddit and call it done.

My 2018 Macbook Pro i5 can't handle it. I get the "this site is draining your battery" warning far to often. I can't watch Netflix and browse Reddit at the same time anymore

if you think that's terrible, check out the mobile browser version... It's full of pop ups that remind you to download their app, and none of the v.reddit or giphycat links work :/

I’ve noticed that about the giphy and v.reddit links. It’s so ridiculous. Their OWN image and video embeds don’t work on their own site on a stock standard iPhone with safari.

This redesign has been years in the making and a solid half of the basic features used every day don’t work.

It’s probably the single worst redesign I’ve ever seen a major site do.

This is why I use old.reddit.com, or the compact version ( https://reddit.com/.compact )

Also accessible at https://i.reddit.com

Not to mention half the time you load a page it fails to retrieve any data.

It's just awful, I agree. The sad thing is that original Reddit was highly usable, even if it looked a bit dated.

That's a huge part of reddits charm for me.

Why aren’t you using old.reddit when you are signed in?

You can, but the problem with using old.reddit.com is that clicking on reddit.com links (e.g. from reddit comments) will take you back to the new design. With the opt-out, you get the old design no matter what.

I think people have even go so far as to make browser extensions to automatically rewrite "reddit.com" to "old.reddit.com".

The redesign looks... well, I don't even know where to start, but it's pretty clear that users aren't the focus and they've sold out completely to corporate interests.

I'd actually be OK with some of this if they were forthright and honest about this shift in focus, but they're trying to say that the new design is 'better', etc. That's nonsense and lies.

EDIT: Oh, yeah, just remembered: IIRC the failure to link properly to 'old.reddit.com' on links that Reddit have full control over was registered as a 'bug' instead of an obvious way to drive traffic to the redesign.

EDIT#2: This is also what drove people to write browser extensions. The value of reddit has always been in the communities, not the design (or whatever).


Redirect extension to always get old.reddit.com. I've been using it for years without issue. It's one of the very few extensions I have that is enabled in Incognito mode.

But I still feel your pain whenever I'm on another computer without the extension and forget to type the old url.

I opted out of the redesign on my account. That way, I use the old design on my account, even if I'm not using old.reddit.

You can actually set it in your account settings to default to the old design without needing to go to old.reddit.com

I just append '.compact" to the URL.

Unrelated, but I also use m.facebook.com and the non JS version of gmail.

Oh god, JS version of gmail is unusable on firefox.

Takes minutes(!) to load(multiple powerful machines - i7 3770k, i5 6th gen and i7 7700, tested on fresh OS installs of both Win10 and Ubuntu) - it fakes loaded status usually by displaying your last viewed page - which is very annoying as it has no loading bar nor a throbber.

It is horrible when you are waiting for 2FA code in email, or when resetting a password.

The new design is godawful and unusable, especially without JavaScript. Switching to old.reddit.com is a breath of fresh air. The juxtaposition seems like an ideal case study in how bad modern web design is. I swear it's almost like web designers are trying to make things worse.

It’s not the designers’ fault, it’s developers seeing everything as a technology problem rather than a user needs problem (and I’m speaking as a developer). The best solution for any given problem is usually the simplest, at least until you find that you specifically need extra complexity to solve a user need. Unfortunately modern client-side development is fixed in a mindset of developer efficiency above all, which doesn’t naturally lead to simple solutions.

Even as a tech problem, the new UI puts less information on the screen and makes it harder to interact with. It's worse by every observable metric, and I can't imagine they have successful A/B testing, because every other site on the internet that does a redesign (Facebook, Twitter, Youtube) commits to it, and Reddit has allowed users to stay on old reddit for like a year now.

The weirdest thing is that successful alternative reddit UIs exist, so all they would have to do is incorporate the features people are using alternative UIs for. They did virtually the opposite of that. This is exactly what Digg did, and the solution for Digg wasn't "allow people to use old Digg", it was "Everyone left and went to reddit".

> A/B testing

Despite popular belief, A/B testing doesn't actually work for usability testing. So successful A/B testing usually means bad usability practices.

Can you provide some evidence or reading on this? I understand A/B typically measures _conversions_, but couldn't you have quantifiable proxies for usability? For example, things like form abandonment and time-to-complete a task.

To be clear, I'm not contesting the value of usability tests involving watching actual users. Our UX team does this with every release and it's invaluable. But I would think data from A/B testing would only help inform our decisions.

This time, though, Reddit doesn't have a suitable competitor and they know it. Power users will whine, but they don't have anywhere else to run.

The A/B testing would only be concerned with ad click through and time on site, by those metrics the redesign could be a success, I have no idea.

> It’s not the designers’ fault, it’s developers seeing everything as a technology problem rather than a user needs problem

Yes, but in a big company developers don't define the product, (product) designers do.

“Big company” developers: do you call yourself “Unit 3829” or “autonomous drone 283”? Because seeing comments like above so frequently, you’d think developers are sacred and never do wrong but have no free will or input.

Funny you should say that, I just had a fun email exchange with the leader of Procurement Team 13-T.

> you’d think developers are sacred and never do wrong but have no free will or input.

Developers who express their free will strongly risk getting fired. It pays to keep their mouth shut and let the firm torpedo itself.

Why else do you think the industry favors young developers over seasoned ones?

Correct, but developers are directly responsible for the performance and stability of the platform. I highly doubt the designers specified in their designs that the website should constantly display: "Sorry, we couldn't load posts for this page" as mentioned in the OP.

If we are talking about poor interaction design patterns and unintuitive conceptual models with no prior usability testing/UX research then designers/researchers deserve the blame (assuming devs didn't botch the implementation and create usability problems), but this isn't the issue at hand... platform stability is and that's the job of the developers who code it.

Having "Product Manager" or "Product Designer" from Reddit on your resume would probably a hindrance more than a benefit right now.

Insane how they had managed to mess it up so badly. I can't comprehend how anyone from any part of Reddit, outside of the marketing department, would spend some time on the redesign and say "nice!"

I don't think it has anything to do with developer efficiency. My impression is that client-side development is seen by developers as sort of an unimportant throwaway specialization. Nobody cares about it or bothers to learn any of it even to be able to produce something of quality. First thing people stumble upon is the thing they decide to learn, which almost always means popular javascript framework of the month or whatever. Progressive enhancement, UX, accessibility are all unreachable expert level things to them. I guess my point is there are simply almost no skilled client-side developers available for hire for large organizations to be able to do well on this.

Accessibility and user experience are base level skills for calling yourself a front-end developer. If you don’t have them then the products you build will be unusable and illegal.

Or, the put it another way, full stack is a reformulation of jack-of-all-trades.

responsive sites and mobile apps have led to the mobilification of desktop sites. there is absolutely a branding/marketing/design trend pushing shiny over usability. ive noticed it in banks in the last 5 years, where they have replaced dense powerful beautiful text based interfaces with giant versions of their mobile apps. huge buttons, minimal screen density.


i liked the old reddit BECAUSE it was a simple list of links that all behaved exactly as a link should when i click it, and didnt attempt to put visual flair over usability.

> in banks in the last 5 years, where they have replaced dense powerful beautiful text based interfaces with giant versions of their mobile apps. huge buttons, minimal screen density.

You forgot to mention that they load progressively and you never know when the page layout is done and stable, so when you think you click on something, your click ends up being received by a button/link which popped up in between, and there we go, launching a new page or performing an unwanted action, and then going back to the previous page (well, you've got to find the way to go back, because of course it may or may not obey the standard "previous page" command, or it may or may not be a one-page app with a specific way of going back [a cross, a link, a button, ...] placed in a specific place [upper right corner, upper left, bottom row, bottom left corner, bottom right, in a window, in the full page space, etc.]), and waiting for the original page to reload completely one more time...

and every bank seems to think its own quirks arent a big deal, but when you have 6 different apps, each with its own quirks; remembering how the back buttons work is a nightmare. citi is especially bad, but so is just about every bank when you switch from your account to cc rewards.

Setting aside modern FE development practices, are you trying to say that the redesign of the reddit UI and it's poor usability is due developers choice of tools instead of what designers created?

does “simplest” here mean simplest for the user to use, or simplest for the dev to build? these are sometimes completely opposed to one another.

an example: filtering a large table of data on multiple fields in an otherwise fully-server-rendered project. doing it server-side is likely mostly sql queries using existing stack and re-rendering the page after some “submit” click.

doing it client side means the data can react immediately to selections and never require a full page refresh (which might be costly, depending on the rest of the page). the dev downside is that this might require an enormous amount of new stack and complexity.

I would rather say that it is a management problem.

Focus shifted from building userbase and sustaining business to milking ad revenue.

If you have an account, you can set your preferences to use the "old" design by default so you don't have to manually use old.reddit.com. Uncheck "Use the redesign as my default experience". If that option goes away, I'm done with reddit.

I’m sure an extension like Reddit Enhancement Suite will add the option if reddit stops supporting old.reddit.com.

I already set in my head that if Reddit ever leaves me without the option to use `old.reddit` I will create a Reddit visualiser for the web, maybe a desktop app if that breaks any kind of TOS but... I CAN'T use the redesign, it's slow, UX is horrible (not that the UX of old Reddit is any good but for a power user it's much better) and I refuse to use these shitty SPAs that just make the experience clunky.

Same way as LinkedIn, I barely use it to reply to recruiter messages, whenever possible I just prefer to reply it through an e-mail instead of suffering with their slow non-responsive UI.

The author of res actually works for Reddit now. I have no idea how much say they have over the project though.

It truly is an "experience", just like when people describe food as an "experience".

Getting mugged is an experience too I suppose

I've been exclusively using https://i.reddit.com for years.

I've been using http://www.redditp.com for years, it's great for when you don't need to read the comments. If on mobile, you can simply swipe left or right :)

>I swear it's almost like web designers are trying to make things worse.

They are, because the business wants you to download the app.

This kind of clueless, smug cynicism is one of the worst parts of internet comments. It's why basically every comment section on Reddit is a vapid circlejerk.

Dude. Try browsing Reddit incognito mode: every time you visit you get a modal dialog trying to trick you into to download the app to proceed. Even the order of the options varies.

Bad faith dark design throughout

Cynicism? It's right there when you visit any reddit page on mobile. "This page loads better in the app" modal etc.

Would you like HN to protect you from the truth?

Why would they expect me to download an app on my laptop?

Probably most users browse using mobile devices

Then why provide old.reddit.com?

Because they know if they didn’t they would lose tons of users immediately. They’re betting that many of those users will slowly get used to the new site, or they can remove access to the old site in smaller groups instead of all at once. They also could be trying to work out bugs on the new site and the old one gives them a decent fallback for people. Also could be that some of the more obscure functionality of the site has not been ported to the new design, so they can link into the old one for those pages.

If I had to guess, they're keenly aware of the demise of digg and don't want to follow in their footsteps. They're probably tracking what percentage of their users are still using the old design.

They remember what happened to Digg.

To temper the uproar

The amount that the readability of the original Reddit design led to the popularity of Reddit seems to have been completely lost. There were aggregators before Reddit, and they lost out because of dumb design, and now Reddit seeks to follow in their footsteps. Absurd and foolish. No adults in the room.

Thanks for the old.reddit.com mention. That made my life just plain better.

yeah, I use a chrome extension that auto adds old. to the front of every reddit URL.

Yes, but I eventually realised what it's optimised for: image posts. For some insane reason they're competing with Instagram and Reddit's co-evolved site Imgur, on which people read comments much less often.

They also really, really want you to use the mobile app, which presumably means it does something privacy-violating.

I think the push to mobile is to increase lock in and engagement, not to gather sensitive data. From my in person discussion with some of the admins, they seemed to genuinely care about privacy.

With regard to the layout, the head of the redesign really emphasized that user choice was important, and that they will never deprecate old.reddit (in fact, they still have .compact from their very early days!). In a way, it makes sense. "Hardcore" users will use RES / old.reddit, while casuals will be pushed to new.reddit, which may be a better fit for them.

My takeaway from talking to them was that, even if I don't believe in their product vision (I hate the app and redesign passionately), I do believe in their team to do the right thing. I hope my trust is well placed.

I think website admins and operators live in a bit of a different world. They may earnestly care about privacy, but I'd bet they're defining privacy differently than users who are concerned about privacy. Further, engagement & lock-in is often bad for users, whether or not privacy is violated.

> casuals will be pushed to new.reddit, which may be a better fit for them.

Why would new.reddit be a better fit for "casuals" when it is worse is pretty much every way?

Before the redesign, in my circles of non-tech friends, Reddit on desktop would scare them off. They thought it looked really old and ugly. The new design is really to capture those people.

That said, I hate new Reddit with a passion and still use the old design.

>For some insane reason they're competing with Instagram and

Reddit's management is driving the site as a business, which means doing things for the purpose of maximizing revenue according to the perception of what's "successful". Facebook is evil but successful at it, Instagram is (was) successful.

The path they see to making money is to try to become the next XXXX, where XXXX is the "successful" social media site of the month.

Reddit was originally driven by user need and the desire for functionality, and innovation and working with the user community helped it grow. Not so anymore.

Ultimately, someone/something has to pay for the resources such a site uses, and finding a working profit model that can keep businesses like Reddit functioning is not easy.

Reddit is a zombie at this point - there's no solid alternative to it, despite what some people seem to think, so there's nowhere for people to go. Once there's another option, Reddit is going to rather quickly become a ghost town.

>Once there's another option, Reddit is going to rather quickly become a ghost town.

One can hope, but if Reddit really is taking their lessons from FB then they'll buy up the nascent competition and strangle the market.

Does Reddit have money to buy all the competition?

I remember reading a while back that they didn't have a real way to make money.

The redesign seemed to me a lot like a last gasp to snag some ad money, but old.reddit.com has been available for quite a while now so that may not be true.

In defence of the mobile app, the experience is far, far better. I really like a lot of things about it. It has a lot of polish that makes browsing quite slick.

I do, however, notice that it does tailor the content to you in a way it didn’t before. The “hot” queue used to be the same for everyone viewing the same page. I like to read AskReddit posts, and on my front page I get many AskReddit posts that have very very little activity.

Image sites are easier to monetize because ad images don't stick out.

>They also really, really want you to use the mobile app, which presumably means it does something privacy-violating.

This is great life advice, and true of almost any app.

>It boggles my mind that a redesign could be implemented so poorly on such a popular site.

The irony of this statement is that Reddit _really_ became popular when Digg, who was the top link sharing site at the time, rolled out a new clunky ad-friendly redesign that caused a mass exodus of users to Reddit.

...which makes me wonder if this could ever happen again today, given that all of our data is being pushed into tighter and tighter silos with less integration than ever before (I'll admit Reddit has been better in this regard with its API and abundance of 3rd party clients). It seems like a lot of social networks rely on the network effect more than their actual features, and in the worst case they can just e.g. implement features from other platforms gaining traction (Facebook is infamous for this, stealing circles from G+ and stories from Snapchat).

Reddit usurped Digg because it was technically superior. Could another technically superior website overtake Reddit?

I don't think it could happen today. Reddit has too much critical mass and the community is too diverse. Back then Digg was a smaller and more close-knit community of mostly techies that mostly agreed on the same things. There was a movement a few years ago where some Redditors tried to create a Reddit alternative called Voat, which ultimately failed.

A difference is that Digg didn't keep the old design around. With Reddit you can simply use old.reddit and forget about the redesign while being in the same communities you were already (no need to wait for the entire community to move). Considering that Reddit already has two mobile interfaces (i.reddit.com - which i personally prefer due to it being very fast - and m.reddit.com) and two desktop interfaces, i doubt they'll drop old.reddit at any point.

It is a form of backwards compatibility on a UX level.

The thing about the network effect is sometimes the network decides to leave. MySpace flowed all into Facebook just as digg flowed into Reddit. The companies have been spending lots and lots of money to build a moat but as they make money they do the things that makes other platforms seem more attractive.

The new design is slow as mollasses. It's ugly. It doesn't provide direct access to both the shared link and comments. Managing text formatting is slow and painful. The only positive point is the Ctrl+enter shortcut to post comments. I always use old.reddit.com.

This is the first HN comment I have seen that actually describes what about the new design makes it unusable. Most that I have seen are "The new design is unusable! Everyone agrees with me! I use old.reddit.com and do not use the new design!" A few comments point out that nothing loads without errors, but that's not a design problem -- that's an implementation problem.

With that said, I am throwing my hat into the "I disagree" camp. I do not find the new design unusable. It is not slow for me (American cable ISP, Firefox browser, uBlock Origin enabled, JavaScript enabled). My experience is just as fast as the old design. I have direct access to both the shared link and comments (the title now goes to the comments and the shared link is the orange link to the right of the title). I admit I did have to retrain my brain to the new design's conversation-focused design vs. remote-link-focused design, but that took all of a week. I do not have any slowness managing text formatting, but then, I do not comment a lot and I do not write long comments. I appreciate that the new design, on most subreddits, appears cleaner and the information, for me, is more clearly laid out. To me, the site appears "prettier." With the ad-blocker on, some of the sidebar ads get blocked. I do not know how that impacts my experience.

I have also not experienced any of the page loading errors that people have described. Not once, unless it was a known outage causing the Internet to collectively scream.

I am mostly a reader on reddit. I visit my subreddits twice a day, during what are probably peak usage times in North America.

I just checked, opened https://old.reddit.com/r/france : less than 2 seconds, the page is fully loaded.

Tried https://www.reddit.com/r/france/: more than 4 seconds before the page is loaded.

Loading : https://old.reddit.com/r/france/comments/ccs5tx/emmanuel_mac...

is about 2 seconds. Loading: https://www.reddit.com/r/france/comments/ccs5tx/emmanuel_mac...

about 6 seconds.

The new reddit looks therefore 2 to 3 times slower.

Not to mention, with RES on old reddit you can turn the Javascript for specific subs off. Not sure if that's even possible on New, which I hate. The JS is often just overcrowded and too much, so I'd prefer it off.

Subs only have control over CSS, no JS. But yes it can get overcrowded.

Complete brainfart moment. I totally knew that! Thanks!

I am not a fan of their redesign, but I don't use reddit in a browser enough anymore to complain, in fairness. I can, however describe how painfully unusable the app they harass you to install is.

I moderate one of the "default" subreddits so I have a rarer perspective than most. I can see the traffic of a subreddit that most users see daily.

There are almost 3 times more people using the redesign and the official reddit app together than the old site. However, engagement (number of page views per unique IP) is half or less of the old desktop or third party app.

So the new styles (cards, content focused) have more unique users overall, but those users engage less with the content.

There may be other reasons for this -- but to me it makes sense. The redesigns are harder to use and make reddit less addictive. You simply see a smaller volume of content and can't interact with it as well. But hey, it's a modern looking website I guess.

This finding seems confounded by biased populations: "engagement (number of page views per unique IP) is half or less of the old desktop or third party app".

I would expect that only the most engaged users would be using old desktop or third party app, since those are much harder to find and require much more effort (such as digging through settings, or investigating other app options). The less engaged, casual users would be using the default options (new web or default mobile app) because they're much easier to find.

Therefore I propose the causation goes the opposite direction of what you're suggesting: it's not that old web/3rd party app cause users to be more engaged, but rather that being highly engaged causes users to use old web/3rd party app.

>There are almost 3 times more people using the redesign and the official reddit app together than the old site. However, engagement (number of page views per unique IP) is half or less of the old desktop or third party app

I am confused at what you mean by engagement.

Is that three times more users by unique ip?

Overall, are their more unique users or less?

I can't stand the new reddit. I always browse the site with https://old.reddit.com/

Just replace www with old.

old.reddit.com is okay, but it now requires the temp whitelisting of 2 or sometimes 3 javascript domains. Not just reddit.com like was required in the past. Given that, it's just easier to use the ceddit.com javascript interface to pull from the API and get the actual old reddit experience.

But even worse than the redesign is the new corporate culture of censorship. I left after they banned r/gundeals. They're boiling the frog over there. Nowadays I mostly use RSS feeds and if I want to talk about something I post on the notabug forums (federated+p2p capable).

I hadn't seen notabug before. Visited the site and this was the current top post (censored by me):

"Should I complain about a nXXXXr cashier braying like a donkey?"

That's not a great first impression...

As a side note, anyone know how to do multiple asterisks on HN? Backslash doesn't seem to work as an escape character.

No doubt. The people at notabug, mostly, are the most abrasive assholes that have been pushed out from other sites. They're not good people. You gotta be the change you want to see. I often post about technology and science there. But I'm simply not enough to make the frontpage always tolerable to people that can't ignore assholes. Sometimes there are strings of racist posts but that's still better than corporate censorship.

The people aren't the point. The technology is. It's a federated server system using the GUN distributed database. And posts can be transferred from instance to instance via p2p between browsers.

If you want to start a notabug server you can run it with an iron fist and censor all you want. But notabug, at heart, is about not censoring. Even for people who suck and say shitty things.

> But notabug, at heart, is about not censoring. Even for people who suck and say shitty things.

Then you can keep it. What I look for in a social media site is learning interesting things, and having rewarding conversations with people. Notabug sounds like it's neither of those.

I like this kind of decentralized social tech a lot. But, IMO, a social network built like this just won’t work if the default instance you see is a hive of scum and villainy. It tells you exactly which way the leadership leans, and I doubt many people want to participate in a community mired in far-right “politics”. For there to be any adoption, the front page of these kinds of services needs to be friendly and tightly moderated, à la Mastodon. No amount of being the change you want to see will help if the roots are rotten.

Voting is PoW-based on notabug, so users can upvote themselves multiple times (spending their CPU time). It also means top posts are not really most popular posts, just that the OP was stubborn enough to upvote himself into positive score when downvoted a couple of times.

Me too, but you must know that they will turn it off at some point.

Why? thesixtyone.com never turned off their "old" subdomain

Well, thesixtyone turned off their entire service.

i wonder if someone will replicate the old reddit using reddit's api. i mean, there are full featured mobile clients, i wonder if the api licensing would allow it.

i.reddit.com is dramatically older and is still there.

There's no need to ever turn it off. New users will overwhelmingly use the new design (if they don't think it's fine, how would they ever become engaged enough to even find out that there's a different option?) and eventually it's just something that makes some long-time power users happy and everyone else doesn't care about.

Anyone know if they have public metrics on www vs old visitor traffic?

I'm not sure about public data, but here is what I'm seeing from one of my larger subreddits: https://i.imgur.com/YPUvYiu.png

Looks like new is gaining on old.

i would expect a default to always gain, people get worn down constantly changing default settings, and new users dont know about it because it isnt well advertised.

And that's a bunch of app hits. It makes me sad how many people caved.

I think I'll just stop regularly browsing reddit at that point. Hopefully tildes will have grown enough by then.

Note that there are browser extensions that automate this, for both old and compact on mobile.

If you're on a mobile device, try appending ".compact" to the URL to get the old mobile version. For example, "https://www.reddit.com/r/cooking/.compact"

Even better!

We can make a bookmarklet that does that.

    javascript:window.location =".compact"

It is poorly designed in terms of loading. I cannot wait for so longgggggggg.

I always prefer to switch to http://old.reddit.com/

Honestly, the new design might be better, but I'll never know, because like you, every single page throws an error.

How can one of the most heavily trafficked sites in the world be so completely broken? I'm not sure. I can certainly summon lots of examples of terrible design that didn't hinder a site's success in the slightest. But I can't think of many sites that succeed despite throwing constant errors.

Unless I missed someone, every single comment (including myself) agrees: the new site is just unusable. It’s awful.

IMHO it’s been broken since they released it and so it makes me think that they won’t fix it so people will switch to the app (or that’s what they might be thinking).

Like many others I use the old design and if they get rid of it then I’ll just skip Reddit entirely.

A peek outside the echo chamber: my roommates and girlfriend use Reddit. They don't have anything bad to say about the UI nor are aware HNers hate it. They didn't even know it changed, they just don't seem to care.

I use old.reddit.com out of habit, but don't really care when I land on the new UI. I just use it. People blow it way out of proportion.

I like some of its features, like how it's now a modal over the infinite scroll. I don't have to open everything in a new tab anymore in fear of losing my place in the scroll or having that "sorry, no more pages, start over" message.

I really don't see much worth fuming over. The Digg redesign basically turned it into a weird news site e-zine. Meanwhile the Reddit redesign has the exact same spirit as the old one.

By the nature of the normal distribution there would be some people who would love new design. That's fine but it doesn't mean it is good.

And just because a bunch of HNers (and redditors) despise it doesn’t mean it is bad. I am sure the vast vast majority is totally indifferent to the design.

I’ve used reddit for around a decade at this point and the new design is much better imo. I tried using old reddit a week or so after it changed and no thanks to that..

I also don’t have issues with speed and errors like others say.


Not here please.

I absolutely hate the new design, not because it is slow (it's not on my end), but because it is such a pain to use.

User friendliness has gone out the window and I cannot fathom how such a poor redesign could ever be implemented on such a high traffic site.

If the old design gets removed, I will stop using Reddit permanently.

It's unbearable. Reddit's dev and design staff is not very competent. They probably have lots of virtues, being good at their job is not one of them.

What surprises me is that their ads manager is also amateurish (it got a redesign too!) and i mean real amateur stuff like broken images. And that is their money maker!

Would be very curious to hear more specific examples of this one, haven't seen it firsthand.

Yeah, it's pretty awful. I use Old Reddit Redirect [1] to always get to the old site. If they ever remove old reddit I will likely quit using the service.

[1] - https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/old-reddit-re...

Due to RSI issues, I make extensive use of the Vimium Chrome extension (keyboard navigation of websites) and the new Reddit design works substantially worse than the older design.

This appears to be due to the new design loading "pages" as "layers" on the browser viewport - so you have overlapping layers all with intermixed links shortcuts.

Reddit enhancement suite has vim-like keybindings. I use that, and then disable some of the Vimium keys on Reddit.

I also use a plugin that automatically redirects Reddit to old.reddit.com. I don't know how well RES works with the redesign.

The thing I hate the most about the redesign is that now everything takes an extra click. On old reddit the subreddits were right there on the left. Now they are in a drop down menu. If I wanted to switch between new and top stories it used to be right there at the top. Now it is hidden behind a drop down menu.

I'm feeling gaslit into a world where PCs which can show everything on a single screen abuse whitespace, hide info and require lots of extra taps.

I have joked that maybe Reddit is a shill for Big Mouse because they are making us click so much we will wear out our mice and have to buy new ones more quickly.


i use https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/old-reddit-re... for firefox

and apollo on iOS.

Never had those problems. I'm not a very dedicated redditor, though, just checking few forums once a few days and reading some topics. The only thing that I hate about reddit is that they want me to install their application on my mobile phone and that application is inferior to browser, so I don't even want to install it and I can't opt out of that warning which appears on every single page.

I think they're trying to capture new people to the site, outside of the original tech nerd demographic. To do this they made reddit look at lot more like YouTube.

Personally I just hate the lack of information density. It just feels bloated, slow, and too much whitespace.

New users probably don't care though. I remember the original interface would scare off some people originally because they thought it was ugly.

Has anybody else noticed the complete conversion from generalized subreddits on r/all to oddly specific ones focused around calling people out from a placae of "moral high ground"? I really hate it now.

Yes I have noticed. Perhaps they are catering to the tastes of the majority of their user base (whatever generates a flurry of clicks). And this is the... result.

I have carpal tunnel syndrome, so I like to use a plugin called SurfingKeys to reduce my use of pointing devices. It was completely unusable however when given the new Reddit so I switched back.

old.reddit.com is the only way I browse reddit. That original simplistic design was the whole reason I started with Reddit in the first place -- the new design is just really bad, for many reasons. If they ever enforce the new design I'll probably end up staying away from the site alltogether.

Some stats, testing from pingdom's site analyzer:

old reddit homepage: 80 assets, 1.1mb

new reddit homepage: 283 assets, 5.1mb

That's a serious regression. I'm not interested in tiled youtube-style presentation -- information density was always the nice thing about Reddit, and it seems like they're moving away from objective.

If you're on Firefox use Old Reddit Redirect to auto-redirect all Reddit links to old: https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/old-reddit-re...

I love that there's three locations eating up 1/3 of the screen telling me to use the mobile app instead.

The mobile app is worse than the redesign! Can't copy text via the OS interface, no sort of spell check whatsoever in the textboxes and constantly failing to load posts that the website does just fine.

I also constantly get errors while browsing new Reddit. It's astounding.

Reddit was best when it had almost the excact user interface as this site, hacker news.

All sites are best with simple interfaces. So sick of web 2.0 bullshit. I just want simple paginated interfaces.

Yeah, this happens to me as well, I'll want to scroll when I have 5 minutes here or there and I'll run into the same problems. The reddit I knew and loved is gone, and it's filled with usability issues and politics all over.

As soon as the new redesign happened, I knew it was the first nail in a very large coffin. Reddit is going the way of the dodo and I'm not sure there could be anything to replace it with the way the internet seems to be going.

(I apologize for some very vague opinions as I haven't really dug deeper into these thoughts and so they're merely just feelings I have)

It's mostly fine for what I do but I really hate the infinite scrolling, add if I scroll down for a while it will eat so much RAM that it starts to slow down.

On mobile I just use Sync for Reddit, the UI is sane, fast and pretty.

I started really using Reddit when the new UI came out, plus I am 99.999% browsing on mobile.

So with that said, I don't have any problem with the new Reddit since it is what "Reddit" has always been to me.

Yes and very slow to load. And also very unusable because it alternates between old and new ui. Https://i.reddit.com is the only thing that works but I think I'll stop using alltogethe

It's recently started triggering the 'a webpage is slowing down your computer' message on Firefox for me, which is a pretty good sign they're doing something crazy.

I literally cannot log out of the new Reddit design on mobile. The log out link simply does not work from Chrome. Clearing my cookies for reddit.com does not solve the problem. It baffles my mind both how this is possible and how the system could be designed so poorly that the situation exists at all.

I get around it by using an alternative client, "reddit is fun", when I want to use an alt.

Reddit UI became impossible to use. Only using old.reddit.com if at all, but I generally block the site as it's to much distraction.

I didn't think about it till now, but I went from checking reddit once a day before the design to never now. I don't go to reddit anymore, unless I see a link from another site. The only thing that did change was the new site. I had my own custom list of subreddits that I frequented and that's not even enough to get me to keep using it.

> It boggles my mind that a redesign could be implemented so poorly on such a popular site.

It's not the first one really. I can count many products that i use daily and have gone down the drain. There is obviously some "change for the sake of change" or just to get a promotion here. Reddit, Skype, adsense off top of my head

Also countless google examples, but they like to get rid of entire popular products.

Or most notably, Digg

Not to mention the horrendous CPU usage.

I think the UI design isn't that bad; I actually like the large thumbnails in the new UI better because I like to view a lot of art. But it's the performance that makes it disgustingly horrible - I wonder if someone made a sane desktop UI replacement for Reddit.

They're are so many extensions that made old reddit far superior. Namely Reddit Enhancement Suit and Imagus (which is good for the large thumbnails you like)

It seems that Imagus is not maintained anymore... but at least Reddit Enhancement Suite gives you a button to view images inline. Thanks for the suggestion!

I think Imagus is maintained still... Last update says 5 hours ago.


Also, resource lists, wikis and a lot of other features are only available in the old design - and there isn’t even a mention of them when browsing the new one. Lots and lots of easily accessible and well referenced and summarized knowledge essentially invisible.

The new desktop design is unusable.

BUT the mobile experience of reddit (to scroll mindlessly) is super polished.

I actually really like the redesign. However I can't really use it because it keeps not loading posts and having other glitches. The Sync app for Android doesn't have these problems and is what I use to browse Reddit almost all of the time.

I hate New Reddit, frankly. I always use old on desktop. And on Android, I use a program called RedReader, from F-Droid. It's a (mostly) text-only reader - I can open pics and video of I tap it, but by default only text gets downloaded.

Personally I've kept with the old style by using https://old.reddit.com/r/topic1+topic2+topic3

Paradoxically the old reddit on mobile is way more usable than the new one. The other sin is AMP. Every time I visit reddit from Google, I need to go through additional steps, to be able to vote, comment etc.

Definitely experience the constant loading problems. Honestly good to hear I'm not the only one. I assumed it was something they didn't like about my setup.

Since the redesign, my Reddit use has dropped off a cliff.

One of the lines in my /etc/hosts file is the following: reddit.com www.reddit.com

I put it in so that it would force me to use old.reddit.com instead. After a couple weeks old.reddit.com has became entirely automatic.

I've given up on new reddit as soon as they implemented lazy loading for comments, at this point i'm just using old reddit with ?limit=500&sort=top added

No I honestly don’t mind it. Although I heat the old reddit vs new reddit thing come up every now and then. I don’t think it’s better but it’s no harder to use.

I have setup my reddit account to use the old reddit, because for the desktop, the old one is much better than the new one.

However, on my phone, the new one is better.

It's fine because I just opt out of the redesign.

I think this redesign will go the way Digg did.

I doubt it. There isn't really any competitor right now and Reddit has a lot of credibility from stuff like AMA's with celebrities.

Since they deployed the new user interface it became unusable. The old UI was lighter, faster and more intuitive/usable.

YES, theres an extension on chrome and firefox which esentially redirects all reddit links to old reddit, its a godsend.

It's completely unusable, but it's barely usable and outright annoying.

From to time I forget to switch to old.reddit.com

Am quite new to the New Reddit. I love it! By the way, I can understand the pain of all the older users.

It's absolute garbage. Slow and insanely buggy. old.reddit.com is the only way to use it now.

New design is getting faster every day. That said I have little reason to use the new design.

It's basically unusable, as is Twitter. It's to get you to download the app.

Reddit has made it clear they dont want me as a user. I avoid that cesspool.

Yes. I only use old reddit

Same, will stop occasionally visiting entirely once they dare take it down. Many new options popping up.

I like the new style, but the execution seems less than ideal.

YES. and 90% of the videos do not load on mobile either

I use i.reddit.com it's faster and usable

I get the “sorry” message a lot too. The mobile version of the site is unfortunately riddled with bugs big and small, to where you can tell they don’t use it themselves. But I’m not downloading their app, sorry.

Guidelines | FAQ | Lists | API | Security | Legal | Apply to YC | Contact