All the old stories and user accounts 404 now. That is a major loss to their SEO. 14 million pages just thrown away and not passing any juice.
They don't employ canonical or robots.txt.
They have character encoding issues. ("'Superbird' Discovered")
They use a meta keywords tag, and it contains "celebrity news", which doesn't appear anywhere on their site.
They hardcode CSS with styles on div's. They don't use text-transform but type headers in all-caps.
$(".story-image-marquee-standard").empty().html("<img src='http://imoscar.org/wp-content/uploads/2011/11/imoscar11.gif' alt='' />");
A lot of empty placeholder divs to js-load content into. TPL's are also stored inside the page contents.
URL's are not properly encoded (space instead of %20).
Links to the same article are both with 'target="_blank"' and without.
They don't use microformats or schema.org.
The thing is, it's not your goal to cater to as many users as possible. It's your goal to optimize your ROI on development time. The reason we have to have laws about accessibility is that your average fast food place knows that wheelchair-bound hamburger sales will never make back the cost of constructing a wheelchair ramp. The economics of the situation wouldn't provide for disabled people, so we have to have regulation to make sure they get taken care of.
But you or everyone else on the JS bandwagon don't need to listen to me - I'll "temporarily allow" only the minimal amount of scripts on your page to see what I want to see and I will move on. You will need to live with this code during the next update cycle.
And I think in many cases that trade-off is worthwhile. But this idea that it somehow saves you time in the long run and doesn't end up costing you is pure fantasy.
>But you or everyone else on the JS bandwagon
Abstarting things for the sake of abstracting is a rather naive approach. It's a good starting point, but some abstractions complicate things way beyond what's needed.
By the way, a quick search for sticky page footer on Google turned up this as the first result -- no JS needed, and it didn't even look that hard (http://www.cssstickyfooter.com/using-sticky-footer-code.html).
Sticky footer - an element that sits at the bottom of either window or the content area, whichever is furtherest down.
You're free to browse the web with parts of it turned off. But you should expect that parts of it might not work, and if they don't work it should be immediately obvious why. Could Digg make it fall back? Yes. Should they? Only if they really want to. It seems they don't really want to. No one wants to cater to IE6 users, either.
Yes, it should be immediately obvious, but often it isn't, and that's my biggest complaint with sites that rely on scripting for basic behavior.
Too many times I've filled in a form, hit the Submit button, only to find that proper form submission does not work without scripting. Nothing on the page warned me, nothing stopped me from filling in the form, even though there are snake-simple ways to tell no-scripters of missing behavior, or to simply prevent bad behavior when scripting is turned off.
(The other complaint I have is why sites rely on scripting to do things that are baked into HTML. For example, using divs as text areas instead of, say, using a textarea as a text areas.)
I use AdBlock and Ghostery to disable ads and Facebook buttons. But when I get to a sign in page and there's no links, I know that it's a Facebook login button. When I watch a video on Hulu and it doesn't load, I know that AdBlock is preventing me from seeing that show. But I don't go on forums and complain that developers should cater to me breaking their websites. I say to myself "oh hey, I've made a choice that broke this site. Let me take 5 seconds to fix it myself."
"Your site doesn't work with NoScript" means the same thing to me as "they don't speak German at the Chicago McDonald's". I mean, that sucks for you, but honestly do you ever step back and wonder why that is?
Not by a long shot. More like a sign in Braille explaining how to get further assistance if needed because not every sign the place may be accessible to the sightless.
Why should I or anyone else have to add code specifically to tell users of NoScript that they need to be reasonable?
Because so many sites use unreasonable scripting. NoScript is a reasonable defensive move because of too much aggressive scripting.
Honestly, do you ever step back and wonder why NoScript even exists?
Bottom line, though, is nobody has to do much of anything for anyone, and it's entirely up to the site owner to decide how they treat people with NoScript and what it's worth to add an additional 20 character or so of boilerplate text to a page.
If nothing else it's a courtesy.
It's just like smiling at people you deal with in stores or holding doors open for strangers. Do it, don't do it, whatever you think is proper. Make the world you want to live in.
I get that my choices are niche, and that's OK. I can live with the downsides. There are very, very few sites I can't simply close a browser on if I don't care for how it's presented for me. No one loses any sleep.
I suspect most people with NoScript use default blocking and whitelist sites as needed. So if I get a clear sign that I need scripting before I start doing anything, and it looks worth it, it's easy to allow the domain. That doesn't require any real effort from a developer, and if that's considered catering then we're all screwed.
Seriously though, NoScript user base is - and let me really blunt about it - a vocal minority with a bloated sense of entitlement. Catering to them makes no practical sense. There are obviously edge cases, but the best option is to put up a note that JS is required. If Digg doesn't have it, they should add it, but beyond that it's money wasted.
In short, no you are not. Get over yourselves.
What you're looking for is browser sandboxing, and it exists.
There is a philosophy (with some merit) of worse is better.
So, let's be honest... you're promoting sloppy coupling in order to save developer time. The problem is that the technical debt will have to be paid back in the future.
Their goal was to build a MVP as quickly as possible.
(I agree with you for the most part; it's just when even page navigation breaks it can get more than mildly annoying.)
Like you said, "...you compare the cost of the effort against the value added". It does not add anything to the brand, but not having a fallback takes away from it. And given Diggs current reputation, they need all they can get.
It is their tradeoff to make, personally I think they are making the right one.
on top of their other markup. That's it. Twenty seconds tops.
<noscript>example.com is a HTML5/ES5/CSS3 3D graphics demo. Unfortunately, your user-agent doesn't seem to support ES5, sorry about that.</noscript>
I would still question the millions or billions of users who view the web only on their non-smart-phone who will be using social media like Digg.
Given Digg's history, it's a bit of a red flag. However, it all depends on how this technical debt is managed. If this is an alpha release under the heading "release early, release often" and the tech debt is known, there's nothing alarming about it. But if this is truly considered a final product than it makes you question how capable these people are to revive Digg.
Either way, some of these issues suggest simply a lack of skill/knowledge rather than deliberate tech debt. That's not a good sign.
Sure, they might become a problem eventually, but fixing them before launching "just because" is be premature.
In fact, I think these nitpicks are an excellent sign for digg. They discarded anything which was useless for their launch. Very well done - an excellent MVP.
But if you care about accessibility, usability and SEO you should probably care about HTML issues like pagespeed and validation.
Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 1.0
Create documents that validate to published formal
Users still hate slow sites and don't hesitate telling us.
Google Webmaster Guidelines (Design & Content)
Check for broken links and correct HTML.
Also, I'm pretty sure they will figure out how to rescue those 14M 404s
Didn't Digg at one point purge their comments and there was a huge uproar? The new management shouldn't have went online without the migrated data, or at the very least, the user profiles.
I am looking at the login page and it seems to require Facebook authentication, and not even an option to use my old Digg.com account. In the FAQ it implies that eventually the old data will return.
I'm starting to feel like they decided to release a work-in-progress to capitalize on the wave of press they've received due to the sale. Most people had high hopes for the new management, and releasing early with a product that is less than half finished really causes a smell.
This is a MVP, not a finished product. It's a first iteration, an experiment.
These are pretty strong signs pointing to the fact that at least one person coding this site is very much an amateur. Which is a pretty serious implication for the future.
I listed MicroFormats, because: As a foundation for a modern website, it is a great idea. Digg has the traffic and authority to make rich mark-up work. And I think adding stuff like rel="me" to your social profile-links is kind of standard.
It was certainly not a prioritized list of what to work on next. That would likely be more like: Deploy descriptive 404 page, Get old content redirected to new location, Comment functionality, non-Facebook log-in option, categories, option for a non-masonry list view, work on page speed.
I also really don't understand what was the decision behind breaking all older stories, it seems ludicrous they do not take advantage of that.
Even worse you now have to login with facebook! they did not bring back the old accounts, this seems like a very frustrating issue. Unless they want a completely new userbase...
I think they just threw the last remaining digger to reddit.
It seems to me you are really looking at not having those users that was on the site for a long time, it's not like digg and facebook really goes hand to hand together...
I was pretty impressed.
Unfortunately, that ends up being a standard, with the "refactor later maybe" staying as a maybe.
Start right, it's really no extra effort to use CSS over style anymore. It is in fact quicker.
If you write: "... arrested by the FBI" as "... ARRESTED BY THE FBI." you lose information (which screen readers could use to better pronunciation). If you style it with CSS, this information (capitalization, acronym, stress-words) is retained.
I didn't know about the issues with some foreign languages.
A UI that looks good doesn't mean it functions well.
I'm a competent computer programmer who hasn't done any front-end web development since 1999. Does anyone have a link to a good explanation of how to avoid these "obvious" mistakes?
Most of what I've found via google has been along the lines of "put interesting content above the fold" and "have consistent site navigation area," whereas I'm more interested in character encoding, where and how to specify CSS, when to use span vs div, and that sort of thing.
> They don't employ canonical or robots.txt.
> They use a meta keywords tag, and it contains "celebrity news", which doesn't appear anywhere on their site.
> They hardcode CSS with styles on div's. They don't use text-transform but type headers in all-caps.
Without categories I'm doomed to read sportsrelated articles...
I seriously prefer an interface like HN - spare, clean, and information rich.
Added in edit: I my POV differs significantly from that of jgrahamc: http://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=4321826
But for textual content, I agree with you. They're rubbish. Let me read the headlines, middle-click links, and leave it at that.
Lists of titles (old Digg, reddit, HN) is a great way to browse links.
Good luck to the new Digg team!
It is impressive how much hate and negativity the comments include. Sometimes we forget that while traffic keeps up community quality can easily degenerate. They will have to put also a lot of effort into community-re-building.
This shows again shows to me how hard and impressive the task is they picked. It's social software. It's not only the rewriting of the software part but also rewiring te social part.
This is why i meant it is a huge challenge. :)
Why is this the new way to go? IMHO, it is terrible.
Look at this site, a simple and clear list of links to stories and associated comments. Simple, easy and lots of content on one screen, in my case, 27 linked stories. Please don't ever let HN go this way. I don't want big pretty pictures taking up my screen when Im trying to look for written stories to read. I am not a child.
That's why I don't understand why people here are complaining on the new format. I personally find it great and novel. The clean design and only six stories in sight allow you to focus and actually pay more attention to each of the stories.
When I see 30 stories clumped into one page, I run through their titles like a mad man, often reading just 50% of the words. Having just 6 stories eliminates the haste, it allows me to relax and slowly study all the stories before deciding if I want to read them further.
I like the new Digg. I think the team made a right move with the new format. Now all they need is really good content on the front page and users will come. I know I will check it again tomorrow.
Digg's whole problem started with when they tried to become the Twitter of news. That's not original intent of the site. If you purchased all that data, all that SEO linking, you'd have to be absolutely crazy not to migrate over at least the stories into your new design.
These guys completely dropped the ball.
They didn't pay for the data and SEO linking, they paid for the name and buzz in the media. In my opinion they are not using the old data on purpose, they don't want to have anything in common with the v4 at all. It's not modified Digg, it's a completely new Digg. This is how I'm reading their message.
Best of luck to the new team!
They just want free advertising via my social feed. Pft.
The headlines, photos and layout reminds me of Ars Technica without the original content.
This just wont be able to compete with reddit in its current format. People who used Digg before wont come back to Digg because this Digg isn't what they want.
Also, as I have the tab open, I have a notification at the bottom of the screen:
"We're hard at work on finding new stories for you... Try refreshing in a few minutes."
1. Comment. What is the point of an aggregator without comments?
2. Go to a specific category. Are those things above the titles categories? Why aren't they clickable? WTF?
I'm really disappointed - I really hoped they had learned some lessons.
Comments are where community forms.
Without community, you have nothing but a shiny, editor-controlled front page. Congrats, CNN 2.0 (No wait, even CNN allows comments...)
Other than that, great job new Digg team!
Edit: after a few refreshes and zoom in/out, the header appears to be centered correctly. it seems to be offset if i resize my window and/or other random times. the header css is kinda janky, but who cares, you guys did great for a 6 week build from scratch. :)
Users /with existing expectations/ (which Digg invariably presents) do not care about "release early, release often." They want something that kicks ass and gets it right on the first try.
Don't get me wrong - I would absolutely love to see the new Digg rocket into popularity again... but I'm just not certain that's going to be the case.
I am curious, though... what sort of operating costs might go into that?
Moderators, curating content?
It would be nice to have a small bar at the top that when clicked would show the most popular and upcoming rather than having to scroll to the bottom (although I'd keep the material at the bottom as well for those that don't notice).
The Popular section looks too big for my liking.
Of course the big thing is the content. How relevant is the content? Sadly on face value, it looks like it fails (but then again it would as the content will be the same as v4).
In conclusion it looks nice and is a welcome break, but the content doesn't make me want to sign up. I do wish the new Digg team the best of luck though, and will check back in a while to see if the content's improved.
The makes me think of the phrase 'go big or go home.' This is not a big enough departure from the last Digg to really warrant a whole rewrite and losing the original posts.
To be honest; it seems only a step away from traditional newspaper websites - which have the benefit of the zero-hour news feed. They need to inject yet more community back into this.
As someone who's spent a decent amount of time leading the redesign on a newspaper site - I remember putting far more innovation into a traditional newspaper site than this has.
I like the redesign, but I don't think it fits with social news Digg-style. When I go to a site like reddit or Digg, I know I'm not going to like every article posted. Mostly, I want to find what is interesting to me as fast as possible. Sites with large images and scattered, newspaper-style layouts make it hard for me to find what I want. This layout would work on a focused blog where I know that I am interested in most of the articles, but not on a mass news aggregator.
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Well I'm underwhelmed.
When I open it, I have no idea what I am supposed to do. Information dense pictures are being shown to me across two dimensions, my eyes have no clue what flow to follow.
Newspapers have had hundreds of years to learn how to make these sort of layouts work, it seems like Digg said "screw that, we're just going to shove it all out there!"
I hope they implemented threaded votable comments soon, though -- the community discussion is the main thing, for a lot of people!
I skimmed through the links, and I saw many of them already, on other social sites I visit, I mean HN, Techmeme and reddit. What would draw me to digg could be a community of great commenters, like one on slashdot, which would add value by providing insightful/funny commentary. Without that, it's a bit redundant to me.
Personally, I don't think that looking like a newspaper/magazine and adopting a techmeme like share mechanism is a significant enough change that the market would need.
If I were digg, I'd just hire a bunch of engineers, and let them put out a new product under the old name. Something not directly related to their past. Though I would keep their archives online for SEO.
Looks like they're trying to replicate Reddit's feel too closely! I like it!
As I see it, this is not just a redesign of the old Digg, but a whole new site with a diffrent concept. Much like "Dig is dead. Long live Digg!"
It's an old adage, but you should really do it right the first time.
I'll stick with Hacker News.
This helps battling the social site chicken/egg effect and makes spam stories hopefully less likely.
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Pinterest on top
Weird section in the middle
Hacker News type thing on the bottom.
The comments are much more important than page layout or the number of tweets.
Some people love it, some people hate it. Whatever you do, it will happen. Stay true to your vision!
That made my day.