Gawker’s Traffic Numbers Are Worse Than Anyone Anticipated…

No one seems to like change, I can attest to that having been through several site redesigns in my career. But like many others I don’t like the new style Gawker sites and cant completely figure out why. I think its the behaviour change, I can see how the design probably looks nice on an iPad and the independently scrolling panels are intuitive, but on a desktop it is just different to what you are used to, its not so familiar.

Straight away I switched to the classic theme, but that comes unstuck the minute you use Twitter or follow a link to them, you are back to the unfamiliar.

I also dont like that fact that:

  • Links from Twitter just take you to the homepage, and not to post you were expecting. [sometimes it works, and has been improving]
  • I am constantly directed to the UK version of the site and again at the homepage level, then you drop the ‘uk.’ prefix from the url and you again you land at the homepage of the US/International version.
  • Twitter links on my iPod take me to the non-mobile UK version, with the same issues as above.
  • I don’t like the favourites comments, I don’t know why. Its like you are embarrassed by your community. At a glance it makes stories look less popular/important when you see two comments.

These issues are not so much redesign but a consequence of it, it just frustrates you and is downright awkward when something as simple as clicking a link doesn’t provide the expected result. I think anyone would agree that will turn people off.

With each of these studies into the figures there are denials from Gawker that traffic is falling, but I know I don’t visit so much anymore. Gizmodo was my favourite Tech site, but since their iPhone4 prototype scandal and them being relegated to meta-blogging Apple events, they lost some of my dedication and now since the far out redesign I find myself visiting less.