Here's to new beginnings. TUAW has had iterative redesigns since our inception in 2004 but we've always followed the same old "river" format seen on "weblog" sites around the world. While a chronological order made sense before the iPhone, iPad, Apple TV were unleashed upon the world, it seems we have outgrown the rather limiting format of having a mere 10 posts on a page. We're also serving content to a wide range of users these days, from newbies to developers. How do we surface content in the least number of clicks to such a disparate audience?
Enter TUAW 3.0 -- currently in beta as we have a few important features yet to come. Read on for a full tour of what we're launching tonight, and a tease of what is yet to be installed.
Top navigation bar
Our all-new navigation is designed to get you to the most useful pages quickly. We'll be upgrading our video and gallery pages later, but some new items include a river of reviews, how-to's (look for more 101 posts coming soon) and events. Also, it's easier than ever to submit your app for review by clicking Contact. Also, if you have a tip, there's a handy Tip Us button that'll get us that info super fast.
Updates and Reviews
Whenever we update a post, you'll see it immediately in our carousel of featured posts (those fancy sliding pictures and headlines up top). Handy when we're tracking Apple Store is down posts or breaking news items. Speaking of breaking news, we'll have a little drop-down bar under the top navigation bar when something big happens. You can dismiss it easily as well.
Our latest app reviews are prominently displayed and you'll soon see even more of them each week. Love the iPhone and Mac apps of the day? We'll be adding iPad to the mix, so look for that and a bunch more app reviews in general.
Speaking of app reviews, if you want to get our iPhone App of the Day in your email on Fridays, sign up for the newsletter -- it rounds up the week's iPhone App of the Day posts and sends them to you via email. Easy to sign up and opt out, and we'll be expanding this to more of our daily and weekly series posts in the near future.
Sort by platform
Perhaps the most important changes are happening in an area the old timers call "below the fold," or under the updates, reviews and top nav. You can now dynamically sort your news by Mac, iPhone, iPad, iPod and Apple TV. By clicking "more" for each of these, you'll go to the page for that platform, which you can then bookmark. If you never want to see another iPhone story because you are an IT admin for a room full of Macs, just bookmark the Mac category page.
You can also toggle between a traditional list (aka "river") view, and our new grid view. Grid view gives you more stories in the same amount of space, with images and headlines only so you can quickly scan to the stories you want to read. Disabled for the moment to prevent issues on iOS (see note from Brett below).
In the future our platform-specific pages will allow you to sort by experience level, so if you want to see 101's or you're a developer, you can again sort by how deep your knowledge of a particular platform might be. We think this will really help you find exactly what you're looking for with a minimum of fuss.
Our article pages are, of course, quite shiny. Related stories are easier to see, as are categories and and tools to share a story. We hope source (where a story has originated) is also easier to spot, but tags are now hidden by default.
When we write about an iPhone or iPad app, we're using tech from AppTap to display the live price from the App Store and an AppTap star rating. We hope this helps you make purchasing decisions!
In addition, you can see our writers' Twitter feeds and learn a little about each of us by clicking on our names associated with a story right under the headline.
Oh yeah, these are all new.
Final thoughts, more to come
We're just getting started. Notice the beta on our logo? We have more cool features that didn't make it into this launch as we were shooting for a launch in time for WWDC. I'm hoping TUAW becomes your go-to resource for tips, reviews, news, deals, event coverage, analysis, opinion and much more. Stay tuned for more awesome goodies in the coming months.
An update from the design team
Hi, this is Brett, TUAW writer and one of the devs behind the new design. Apologies to all for a bit of a rough start after the introduction of the redesign. The four-person team responsible for the new look worked very had to bring a fully-functioning experience to fruition before WWDC. There were a few issues that contributed to problems for some readers, but we're continuing work to improve everyone's experience.
Some of the functionality of the homepage has been scaled back for the time being. This should effectively stop crashes on iOS and prevent some Chrome oddities. The missing "Older" and "Newer" navigation on the second page has been restored, and many other holes have been filled.
Please feel free to contact us and let us know about any issues you do still experience. We'll be working to bring back some of the nicer features (such as thumbnail view in the main post listing) after WWDC. We do welcome your constructive feedback, whether you're a fan of the redesign or not (although please do keep in mind that there are real people, with feelings, on the other side of the screen). The experience of our readers is paramount in this design, and our goal is to help you get the most out of TUAW!