This one has been coming for a long time, dear readers, and we're all incredibly thrilled to unleash upon you the latest look of Engadget -- but don't call it a redesign. Our amazing developers and designers have been hard at work for the better part of a year re-thinking and re-writing the site from the ground up to create something that's cleaner and simpler looking on the outside but faster and far more advanced on the inside, something that looks as amazing on your smartphone as it does on your desktop, something that brings a taste of our amazing tablet magazine, Distro, to your browsers.
I humbly invite you to join me after the break for an exploration of what's changed and what's to come in this, the new Engadget.
The previous Engadget design launched almost exactly three years ago, way back in 2009. While we loved it at the time it's since proven to be a bit... heavy. It wasn't the fastest thing to load back then and now, with more and more of our readers pulling down our site on mobile devices and cellular connections than ever before, we wanted a site just as slender and beautiful as the smartphones and tablets you're all reading it on.
With this new version our amazing crew of developers have ripped out all the site's spaghetti-like guts and replaced them with a far leaner implementation that renders way more efficiently -- even on older smartphones. In our testing we've found that the new homepage loads 50 percent faster than before and makes half as many requests for content. The total size of the full desktop page is well under 1MB, less than half its previous size. This not only helps rendering speed, it might just help to alleviate some of your data cap anxiety.
There's a growing trend to try to represent sophistication by adding visual complexity. We took another path. I believe a simpler site is a better site. I believe the content of the site should speak for itself, that great reviews and amazing features should be easy to find and easy to read, on any device.
That was one of our guiding principles in redesigning Engadget: don't let the design overpower the content. Be beautiful and sophisticated but also lean and clean. The new Engadget is all that, a wholly new look that was formed with the help of the incredibly talented team of designers who created the visual language of Distro. Readers of our magazine (hopefully that's you) will find a number of familiar stylistic hooks here. Engadget now features a single design language across our magazine and all the desktop and various mobile-optimized renderings of the site, instead of the jarringly different presentations we've hit you with in the past.
And that brings us to our final point...
Engadget now fully supports responsive design. If you've missed this latest catchphrase in web publishing, suffice to say it means we're dynamically laying out the page to look great on whatever device you throw at it. Whether you're still rocking a WVGA Droid Charge or a Retina-packing MacBook Pro, and whether you're reading in portrait or landscape orientation, you'll have a great looking site.
And, as part of our efforts to clean out and optimize things we're now far more Retina-friendly. The previous Engadget relied heavily on rendered graphical elements, images that simply didn't scale well on the latest ultra-high resolution displays like those found on the Nexus 10. The new Engadget relies more on great typography and HTML 5 to create the clean presentation you see here. The result: clean text and presentation at any resolution.
We've also stepped up to larger images and video embeds by default that will look better on higher-res devices and, with our responsive-friendly codebase, we're looking forward to continually tweaking the site going forward to make sure it looks fantastic on whatever you view it on. If something looks amiss on yours, we hope you'll let us know so we can fix it.
The new Engadget is a complete re-think of how we present our content to our most important asset: you. As such, I hope you agree that the new design not only easier on the eyes but easier and faster for you to get what you want: the volumes of amazing content our editors produce every day.
That said, this is just the beginning, a clean, square and level foundation to build upon. We have plenty of new features and enhancements in the pipeline that I think you're going to love, things that will add functionality to the site without slowing things down. We'll also be continuing to tweak the responsive nature of the site to optimize it for more platforms.
And, as part of that process, we need to hear from you. We know better than to think this launch will be completely perfect on every platform, so if you see anything amiss, we invite you to send us your feedback in our support form.
I want to personally encourage you to click around a little, to kick the tires and get a feel for what's new and what's good. I'm as ever incredibly proud of the content on the site and now, I'm happy to say, I'm equally proud of the look and performance of the site as well. I hope you love it as much as we do.
Finally, I want to thank everyone who had a hand in this. Here's just a few:
The entire mobile design team
AOL Tech Support & Dev Team