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August 13th 2014 4:39 pm

New Layout

Very recently (I think I would have noticed if this had been happening for more than about 24 hours) it seems you have done a redesign which I don't think is very user-friendly. When viewing a single article (not the homepage where all the articles are listed one after the other) it used to be that the page was dedicated to that article, and when you scrolled to the bottom the comments would be there, after the recommended reading links. Now, when I view a single article, if I scroll to the bottom, the page loads the *next article* below the recommended reading links, and scrolling down actually changes the URL to the next (or previous I guess in terms of time) article, and if you want to instead view comments you have to explicitly click "show comments".

The showing versus hiding comments is not a huge deal (although its annoying to have to click to open them every time) but when I scroll to the bottom of the page I expect to find comments, not be magically transported to another article and have my scrollbar suddenly not be at the bottom of the page. I dislike this trend in modern website design where everything has to be dynamic just because it can be. If I scroll to the bottom of a page I expect to be at the bottom of the page, I do not expect more stuff to magically appear (unless im on a feed-type page, such as the homepage of engadget). The whole point of the direct-URL for an article is so I can view the dedicated page for that article!

Please change it back!

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25 replies

this infinite scroll thing is terrible- it slows down my browser and computer a ton and I don't want multiple pages in 1 tab, I just want the article I clicked.

secondly the new comment system is totally bugged. comments disappear, a lot of my comments double post for no reason, and sometimes I can't see comments at all. give it up- just go back to disqus. it's not perfect but it has so many less issues than livefyre. every 6 months you guys change something and this site just gets harder and harder to use.

I signed up for engadget forums purely to tell you this. go back to how it was before- stop this now before you lose your readers.
6 like dislike

Thanks everyone for all this feedback.

We're working on some improvements with our infinite scroll implementation and how we display comments. We're working with Livefyre to resolve some of these issues.

That said, we're making some changes to improve the experience, these changes should be live between today and tomorrow:

- We are showing the comment box + latest comments by default. If you want to read the rest of comments you can click on "Show more".

- By clicking on the comment count from the homepage you should be linked to the comments section (comments expanded).

- By clicking on the comment icon from the main article you should be linked to the comments section (comments expanded).

- By clicking in a reply link, you should be linked to that specific reply comments expanded)

I'll keep you updated!
5 like dislike

When will you fix the date on every item?
1 like dislike

Have to agree with the others here. When I open a full article I wan't that article and its comments nothing else. If there is something else I want to read I will read it.

Plus I'm not sure about anyone else but half the time the new system doesn't work anyway, instead I'm sat here refreshing the page multiple times until the stupid show comments button actually works! Did anyone actually test this new system?
4 like dislike

I'm not really enjoying these changes. It really bugs me to have all these articles all over the place, when I only clicked on one.
Users should have the option to disable this feature!
4 like dislike

This new infinite scrolling system is not good. It's actually really awkward, and something I would expect more on the main page. I open stories I'm interested in in new tabs and go to them after I've scrolled through all the stories of interest.

And on top of that, it's a serious CPU hog. Just scrolling is taxing my 4th gen Core i5 CPU at about 33%, causing a noticeable spike.
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I open stories I'm interested in in new tabs and go to them after I've scrolled through all the stories of interest.

Nothing has changed with this behavior. You can still do this as before.


-1 like dislike

The new layout is very frustrating. I do not care for the articles below the article I am trying to read. I do not like having to click on the new tab in order to open comments.

This new layout will result in less clicks, which will result in less revenue for engadget. I am not going to click to open articles in a new tab if I have to deal with this new format.

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I really wish comments would be shown by default and they would remove the unlimited scrolling. Not liking it at all. Also, I'm having a lot of issues trying to post in forums and comments. Tried several broswers.
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Hey m5harris,

First of all, thanks for the feedback.

The way we show every article is exactly the same as we used to have. When you click on a direct-URL you can read that story completely, from the beginning to the end.

The goal of the infinite scroll is to avoid dead ends and circulate new stories to you if you want to read more. Otherwise, after reading an article you can click on the homepage and keep searching for other content like usual.

About the comment section, we are hiding comments by default because we want to focus on the content, we want to promote new stories and make sure you are finding every single new piece of information about gadgets and technology.

If you want to read or write a comment, it's as easy as clicking on the button, similar to clicking a button to comment on Twitter/Facebook or any other share tool. (Not a big deal right?)

Again, thanks for the feedback, we are still working on some issues and want to create a better read experience for you!
1 like dislike

Sorry, but I have to disagree with the "exactly the same as we used to have" statement. I especially know that claim is usually made when attempting to talk off changes that clearly do change the way things used to work as "similar enough".

We could already scroll before, that is exactly what Engadget's main page was and still is. The entire point of clicking an article is so we can focus on exactly that article, especially for people who open multiple articles in multiple tabs so they can read them all after going through the headlines.

This new design is pointlessly redundant, because again, we could scroll on the main page anyway, and it utterly defeats the purpose of clicking an article to focus on that article, AND it's comments. This design also prevents a way of quickly getting to the comments, as you actually have to carefully scroll to where the "Show Comments" button is, and you can't just scroll to the bottom of the page. It makes it difficult to quickly discern where one article begins and the other ends, and this is AFTER the user has already clicked the single article to focus on it.

Second, this also completely breaks your comment system. When you get an e-mail notification of a reply, the link to take you to the comment in question has a value in the URL along with the article location so it can take you directly to that comment. With the comments now hidden by default, this does not load. And even worse, thanks to the fact that it completely and unnecessarily keeps putting the URL of the current article you are scrolled to in your address bad, overwriting whatever was already in there, that means if you scroll just a bit too far when looking for the end of the article to click that Show Comments button, it overwrites the URL of where the comment you are looking for it. And of course, just scrolling to the bottom or hitting the End key doesn't work, because of this pointlessly worthless infinite scrolling design. There is absolutely zero reason for this URL overwriting mess.

Look, the people reading Engadget are the last type of people who are against change, we as a whole tend to heavily support Electric Cars, Cloud services, Netflix/Hulu over Cable/Sattelite, etc. But this is the second time Engadget has tried to change it's design and was met with instant mirth over it. I have been commenting for years, but I just signed up for a forum account JUST to voice my opinion on this. There is no point in useless change just for the sake of change, especially when it's for the worse, not better. If you really are so dead-set on changing Engadget's design for whatever reason, how about actually polling and discussing the change with the community? Even providing an alternate URL that is a beta of the new design so people can give their opinions on it before putting it on the main site, instead of without word just completely and instantly changing everything, and breaking several things in the process.

As for the moment? I really think you should change it back and have an article discussing this. instead of just hoping people will accept this broken and flawed new design. Because, well, look at the negative backlash even a highly liked giant like Google is facing from all the forced Google+ integration, forcing a massive change, claiming everything is the same as before***, then ignoring the complaints is not the way to go.
6 like dislike

Yes, exactly, I'm all for change if it's an improvement, but not when it makes the experience worse.
1 like dislike

The entire point of clicking an article is so we can focus on exactly that article, especially for people who open multiple articles in multiple tabs so they can read them all after going through the headlines.

And this is still the case. You click the article, it opens up, you read it and boom. Now you can keep reading if you wish, or close the tab and continue as you were.
-1 like dislike

I can easily keep reading if I wish from the main page, there is no reason the article I am focusing on vomits other unrelated articles all over my browser.

There is no reason to attempt to force-feed more articles to someone, because that's all this is, a force-feed. It is a transparent attempt to generate more clicks by shoving more content in user's faces.

Sorry to be harsh, but it had to be said considering the tons of this "it is the exact same thing" damage control going around when everyone knows damn well if it was the same thing people wouldn't be complaining about it.

Force-feeding Google+ worked so well for Google didn't it?
3 like dislike

I also dislike the infinite scrolling and hiding of comments. Half the time I come just for the comments and the first time I came here after the change I found myself on another article confused as hell because the comments were replaced by another article. I mean have you read the comments here. They are really funny usually, though some times they make me lose hope in humanity. (See comments involving "unlimited" and "throttling")
5 like dislike

"The way we show every article is exactly the same as we used to have. When you click on a direct-URL you can read that story completely, from the beginning to the end."

That is not accurate at all. When I open a new tab, comments are no longer opened until I make an additional click.

We want single whole articles in a tab. They are not dead ends. This is how people read the news. This is how people share the news. The new format is very annoying. When I read online newspapers they don't just open a bunch of crap below the article I opened.
And if I want to copy and paste a URL to share the article, I have to make sure I am above the article I want. This is annoying.

Take note, you will lose readers and ad revenue. I am not going to bother opening an article in a new tab (like everyone on the planet does to read the news) if I have to deal with a bunch of other stuff in the new tab.
4 like dislike

Sorry but this is is a terrible idea, if someone opens a single article, they want to view that single article. I thought the site was broken tonight when I first noticed the new behaviour! The comments change also makes no sense, comments are a big part of Engadget, and you expect to be able to read them straight away when you click on an article. Without them being immediately visible at the end of the article, it is clearly going to reduce the conversation that goes on, maybe you want this for some reason, but it will make Engadget less interesting for me.
1 like dislike

Sorry but this is is a terrible idea, if someone opens a single article, they want to view that single article.

Literally, nothing has changed with that regard and that's exactly how it still works! You open a articles in new tabs and there they are. When you're done, you close it. If you keep scrolling, it loads the next article. If you don't want to read it, or you're done reading, close the tab. Just like before.
-1 like dislike

Sorry, but no, this is not the case. As he, I , and several other people have stated. When someone clicks an article, they want to read that single article. Single means there will be one article, and only one article, on that page.

That's the whole reason someone clicked it, to focus on that one article, otherwise, why are they even clickable?

You can't rapidly go to the bottom of the article because it keeps loading more. The comment e-mail replies are completely broken because it keeps trying to display a comment that isn't there. When you slowly go to the bottom so you can click "Show Comments", the page jitters and jumps because you scrolled too much and loaded the next article. And thanks to the asinine design where it keeps refreshing the URL in your address bar, this jitter erases the marker in the URL so it knows which comment to focus on. Those on slower systems are also suffering from lag and slowdowns as the site uses up to 30% more CPU rendering this garbage.

Basically, I am fighting the UI, I have to struggle to carefully navigate to the end of an article without going over, and struggle to make sure the page doesn't jitter. When you have to fight the UI because of it's design, that means it's not a good UI design. No good UI design should ever require you to fight it. Especially if, as you claim, "nothing has changed" when why do I even have to fight the UI to use it the same way if nothing has changed? Clearly, it HAS changed, as it requires far more effort than before to do the same thing.

What point is there now in clicking an article if it's the same as reading it on the main page because it keeps loading more articles? Loading an infinite amount of articles is most assuredly NOT in any way, shape, or form, the "exact same thing". Having the comments hidden by default is most assuredly not the "exact same thing", and the e-mail notification system being utterly BROKEN is not the "exact same thing". Claiming "It's the exact same thing.... if you ignore, this, and this, and do this, and click that, and realize you can't do this anymore, and this part of it is broken now" is about as far from "the same thing" as you can get.

It's a completely different thing, and it's a completely horrible thing.
3 like dislike

Yes, exactly, I mean I am willing to possibly go as far as understanding that you *thought* it might be a good idea, and that moving on to the next article is useful (although it wasn't and it's not), but to keep saying things like "Literally, nothing has changed" is completely stupid. If nothing had changed, I would not have started a discussion about how I don't like the changes....which basically leads me to think "nothing has changed" is actually code for "stop complaining" - which if it were just me then sure, maybe I'm weird and I'd have to live with it, but there seem to be several people in here agreeing with me. So....
4 like dislike

As he, I , and several other people have stated. When someone clicks an article, they want to read that single article.

And I will maintain that you're still able to do this as before.

Sure, there's some quirks to tackle and we'll get it sorted out! But overall, it doesn't change how a user interacts with Engadget until you get to the end of a story and decide to either a.) close the page or b.) keep reading.

With regard to loading additional content, it's really not exactly the same as browsing the main page, since the front page shows a limited set of content and this view will load the entire article. Additionally, if you're reading older content, this helps for discovery of other relevant content since you'll be shown stories that were written around the same time.

So far, we're seeing that the overwhelming majority of visitors to Engadget seem to agree. People are spending more time on the site and discovering more interesting content.

Anyway, most of the things you've brought up, including how the page jitters and what sort of criteria loads the next article are being fixed and optimized. We'll also have a fix for properly displaying and linking to comments from emails as well.

With regards to seeing a CPU spike, you should send us your browser user agent and what extensions you have installed. We're not seeing that on multiple devices that include i3, i5, i7's as well as mobile devices. If something is happening, it's most likely a conflict with a particular extension and we'd be happy to investigate further.


-1 like dislike

Still able to do it, if you struggle with the UI, but not as before, no.

"Additionally, if you're reading older content, this helps for discovery of other relevant content since you'll be shown stories that were written around the same time."

The main page already does all that, there is no need for this redundancy.

"So far, we're seeing that the overwhelming majority of visitors to Engadget seem to agree."

Actually, no, pretty much everyone has had negative comments.

Also.... about that. When this topic was made, traffic to it was low. Most of the people commenting that they disliked it were being voted up, and the first post by josedelcorral trying to ague it's for the better was voted down into the negatives and hidden. This isn't saying much though are posts were barely getting one like or dislike, since, again, not many people were voting. Tons were commenting how much they disliked the new layout though. A score of 2 or higher was an oddity.

Now suddenly, you appear, going on like a broken record "Everything is the same! Nothing is changed! Everything is fine!" to evryone who has any criticism about this change. And like magic, you are getting a high amount of likes, far far higher than the trffic coming to this thread should allow for, while everyone that dislikes it is getting downvoted. This is despite the fact that it is pretty much you alone who is arguing, with literally everyone, for the changes and everyone is arguing against them.

Hmmm...... that is not suspicious at ALL, nope.

Seriously, we are not idiots.

Not everyone has an i series CPU. I have an overclocked 3700K SLI system so I am hardly a typical user, but I have seen several comments in the articles about CPU spikes.

Oh, that's right, you forgot to do damage control in the article comments too didn't you? Since they are heavily skewed towards people disliking this change and getting likes for it there, while it used to be the same here but became the opposite story the minute you arrived.

I normally don't make accusations, but this couldn't be any more transparent. Heard of subtlety?

I wonder if this reply will suddenly disappear...
4 like dislike

Also, the whole thing with having relevant other article is already accomplished by your "recommended for you" section. That is the correct way to have the functionality you describe: show articles that are similar in keywords or timeframe to what you are currently reading, and have them arranged in a nice 2x3 grid of links at the bottom of the article so I can click through to another article if I so desire. YOU ALREADY DO THIS AND IT WORKS. There is no need to add to this with a crazy auto-loading infinite scrollbar that makes the page harder to use. It just doesn't make sense. Unless of course you are counting every time you accidentally scroll to the bottom and the URL changes as another page hit - oh wait you said site traffic was up after you made the change? Wow what a surprise, it's almost like every time someone intends to read one thing they get counted for a couple of page hits...weird. Oh sorry, it's because everyone loves the new design that you get more page hits, I forgot.
4 like dislike

I'm starting to believe this is part of the "AOL way". They're just trying to force more content (and more ads) that you don't want. I like how their reply is "it still works, nothing has changed".. right.. I've been coming to this site for many years and I think I may finally be done. Their content has been taking a steep fall in the past few years anyways. I loved watching their video podcasts with Brian Heater and Tim Stevens back in the day, the only decent editors they have left are Dana and Terrence. Not enough quality editors to even have a podcast worth watching.. sad.
-1 like dislike

Fix the damned story date/time. I can't stand the 4 hours ago, 1 day ago nonsense. Put the date on the story. I'm not in kindergarten. You did this before and fixed it, now you just undid it.
1 like dislike

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