Welcome to the new TechSpot!

By on July 6, 2008, 4:23 AM
Iím really pleased to present to you our new design and face for the years to come. Built around the strengths of our old layout, the new design brings some much needed changes and improvements, both from a visual and functional perspective.

The new design was thought out to be cleaner and more modern from the inside out. The new base code no longer relies in tables but is fully drawn from CSS/XHTML, which should result in faster loading pages, and for us, an easier way to control how content is displayed. Kudos must go to Mike Rohde, formerly of Makalumedia, for his creative artwork, and Evan Agee, who worked on coding. Thanks a lot guys!

In total we spent around 8 months planning, designing and implementing the new design. Of course, we couldnít dedicate in full to it but this played to our advantage as we had plenty of time to test many different things, and experiment with what ultimately became the new revamped TechSpot.



Even when a sizable amount of time was spent checking for browser compatibility, we donít expect this first phase of the implementation to go 100% bug free, so please let us know if you find something that is not working for you. You will notice that a few new things have been added like news channels, improved tabbed navigation with clickable sub-menus, tabbed search for different site sections and Google search in one click, a load of new sub-sections (e.g. most popular downloads) and things like Top Stories. We recommend you browse around and find whatís new.

At the same time, there are a few features that are still pending to be coded like a new poll system, so please bear with us in this respect. Most notably, our forums are not yet converted to the new layout. Rest assured that comes next in our list of priorities, in fact, as I was typing this we already received a lot of positive feedback from you guys in our boards. Thank you.

We also understand that not everybody welcomes change as widely as we wished for, however we truly believe the new design is a huge step forward and as has been the case before, in a matter of weeks or even days most of you will feel at home again as you get used to the new colors and organization of the site.

As always, thank you for your continued support and look forward bringing more and better content your way, soon.




User Comments: 41

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fullmetalvegan said:
I don't like the colour scheme, too white. Bring out a black version. =P
Greenman said:
RSS feeds now contain 'localhost' rather than techspot.com. Whoops! Please fix.I like to new look. Simple is good.
Julio said:
Thanks for the note, I have fixed the RSS bug now.FYI, further discussion is taking place in the forums (with the old layout, though :)): [url]http://www.techspot.com/vb/topic107965.html[/url]
Didou said:
Are the forums next in line for a design change ?
Julio said:
Indeed they are. I mentioned this in the post... or was it in the forums? Anyway, I'm working on it as we speak.
canadian said:
This seems more ad intensive, but possibly just because they are bigger on the side. Overall, its not bad.
dustin_ds3000 said:
nice job on the new look Julio, the home page loads in 5 or 6 secs for me and im on dial-up. great job
BMfan said:
looks much better,i am using a hd crt so text looks better for me,Thanx
Paul_K said:
AWESOME JOB GUYS!!!The new site is fresh, clean, functional and tight! Thanks for the hard work. I have come to TechSpot for years and I appreciate the site so much.Thanks again and I for one will definitely enjoy the improvements!Paul Kern
fly_guy said:
NICE JOB!! new look is amazing and looks so much more modern then the old one :]
masoud_ata said:
The font is really bad. I don't know why, maybe because it's too thin or something. Can you fix it? It just doesn't look right.
chickenroyal said:
Excellent new layout, love it! Nice job :)
Finchy said:
I like the new layout, it's very modern and clean with lots of features in a simple layout.Good job guys
boogityboo04 said:
[b]Originally posted by masoud_ata:[/b][quote]The font is really bad. I don't know why, maybe because it's too thin or something. Can you fix it? It just doesn't look right.[/quote]The font looks great for me. Make sure you don't have some weird setting in your browser for how it renders fonts. Maybe check if you have anti aliased fonts enabled or not.
Nick Lee said:
(O.O) I'm scared... lol I'm just kidding. I love this new layout. This was a job well done. *Gives a thumbs up and a huge smile* d(^_^)Z
Julio said:
I no longer have a CRT around to see how the new design looks in one, but I also suspect it could be a matter of font smoothing.I guess some people will find the new design too bright, at least at first instance when compared to the older layout which had a darker background. But as far as the main font in concerned we have kept it Arial 13px/10pt which is a very legible and standard font for web reading.Thanks for the feedback guys, keep it coming.
boykov said:
For a moment i thought i was in the wrong place....The new Look looks Great...Cheers
gamejunkie72792 said:
hmm i like it, but its too bright for me, a black or "graphite" version would be pretty sweet. but i could get used ti this.
gbe300 said:
I am already missing the old look, but this is a great upgrade! Definitely loads faster and is a nice face lift. Great job!
masoud_ata said:
I have the aforementioned font problem in the following setting:LCD (Laptop) @ 1680x1050I checked TechSpot in 2 more scenarios:LCD (PC) @ 1280x1024andLCD (Laptop) @ 1920x1200And it looked just fine.The problem is that, other sites look fine on my laptop(1680x1050) and I used both Firefox 3 and IE 7 to check TechSpot, and they both rendered it badly, so it can't be because of my browser settings. As a side note, the previous Techspot layout looked fine on my laptop (No font issue).Anyway, thanks for replying.
Julio said:
If you could send me a screenshot I will be more than glad to look into the matter. I'm starting to think you may have changed the default DPI settings within Windows, but then TechSpot alone shouldn't be the problem. We also have tried to counter this very well-known issue by using relative font sizes.
thejedislayer said:
Well, I have to admit that this is a cool theme, I think I prefer the other theme, as it was more techie like, in my opinion. Still, very nice.
JudaZ said:
...sorry to say, the new design is worthless...To white, very buggy, and I really miss the old one.It was easy to read, easy to find information you wanted..This is just white!, and looks like everyone else.I first time i saw it i though i typed the wrong addressso i re-type twice before i understood, my favorite page is gone....i guess i have to get used to it, hope you fix all the bugs soon.Even the comment box is really buggy, and slow, and I'm om a 100Mbit linethe whole page is updating very slow, took almost 5 min to load the page.and then still when i'm typing this comment it feels like its still working on somethingand the text is "dragging behind while i type."
JudaZ said:
"which should result in faster loading pages" it really doesnt, before , last month , I had a 0,5Mbit connection (3G connection on the road)Now i have a 100/100 line , and the page is slower now then a month agowhen you still used the nice design..
[-Steve-] said:
I really like the new design, its modern and itís clean. It also fills the screen much better which is important with 2560 horizontal pixels ;)The fonts looks normal for me on all my systems, the white is easy on the eyes and as for load times Ö well they are still lightning fast for me on my slow ADSL connection!
Julio said:
[b]Originally posted by JudaZ:[/b][quote]took almost 5 min to load the page. and then still when i'm typing this comment it feels like its still working on somethingand the text is "dragging behind while i type."[/quote]Judaz, what browser and OS are you using? This sounds like nothing I ever experienced while preparing the new design or while I tested cross-browser compatibility.Thanks.
masoud_ata said:
Hi JulioSorry, I wasn't able to send a private message, so here goes:[url]http://rapidshare.com/files/127813335/TechSpot_vs_
BC.JPG[/url]By the way, my DPI setting is on normal (96 DPI), but I have to add that a few days ago I changed it to large (120) and then changed it back to normal without restarting my laptop, but everything looked (and looks) fine. I restarted my laptop today but to no avail, TechSpot still doesn't look right.
[-Steve-] said:
[b]Originally posted by masoud_ata:[/b][quote]Hi JulioSorry, I wasn't able to send a private message, so here goes:[url]http://rapidshare.com/files/127813335/TechSpot_vs_
BC.JPG[/url]By the way, my DPI setting is on normal (96 DPI), but I have to add that a few days ago I changed it to large (120) and then changed it back to normal without restarting my laptop, but everything looked (and looks) fine. I restarted my laptop today but to no avail, TechSpot still doesn't look right.[/quote]Try turning "clear type" on your fonts look horrible! Very Windows 98 ;)
Julio said:
I just made a change in our main CSS file which may resolve your issue since before we were defaulting to Helvetica rather than Arial (the former is widely used on Macs for the most part).I may also suggest using another browser but so far I would say it's something gone wrong with the OS installation in your machine to blame rather than anything else. Why and what part of the new TS is exposing such behavior is the million dollar question, of course.
masoud_ata said:
Yes! That fixed it. SO that CSS file modification is the million dollar answer, I guess.Thanks.
JudaZ said:
what resolution is this page made for? .. things don't fit? I rund 1680x1050 and the stories doesnt fit and get pushed far down, leaving a big white gap all over the page...what have you done??
JudaZ said:
"8 months planning" still not finished.. figured it out, it's an IE thing, the layout is actually loading correctly in FFguess its an only FF site nowadays
JudaZ said:
RE: Julioon this computer IE6 and Windows XP (i havnt gone over to IE7 because i use this for Webdesigning and i put browser compatibility high on my list,i dont want to force visitors to use one or the other browser, so i check how my pageslook in IE6 on this , then i use Firefox as well, and on another computer i have IE7.)4GB RAM , 100/100Mbit, connection, 8000-serices Gefoce GFX cardX2 processor, ond so on, The page is still displaying incorrectly, but its getting better.To bad the design still sux in my point of view.But I guess I have to live with this white design that looks like every other site.My taste is not like yours , thats just the way it is.
Julio said:
JudaZ we have indeed found some problems and inconsistencies with IE6 that were initially not there. As we implemented the design site-wide those did not become as apparent either... as it happens IE6 was the least tested of all browser suites (the rest: IE7, Firefox 2/3, Opera 9.x, and Safari 3).As you noticed, we've got some stuff fixed already, with more on the way... IE just plain sucks, but it's a fact of life with a considerable pool of our users still relying on it, for some reason.As for tastes, yet another fact of life :) I do believe it's an improvement, not only visual. But we can't please everyone unfortunately.
JudaZ said:
Yes a lot of people use IE, thats why I use it. Still have issues with the graphics, text not fitting into divs,menu loading slow, The upper left gaphics is also not loading at all. (or not in my visual range at least)...yeah guess taste is diffrent, and of cource you think its better,but i say, why fix something that isnt broken? and replacing itwith something that isnt finished?..almost like Vista, design i hate and shut of immmediatly,and not finished yet... :)
Julio said:
Another round of browser testing has gone on, fixing numerous IE6 inconsistencies and a single one remaining in Opera. We are almost golden from my perspective.
JudaZ said:
the function works better now, the graphics semt to load ok, exept for the text in the menu tabs.The design is the choice of the designere :O) (i'll stop complaining now )
Julio said:
Because IE6 doesn't support transparent PNGs we are using a java script  based fix, perhaps you have that turned off and that's why you are not seeing the menu graphics correctly.
ravisunny2 said:
[b]Originally posted by Finchy:[/b][quote]I like the new layout, it's very modern and clean with lots of features in a simple layout.Good job guys[/quote]Ditto!
JudaZ said:
[b]Originally posted by Julio:[/b][quote]Because IE6 doesn't support transparent PNGs we are using a java script  based fix, perhaps you have that turned off and that's why you are not seeing the menu graphics correctly.[/quote]nope, i have java script  enabled.The text turns out correctly after while but it takes time , everytime you refresh or load a diffrent section the text loads whith light blue background, the after a minute, almost, the graphics is changed to the correct one
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