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I still hate the new design and here's why. . .

There is too much white and other wasted space. Why does the site have to have huge fonts and all sorts of extra unused space. No, it shouldn't be so crowded that it's ugly and hard to read, but you've gone way too far in the other direction. I've seen other boards that look good and are easy to use, so I know for a fact that you can pack far more text onto a screen and have it be far more readable than this is. Is there actually anyone who likes the way this looks? Go look at www.theperfectworld.us No,it's design wouldn't work perfectly for you, since it doesn't lend itself to threads; each board is a single ongoing conversation, but it looks good and is easy to use. They did a GOOD job of creating a readable site. You did not.

You've spent all this time designing a fancy, shmancy page that I guess is supposed to look like a page sitting on a desk or something, and the search function still sucks. Any other site on which I do a search can handle some more advanced functions, yet you, supposedly oh so good at this website thing, still can't let me search "spice market" so that it brings up only instances of that phrase, not every damn post with the word spice or the word market in it. Annoying, annoying, annoying.

Why does the page extend past the right margin of my screen? On the page I'm on right now, the ads on the right are cut in half. I have no actual interest in the ads, so I don't much care about that, but I do mind when the right post column on the list of boards is cut in half.

Why are you so bad at this?

I used to read this site regularly and post sometimes. Now, I hardly ever read it. I hate that you've ruined it for me.

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  1. Right now I see everything on the page perfectly, never have it any other way. Not sure why your page is cut off or why you see huge fonts...perhaps you need to check your settings.

    As for "too much of this and that", if I did understand what you meant exactly, this would not bother me. The point of this site is not the aesthetics, though they are important to a point. I have not really thought about whether I love or hate how it looks, it never occurred to me to assess it. I am happy with it, I focus on what I like but...now that you brought it up, I do not really see the problem. I can understand some issues with functionality, these are being handled as best as they can.

    Perhaps learn to enjoy it for what it is, look forward to tweaks and improvements and then decide if you want to continue lurking or posting or ??. I find that the value here far exceeds any minor irritations.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Michele4466

      I don't care whether it's pretty, per se. I care whether it's easy to use. It's not. They could do better. I know this because I use other sites that do better. They choose not to. So, yeah, I'm pissed because they took something I liked and messed with it.

    2. Try not to get too hung up on looks. If you can still get seven pages of notes (your words) from posting a question here, then the site still works.

      1. I love the way the site looks as opposed to how it used to be. It's so much cleaner. Just my thoughts.

        1. Huge fonts, right side cut off, it sounds like you may have something wrong with your display properties. In Windows you should have the font size set to normal or small. What text size is set in the browser? What screen resolution is set in the control panel display properties? What size/type of monitor? I'm sure other people are not experienceing the cut-off problem.

          Also what you say about the search function is not entirely true. While the capability to search for phrases doesn't seem to be working, it is locating only those threads where both cold AND soup occur in the same thread and does not return any threads where only one of the words is present but not the other.

          1. I'm totally confused -- the page you gave as a sample has far more white space than this Chowhound does. I assume that if things go well for CNET, there will be more paid ads on the right side. They don't really bother me as long as the side with content is easily readable, and I think this is.

            Aesthetics are a matter of personal opinion, of course, but I think this software looks great. You're not really arguing that the old software looked better, are you?

            1. There is an awful lot of unused space in collapsed topics.

              1. "Any other site on which I do a search can handle some more advanced functions, yet you, supposedly oh so good at this website thing, still can't let me search "spice market" so that it brings up only instances of that phrase, not every damn post with the word spice or the word market in it. Annoying, annoying, annoying."


                In response to your problem with searching, try clicking on the "Advanced" button next to Search. Type in "Spice Market" in quotes, choose to search ONLY on the Manhattan board, and decide whether you want to search by Topic Only or search within Topic and Message.

                What comes up are 457 posts relating to the Spice Market restaurant in Manhattan when asking for Topic & Message, or just 64 when asking for Topic Only. On both, you can then sort by Score or Date to get the latest posts.

                So if it's the Spice Market restaurant in Manhattan you're looking for, it's not really annoying, annoying, annoying.

                It's easy, easy, easy.

                By Topic Only:


                By Topic & Message:


                "Why does the site have to have huge fonts and all sorts of extra unused space."

                Your font size is dependent on your personal settings on the computer YOU'RE using, not how it was set up by the Team. If you have a PC, try holding down the CNTL key, and scrolling your mouse scroll button (if you have one) up or down to resize the font size. Voila! Smaller font size. Easy, easy, easy.

                "Why are you so bad at this?"

                They're NOT bad at it. They're quite good, in fact, at responding to Users' requests, when they are valid ones.

                8 Replies
                1. re: LindaWhit

                  Putting quotes around a phrase has no effect. E.g. this search:


                  I figure they'll get to it eventually but it is kind of lame given the generally slick and sophisticated design.

                  1. re: Robert Lauriston

                    Umm, definitely not quite the same type of search. You're comparing a generic to a specific request.

                    You did a search for a very generic term "bistro" (including the word "report" in your quoted search) vs. the full name of the restaurant. It's obvious there are a large number of restaurants with the word "bistro" in the name in SF.

                    Try doing a search for "Bodega Bistro" in a Topics Only search, and you get 20 posts.


                    Or "Bistro 1689" and you get 3.

                    "Spice Market" is a specific restaurant in NYC. Yes, it might have a few posts in there that refer to a market that sells spices, but even Google comes up with links to the Spice Market when you Google "spice market nyc".

                    1. re: LindaWhit

                      There are only 20 posts containing the words Bodega and Bistro, and they're all about Bodega Bistro. Same results with or without quotes. Same goes for Bistro 1689.

                      Quotes have no effect. There are only two topics with the phrase "bistro report" in the title. The search I posted above finds all 21 topics with both words in the title.

                      Using quotes has no effect on the search.

                      1. re: LindaWhit

                        Linda, you are missing the point. Most mentions of places aren't in the titles. The poster wants a way to search for the phrase "spice market" in the text of posts. This is a common and highly useful feature on most internet bulletin boards and search engines that's inexplicably missing from this one.

                        What I don't get is why they felt the need to completely reinvent the wheel with this redesign. Chowhound is now quite unlike any other message board where I post -- and not in a good way.

                    2. re: LindaWhit

                      Actually, the Spice Market examples above (in LindaWhit's first post) do not execute exact phrase searches. If you click the "by topic only" link above and click to the second screen of results, you'll see the following counterexample:

                      Market with Brazilian products? Brazilian spices?

                      In this case, CH's search mechanism did not respect the quotation marks.

                      For a workaround until this is fixed on CH, see my post below about searching CH via Google.

                      1. re: silverbear

                        Yes, that's true. But by sorting by date, you get the most RECENT posts on the first page. Unless I want to find a specific post from 1+ years ago, I wouldn't click back to the second page, which has posts from February 2005 and back. I'd stick with the more recent 2006 posts.

                        However, everyone's different in what they want, and how they want to search. Using quotes and sorting by date, the method still works if you're looking for the MOST RECENT posts on a topic.

                        1. re: LindaWhit

                          Actually, it's unrelated to date. Exact phrase searching does not work in CH regardless of date. It's just that in the example we are discussing, the failure of the exact phrase searching did not show up until the second screen. For another example, it could just as easily have shown up on the first screen of results.

                          For the definitive word on this subject, please see the inquiry that Robert posed to the CH team:


                          Here's another answer from the CH team to a similar inquiry:


                          1. re: LindaWhit

                            You're confused about quotes having any effect on the search. As silverbear notes the Chowhound Team confirmed that there is no exact-phrase search at this time.

                            Which also means that there's no way to limit search results to posts by a user with a space in their name.

                      2. I generally like the new interface. In fact, it changed me from lurker to poster. Nevertheless, the ability to search an exact phrase using quotation marks seems so basic that I am amazed it does not exist at CH. We can only hope it's on a priority list for site improvements.

                        Until that occurs, there is a workaround: Search CH via Google. Here's an example of an exact phrase search of CH done via Google:

                        "spice market" site:chowhound.com

                        Just type the string above into the Google search box. The part beginning with "site" tells Google to return results only from the CH domain.

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: silverbear

                          You might think phrase searching is basic but I'm sure enabling that capability can add a lot of processing and/or index maintenance overhead.

                          I find the search capabilities on many high content independent websites to be lacking. Google is a worldwide behemoth and king of the hill in searching. They use a lot of proprietary algorithms and throw a lot of distributed resources at it.

                          This site is using a canned search package, which may or may not have the phrase capability, or it could be that enabling it would cause performance issues. They say they will be looking at it in the future which is good enough for me since there is often more to these kinds of things than meets the eye.

                          The Google option works as long as you keep in mind that just as on the old Chowhound site it may not be finding every instance of what you're searching for, and it still returns URLs from the old site which are no longer valid.

                        2. I think the new design is awful and amateurish.