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Sep 19, 2008 04:16 PM

New look on CHOW and Chowhound


We're launching the site design upgrade on September 25th. Details can be found here:

Please post feedback to this thread.


  1. I'm mainly interested in Chowhound and it looks as though those changes are more cosmetic than substantive. No problem with that. But could I ask please, while you're at it, to change the name of the South America board to "South and Central America"? Although most people do post queries or comments for the Central American countries on the South America board, Central America is it's own entity and it would clarify knowing where to post for Panama, Nicaragua, El Salvador, Guatemala, Belize, Costa Rica, and Honduras.

    1. will it be fast?
      will moderators allow sarcasm?

      1. I like the visual changes including the use of white on both CHOW & CH.
        Even the new default avatar is intuitive.
        Overall, attractive neat & clean.

        Question: Where will the sign in page automatically take you... to CHOW or CH?

        1 Reply
        1. re: HillJ

          I'll take a look at it on our test site and see, but I would assume sign-in pages will take you back to the page you were signing in from. So if you're on this thread, and not logged in, and you hit 'log in' you should end up back on this page afterwards. That's how it's supposed to work now, as well.

        2. I don't care about the changes but if you can't make your site load faster I won't be able to use it. I nave no issues with any other site but it takes over 30 seconds to load one of your pages. What happened ?

          4 Replies
          1. re: brookerme

            I'm surprised that the re-design comes now. Does this mean that the cosmetics of the re-design have been the focus of the tech team, and not solving the many error and slow-loading issues?

            1. re: maria lorraine

              The redesign was done by our Design Team, not the Engineering team. It's a whole different group of people than the ones responsible for the infrastructure and function of the site.

                1. re: Jacquilynne

                  But isn't there lots of interaction between the Design Team and the Engineering Team? You know, where the Design Team comes-up with something and presents it to the Engineering Team, and the Engineering Team looks at it, sighs, and points out that the new design element is likely to overload the current server(s) capacity and sends the design back to the team for reworking? And then eventually a compromise is reached and the Engineering Team gets everything running and tested in a beta format, before it goes live?

                  It's kind of alarming to think that the new site design hasn't been thoroughly vetted by your Engineering Team considering all of the "tech" issues (i.e., those that need to be remedied by the Engineers) that the site is currently experiencing.

                  It sounds to me like a scenario ripe for issues, if everything's not been tested and if the Engineering Team isn't familiar with all of the new design elements and how they function / affect site function.

            2. You've GOT TO BE KIDDING!

              Frequent contributors to CH want the months long meltdown to be fixed FIRST. New eye candy is secondary.

              I'd like to see an actual FULL SIZE page before passing complete judgement, surely that can't be hard to do.

              Smaller type faces sounds bad, really bad. My eyesight isn't getting any better. Make it adjustable so I don't have to change my (global) browser settings.

              I'm with JoanN, hopefully the cosmetic changes don't make the site run even slower until the 'new and improved site functions' are implemented.

              However, changing 'Places' to 'Restaurants and Bars' sounds very ominous. This is smelling like a 'consultant' makeover. PLEASE don't turn into Yelp or CityShill!

              Thanks for listening.

              6 Replies
              1. re: DiveFan

                I second everything DiveFan has said. In addition, Chowhound has become almost unusable for me in the last few weeks. It has dropped to glacial speed. There are many threads I would have liked to respond to, but the pages just don't load. I don't know what's going on, but I'm very close to being done with Chowhound.

                1. re: Lauman

                  Agree that smaller fonts are BAD! If I were a suspicious sort I might even think this is an intentional move to try to shift the Chow population down to a younger demographic. I just can't imagine why you'd want to do that.

                  Please reconsider, or at least, as suggested already, allow font size to be user-selectable. Lots of news sites do this, it can't be that difficult.

                  1. re: BobB

                    BobB, while using the browser Firefox I hit the View tab, then select Text Size, then select Increase and nearly double the size of the font I'm reading. IE has a similar function. Can this be of help to you?

                    1. re: HillJ

                      IE does have a similar function. There is a "Page" button on the tool bar and the drop down menu lists a series of functions one of which is text size. There's the option of Largest, Larger, Medium, Smaller, Smallest.

                      Here on Chowhound, I use the Larger size.

                      1. re: HillJ

                        Very handy, thanks, especially as it has a shortcut (hit Ctrl and +). But I still think that in principle going to a smaller than standard font size is disrespectful of the significant proportion of Chowhound regulars who are well beyond their 20's.

                        1. re: BobB

                          BobB, I agree with you but while the CHOW HQ folks take these helpful suggestions in, you should be comfortable reading posts. Enjoy your day!