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Feedback on the Redesign? Let us know here.


If you've got feedback on the new look for CHOW and Chowhound, or you run into any technical glitches, please let us know here.

  1. Very nice and clean UI. We'll see about performance, etc. Any way to set preferences for text size and background color like before? It's quite small text in my Firefox browser at the moment. (Or I'm getting old.)

    38 Replies
    1. re: yumyum

      Using Firefox on a PC, hold the Control ([Ctrl]) key while hitting the plus (+) key. The text will get bigger.

      1. re: alanbarnes

        Able to make print larger on other search engines also with the Ctrl + keystrokes.

        And, Ctrl dash (key to the left of +) to make it smaller, right?

          1. re: kc girl

            Anyone know how to make the text larger in Internet Explorer? I can barely read the posts now.

            1. re: GSM

              Toolbar at top, go to View pull-down menu, then to Text Size.

              1. re: maria lorraine

                Whoa Baby. Awesome. Does two things, makes it larger and moves the crap on the right side further outside the viewing area.

                1. re: jfood

                  Doesn't work for me-- moves everything to the right but text size remains the same. Odd.

                  1. re: GSM

                    Ditto for me. This just does not work for me. What is different for other people? I am using IE7 on a Windows XP operating system. There is only one page where this works.

                    However on every board other board, all that increases font-wise is the titles and headers. It screws up the screen in terms of photos.

                    I need to use the larger size text because I need that on other sites. So at best I'm just ignoring the screwed up formats. The small type, not so much. I can only read the board for a limited amount of time.

                2. re: maria lorraine

                  Wow! HUGE difference. I can almost read it from across the room! Thanks, ML

                3. re: GSM

                  Not sure if it a function of the video card and software or my Microsoft Digital Media Pro keyboard, but it has a slider where I can zoom the window. I can also do it with the wheel on my mouse if I hold down ctl and alt

              2. re: alanbarnes

                Thanks. I don't want a workaround that I'll have to adjust every time I come here. I find the "body text" to be readable, but the index pages (board pages) text is really teeny tiny. I have a headache from browsing for 20 minutes. Typical user behavior is to spend as much time browsing the index as we do in the "meat" of the posts.

                1. re: yumyum

                  yumyum. We are fixing that boards text...

                  1. re: Design_Team

                    yep. i know you guys are on it. thanks!

                2. re: alanbarnes

                  And it didn't screw up the page formatting. Thanks Alan.

                  1. re: hannaone

                    That's the point about Firefox control- and command-+. It enlarges graphics, photos, and text together.

                    1. re: sbritchky

                      I love the new firefox I wish every browser would adopt this new feature, it is outstanding

                  2. re: alanbarnes

                    Also, Firefox allows you to set a minimum font size (Tools / Options / Fonts & Colors / Advanced / Minimum Font Size). Everything smaller than your selected font (10 point, 12 point, whatever's legible on your monitor) is bumped up to legibility.

                    1. re: alanbarnes

                      So does IE.... Click on Page on the tool bar then select the size font you want.

                      1. re: Gio

                        It no longer works in IE for Chowhound.

                        1. re: rworange

                          Toolbar at Top, Page pull-down menu to Text Size.

                          If the font is sized in pixels, then the Text Size tool won't work.
                          Instead, use the Page zoom:

                  3. re: yumyum

                    I found the red/maroon relaxing, now it just looks like any 'other' website. But things are working better along with the visual changes.

                    1. re: OCEllen

                      >I found the red/maroon relaxing, now it just looks like any 'other' website
                      i agree. i hate the "whitewash".
                      it makes things look more cluttered to me.

                        1. re: psb

                          I agree as well. More cluttered and harder on the eyes.

                          1. re: psb

                            Reminds me of a web newspaper page. I feel like I should skim the article and click "Close."

                            1. re: psb

                              Me too me too...

                              My eyes are actually hurt by all the whiteness on the page. I thought the maroon look was really welcoming. Now it looks like we haven't got a decent designing bone in our body...

                              I liked when they had two color options and if you didn't like the red, you could opt for the other color (what was it -- ecru or something?).

                              My $.02.

                              1. re: psb

                                one one other thing:
                                when there was a lot of uniqly colored RED on the page, i could easily
                                tell which was my CH firefox frame even if only a small part of the frame was
                                visible and the rest occluded by other windows. now it s a little harder to
                                tell from a random visible square inch. [i thought of that reflecting on
                                the "now it looks like every other WEEBsite" ... i was wonder why that
                                mattered ... and this is one reason that matters to me.]

                                OK TNX.

                              2. re: OCEllen

                                I agree 100% too-- my first thought when I saw the new design was "ow, my eyes..."
                                Not sure why all the white space seems so glaring (I'm ok with newspaper sites, in general), it just does... Might have something to do with the ratio of text/background in a typical CH post vs. newspaper articles.

                                1. re: another_adam

                                  I didn't know there was a new design coming and when I saw the white I thought there must be an error or something. Or maybe Chowhound had been hacked and taken over by someone with a less sophisticated design sense. Yeah the red was waaayyyy better. This reminds me of the old chowhound that seemed to pay no attention to design at all..The only good thing I can think of is that it might be easier for people who work in an office or something to surf CH undetected..

                                  1. re: cherrylime

                                    I too thought the page did not load correctly. The white is not pleasant on the eyes.

                                    1. re: fooodie

                                      I agree. I find the white harsh and glaring. I find it hurts to look at it for even a few minutes. I liked the beige/maroon options -- I always went for the beige. I also think the pages somehow look busier -- maybe it's because the areas with text aren't embedded in that soothing beige background...I agree that this is like the pre-CNET Chowhound.

                                      I'm curious about the rationale for the change. If it wasn't broken, why fix it?

                                      After the CNET purchase, there were a lot of problems initially when the only choice was the maroon background, and y'all added the beige option.

                                      I gather some people do like this version, though many seem to prefer the previous version. Would it be possible to have background color options as we did before? Or some simple way to permanently reduce the glare? Jim Leff has suggested some workarounds, but I'd rather not have to readjust a whole bunch of things every time I want to check out Chowhound! Thanks.

                                      1. re: emmy

                                        I am very much with emmy on this.

                                        Background options? Please?

                                        Pretty please with a cherry on top?

                                          1. re: emmy

                                            I'm in complete agreement too. The white is just too harsh. Black letters on a white background make the words disappear as the pupil dilates to receive the light from the white.

                                            1. re: Lauren

                                              Any solution to the whitewash yet? I want my red background back! :)

                                              1. re: Blind Mind

                                                A certain Rolling Stones song comes to mind.......

                                                1. re: Xiao Yang

                                                  ....and I'm guessin' it ain't "Let It Bleed" that you're referencing but it should be. As in, bring back the crimson & creme color scheme aka if it ain't broke don't fix it.


                                                  1. re: Xiao Yang

                                                    Maybe "Can Ya Hear Me Knockin" since so many people are knockin on the door for a red background?

                                  2. It looks good thanks! But, you are missing the links to the Boards in Canada - the heading is there, but no Boards (ie Western Canada).

                                    1. OMG! I couldn't resist an abbreviation! My first impression is great! Easier on the eyes. Larger. Seems a little faster?
                                      I just hope it isn't LIPSTICK ON A PIG! Not that CH was totally pig....
                                      I hope that CH has fixed bugs, made it more stable and responsive IN ADDITION to the 'new look". IS CH technical support, or anyone, going to tell us what's up with the changes? Do we just have to guess? Is it a secret? A surprise?
                                      I am pleasantly surprised.

                                      2 Replies
                                      1. re: Scargod

                                        We are still working on site wide improvements. This project took the resources mainly from our design department. Our technical team is working hard on site stability and we will continue to improve the performance of the site.

                                        1. re: Design_Team

                                          Just getting my first look. I'm sure I'll get used to the white, although I did like the distinctiveness of the red. But the font size is really a problem. I'm using IE7. When I use the "Page" function to enlarge, it does not enlarge the font size of the message itself, only the headline and other peripheral fonts. And when I enlarge using CTRL+, I'm getting an overlap of some of the words in the thread messages which won't go away unless I reduce back down to 100%, which frankly I can hardly read, even with my reading glasses on. And honestly, my eyes aren't that bad. Also, when I enlarge, the text all shifts out of the boxes. It does come back eventually, but I won't be browsing if I have to constantly refresh, wait for the text to shift into place, or reduce to 100% when there's an overlap.

                                          I seem to be in the minority, in that I rarely had loading problems, and so far that's still holding true.

                                          I know a redesign takes a lot of work. I hope you can take this feedback and find some fixes. Thanks.

                                      2. Smaller typeface + all that glaring white = Much harder to read.

                                        Times Romanish typeface = Too newspaperish.

                                        Grey, black, white and red colour scheme = Hard on the eyes, bland to a fault, boring.

                                        Overall first impression: Ugly.

                                        1. Provide alternate skins as used to be the case.
                                        2. Provide a font size setting. (Please don't tell us to increase the font size via our browsers. We'd have to reset it each time we visit and leave the site, since nearly every other site gets this right.)
                                        3. Hyperlinks are invisible unless you mouse over them. Very user-unfriendly, a triumph of form over content, looks over usability. Please underline, bold, grey out or colourize them.

                                        Glitch: You've left all the Canadian boards off the Chowhound board listing at the top of the page. I know we're invisible to most Americans, but really...

                                        22 Replies
                                        1. re: carswell

                                          What carswell said.

                                          All this white is hurting my eyes.

                                          1. re: SnackHappy

                                            It's not white. It is shades of gray. Perhaps you monitor brightness could be turned down?

                                            1. re: Scargod

                                              The background that you see in the posts and in the column for the posts doesn't show as stark white for you?

                                              1. re: MMRuth

                                                Very light gray diagonal lines for the page background, solid white in the post boxes bordered by very light gray..

                                                1. re: hannaone

                                                  Thanks - that's what I'm seeing too. It's a bit of an adjustment as I used the maroon background before.

                                                2. re: MMRuth

                                                  It may be white. I was thinking it was a little off-white. I have two very expensive, color-corrected monitors because I do a lot of Photoshop work. I don't see it as harsh or stark.
                                                  I didn't like the harsh contrast of maroon in the old layout. This is more reminiscent of working on a neutral gray background, like in Photoshop. Sounds like, for a lot of folks there is too much of it that is white. I like the contrast with the text but don't care about the large expanses of white in other areas. For one website I used a slight blue tint that is soothing to view. You pretty much can't tell it's off-white.

                                                3. re: Scargod

                                                  On my high-end CRT monitor, the background is stark white. Haven't yet pulled out my portable to see how it looks on an LCD screen.

                                                  "Perhaps you monitor brightness could be turned down?"

                                                  Why should I be forced to turn down the brightness each time I come to this site when it's just fine for every other site I frequent and was just fine for the old-look Chowhound? Also, turning down the brightness also turns down the contrast, making the text harder to read. It's a loose-loose situation.

                                                  1. re: Scargod

                                                    shades of gray? hardly hardly hardly.

                                                4. re: carswell


                                                  I want to clarify that the body fonts have not changed. The headline fonts have been decreased slightly in board region threads only. We have intentions of including font size setting in a later update. We are also aware of the hyperlink inconsistencies and will be addressing them as we work through bugs.

                                                  1. re: Design_Team

                                                    The font used in the quote paragraphs is just too small to read. But otherwise, I think that the readability has improved overall - the white is definitely better, the separations, whether with or without lines, much cleaner.

                                                    1. re: Design_Team

                                                      Not having captured a screenshot of the old-look pages, I can't do a side-by-side comparison. The thread listing font, the user names identifying collapsed posts, etc. seem smaller. Body font, well, if you say so, but it's still harder to read, less contrasty: to read this text without excessive eyestrain, I have to sit about six inches closer to the screen than I do for any other site I frequent (and I frequent lots of sites) or than I did for the old-look site. Whether that's due to changes in font size, font colour, background colour, glare from the rest of the page, etc., you're in a better position than me to say. But my bottom line is that, much like the last round of changes with its eyesore maroon theme, this redesign has made Chowhound less welcoming.

                                                      Edit: Viewing the thread listing is positively, painfully squint-inducing. What is that font -- 4-point Condensed Myopic? If something isn't done about that and quick...

                                                        1. re: carswell

                                                          We are fixing the font size on the thread listing asap. That font has dropped to a spec that was not intended and I totally agree it's way to small.

                                                          I share your concerns on readability and yes there are many factors that play into it on the web. Some people on these threads (I'm in this group but open to other points of view) are finding it easier to read...I'm closely monitoring all these comments and we will take them into consideration while working on improvements.

                                                          1. re: Design_Team

                                                            I really think that the lack of contrast is what makes the font appear smaller than before.
                                                            That and quite a few users may have their browsers set to an enlarged font which no longer works with the text in post bodies.

                                                        2. re: Design_Team

                                                          This is way too bright! It's also really cold seeming and the fonts are TEENY for the Boards and my eyesight is good. Why couldn't you leave well enough alone, in terms of design? Speed is good, so i wouldn't complain about that. But I weathered the change from the old format to the first new CNET change and I liked what you did back then. Why the sudden change and why is it so cold??

                                                        3. re: carswell

                                                          Totally right! I am blinded by the white look and the font size is difficult ( even with glasses) Very bad decisions on the changes!! Hope for changes soon or will give up on Chowhound. Also not easy to log on to "hot post" as was previously.

                                                          1. re: carswell

                                                            The white background is really too bright. Maybe use a darker shade of grey to keep the light grey outline of the posts?

                                                            1. re: carswell

                                                              What carswell said (again), but was mainly adding to this post regarding the hyperlinks -I just noticed that there's no way to know if they're real unless you mouse over. There's no underline, no different color on the hyperlink.

                                                              All three of carswell's suggestions are positive adds/fixes. Still don't get why the cream-colored background was taken away - the maroon red? No problem losing that - that was SO jarring to attempt to read, as is this white background.

                                                              1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                Here's the FAQ, http://chowhound.chow.com/redesign-faq
                                                                (found it on "special coverage" menu at the top of this page)

                                                                1. re: Melanie Wong

                                                                  This is definitely a good place for some general answers, Melanie - thanks!

                                                                2. re: LindaWhit

                                                                  Linda, We lost much of our link styling and are trying to get it done in our "bug" list. What you are seeing is not intentional and we will get the links working properly soon.

                                                                  1. re: Design_Team

                                                                    Cool beans, Design Team. Thanks so much for the response!

                                                              2. I much prefer the old design. The colors, the fonts, the layout was better previously. The white/gray is not as easy on the eyes (mine at least). Darker colors are easier to look at. Plus just about every other message board out there has a white/gray scheme.

                                                                This might grow on me. But I would prefer to be able to change the colors at least in my settings.

                                                                1. The font's too small.

                                                                  1. The edit buttons are missing in Places, are at least this one -

                                                                    10 Replies
                                                                    1. re: JamieK

                                                                      Hrmm. I'm seeing them -- can you check some other places and let me know if they're missing all over, or just some?

                                                                      1. re: Jacquilynne

                                                                        No, I'm not seeing the edit buttons on the places I've checked either.

                                                                        1. re: Jacquilynne

                                                                          Safari/OSX: No buttons.
                                                                          Firefox/OSX: when not logged in, there is a "login to edit" button. When you click it to log in, and finish logging in, you are brought to the main chow page rather than back to the paces page. When you eventually navigate back to the places page, there are no edit buttons.

                                                                          1. re: Jacquilynne

                                                                            Still not seeing the edit buttons on Places in IE now on my home computer (previous was at work). However, they are there in Firefox.

                                                                            1. re: Jacquilynne

                                                                              I believe you and the Design Team are trying to do the right thing by asking for input and asking for people to report problems or anomalies. I also think you are not just slapping a coat of paint on a junker or putting lipstick on it for less than honorable reasons.
                                                                              With Safari, Explorer, Firefox and now, Chrome (which I like, but has some compatibility bugs...), and different editions of same, I think it is rather important that people say what they are using, i.e., "IE 6". Until then you have a hodgepodge of information which is somewhat meaningless unless the Design Team says, "ah-ha, it's only doing that on Firefox!". Since this went up in a hurry, for some reason (?-I think that's what Design has said), and went up without de-bugging cross-platforms, I wonder whether this feedback will do them much good-or be researched-without knowing what browser the person is using.
                                                                              My 2 cents. I don't know all the facts, for sure.
                                                                              BTW, I am using Chrome Beta and wide format 24" CRT monitors and Chow occupies more space on my screen. Looks like you re-sized it for 1024 x 768. I have not gone looking for problems, but I haven't seen anything that jumps out at me. I would suggest that Chowhounders be allowed to choose from several color schemes! Many forums do...

                                                                              1. re: Scargod

                                                                                We are listening Scargod, I keep dropping out from time to time because we are a pretty small (and dedicated) crew here and I've been working on fixes as much as possible from the design end of things. We are on it, please have patience with us through this as it's going to take a little time to get all the fixes in place. Thanks for the continued great feedback all of you.

                                                                                1. re: Scargod

                                                                                  For the record, this didn't go 'up in a hurry' and was tested across multiple browsers and platforms. Our Technical Producers use MacOSX FireFox and Safari for their primary coding tests, with lots of PC, and IE testing. The Safari/OSX issues that many people are seeing aren't issues or problems we saw in months of development and testing. We're gathering reports of those bugs and will continue to tackle them.

                                                                                  1. re: CHOW HQ

                                                                                    but it's not just about bug fixing it's about design (right design team?) and maybe even aesthetics. It seems as thought you're responding to the feedback as though it's all about bug fixes. It is obvious that there is an overall negative response to the new" look" aside from the usability issues. I understand it's a tall order; chowhounds want things to be practical, usable and aesthetic. The new look doesn't address any of the 3. If the change has anything to do with making advertisers more prominent ...i don't even know what to say.

                                                                                    1. re: CHOW HQ

                                                                                      I've found the page to load very slowly. Also, I am unable to use the site on my iPhone. Can't seem to get the search button to work at all and the rest of the site is frustrating to use now. The old page worked fine, so I dont think it's a bug with the phone.

                                                                                2. re: JamieK

                                                                                  The edit buttons are showing fine in FF3/winXPSP3

                                                                                3. Hey, great! When I hover over people's profiles their avatar images pop up. That didn't work for me before in IE, only Mozilla. Thanks!

                                                                                  I also like the Most Popular Board post box at the bottom right when you're on your own profile page.

                                                                                  13 Replies
                                                                                  1. re: JamieK

                                                                                    Getting the dreaded Red X for your Avatar.... wonder why. Did you move it from the site where it was loaded?

                                                                                    1. re: Gio

                                                                                      Oh lord, don't know. I don't even remember where I got it from. I don't see the red x. I see a glass of red wine.

                                                                                      If there's a problem, hope someone can help and tell me how to fix it. Thanks.

                                                                                      1. re: JamieK

                                                                                        It was a glass of wine earlier today. Now it's the default guy. If you have something to upload, move your mouse over the disturbingly spring-loaded "My Chow" in the menubar near the top of any page. When the dropdown menu springs into view, click on "settings". On the right side of that page, under the "search" panel (which is infinitely convenient in this location because after all, what else could you possibly be wanting to do on the settings page but search chow.com :) ) you'll find a button labeled "upload avatar". Click it. Follow instructions.

                                                                                        1. re: Chuckles the Clone

                                                                                          The avater upload button -- along with the search bar -- are on every page of your my chow profile, they aren't specific to settings.

                                                                                          1. re: Jacquilynne

                                                                                            Ah yes. It's hard to tell for me because that side of the page is all mangled and dropped down below the left-column content. I'm not doing anything different here; is this -really- not being seen by anyone else?

                                                                                            1. re: Chuckles the Clone

                                                                                              I'm viewing on mac osx 10.4.11 safari 3.1.2 on a desk machine and the right side column doesn't drop to the bottom when i enlarge the text. HOwever, the window didn't enlarge, so i lost the margins and text on both sides.

                                                                                              1. re: Melanie Wong

                                                                                                10.5.5 here and I'm not enlarging the text. Default everything. Plus I've turned off privoxy so I'm not blocking anything that might be essential. Works ok in firefox for me.

                                                                                                1. re: Melanie Wong

                                                                                                  Here's a screenshot of the bottom-of-content/top-of-right-column discontinuity on my profile page. Perhaps I am smoking crack. But I'm not going to come right out and admit that in a public forum ...

                                                                                                  1. re: Chuckles the Clone

                                                                                                    I mean, -here's- the screenshot. Damn crackpipe fell on the "enter" key again.

                                                                                                    1. re: Chuckles the Clone

                                                                                                      @CTC - are you using IE, what OS? We were seeing the dropping sidebar before, but fixed it. Unless we missed your browser type. Details?

                                                                                                      1. re: 5 and Dime Eater

                                                                                                        Safari. Version 3.1.2 (5525.20.1) OSX 10.5.5
                                                                                                        This is happening with both the released version as well as the nightly webkit. The problem began within an hour of my report on the beta board (8:41pm on the 23rd), so in whatever release happened around that time. It did not occur before then. It does not happen with firefox. It happens with any browser window width, from pretty narrow to full-screen. I use privoxy for ad blocking but the problem happens both with and without privoxy enabled.

                                                                                                        1. re: Chuckles the Clone

                                                                                                          Here's something new: If I use the safari Command-+ to make the text bigger, the right column pops back up into place. But it pops back down when I command-0 (which is "make text normal size", undoing manual size changes).

                                                                                                          Additionally, the last time I tried the command+ thing during the beta it screwed up the general page layout. But now, it is all fine. Command+ seems to be a perfectly serviceable workaround for the tiny text problem at least for Safari users at this point. Since it only increases the size of text in the single window it's done in, it doesn't screw up any other pages a user may have open, either.

                                                                                                    2. re: Chuckles the Clone

                                                                                                      Kinda feel like I'm on something (besides caffeine), the way the page flies around when I click a "re: chowhound x". I think one of us needs an exorcism.
                                                                                                      Also, don't know if it's 'cause I'm on drugs, or not, but when I try and type this, the cursor has a mind of its own.... (but it's been doin' that for a while).

                                                                                      2. Too much white - tad hard on the eyes.

                                                                                        Like 'Recent posts' but would prefer to select only the Boards I'm interested in. Right now I have to use an extra click (v the previous version) to move from Board to Board that I track.

                                                                                        1. chowhound looks fine, but chow.com is messed up--lots of blank white space. i tried it in both ie and firefox (on a pc)--same in both.

                                                                                          also agree with all of the comments about the font size--too small to see.

                                                                                          1. I concur on the "too much white". It's a bit painful to read, all this glaring white. Other than that, I don't think the changes are so drastic, it's pretty much the same as before except that depressing burgundy color is gone. I would have preferred the light gray as the background color, and used the white where the gray is right now (in effect, a negative template).
                                                                                            Also, I agree that the hyperlinks should be made more visible, it's disconcerting to have to look for them.
                                                                                            Aside from that...I've seen site redesigns that were far, far worse.

                                                                                            1. Reply just now finally worked. For the last 15 minutes I've been struggling to get it to work. Kept getting an error message after the spinning circle stopped.

                                                                                              Also, everything sure is slower. I was certainly hoping that would be addressed with this change.

                                                                                              And, can you please add an "how-to" increase font sizes for each browser folks might be using (e.g. IE, Safari, Firefox, etc.) in the New Look FAQ. I don't think that you should assume that everyone who you want to use Chowhound is necessarily that tech savvy.

                                                                                              You really have to address the speed and the font size asap.

                                                                                              Edit: now everything is larger again. What the heck is happening?

                                                                                              3 Replies
                                                                                              1. re: Carole

                                                                                                Waaay too white. Really hard to read. I didn't think the old burgundy was depressing. I thought it was an elegant color. Obviously just a color preference, but the white is just too, too much.

                                                                                                1. re: Carole

                                                                                                  Agreed. The slow speed (after how many weeks?) is utterly ridiculous and, frankly, unacceptable.

                                                                                                  Edit: After posting this, I was shot up to the top of the thread for no reason. That's new.

                                                                                                  1. re: invinotheresverde

                                                                                                    The shot to the top has been going on for me for weeks. It's annoying, but less so than so many of the other glitches here...

                                                                                                2. I like the new look. The old red was really garish, in my opinion.

                                                                                                  Now just get the performance to match the pared-down GUI, and it will be golden!

                                                                                                  Having configurable cookies for the appearance is a good idea, but you will really need to be careful on that one I think. User options can get unwieldy depending on how many people you decide to listen to.

                                                                                                  11 Replies
                                                                                                  1. re: Pincus

                                                                                                    "The old red was really garish"

                                                                                                    Agreed. But the old "oatmeal" scheme was warm and eye-friendly. Did you try it?

                                                                                                    1. re: carswell

                                                                                                      I liked Oatmeal too... that was my preference before. Hope they restore that at some point.

                                                                                                      1. re: yumyum

                                                                                                        There was an oatmeal colour scheme? Heck, I would have changed over on day 2 of discovering this site if I'd known there was another colour scheme.

                                                                                                        1. re: Pincus

                                                                                                          It was really nice. We can only hope they bring it back.

                                                                                                            1. re: Pincus

                                                                                                              The Oatmeal/cream color was MUCH preferable. Another vote for going back to that....just do not bring back the garish maroon red. Lordy that's as bad as the white background.

                                                                                                          1. re: carswell

                                                                                                            I had it set to the 'oatmeal' color scheme which I thought was relaxing to the eyes. All this white is giving me eye strain and I am reading much, much less before I have to leave the site. I have my monitor set with a moderate intensity, so it isn't that my monitor is too bright.

                                                                                                            1. re: JMF

                                                                                                              If you recall, in addition to the maroon and oatmeal, there was a while color scheme which was removed several months ago.

                                                                                                              I find it curious that the white scheme was brought back, with oatmeal and maroon eliminated entirely!

                                                                                                              Mr Taster

                                                                                                          2. re: Pincus

                                                                                                            Another vote against going back to "gawdawful red."

                                                                                                            1. re: lgphil

                                                                                                              the red at least was a warm, food-related appetizing color. don't make the mistake of epicurious.com with its greengreengreen.

                                                                                                              skins and themes are easy enough to program; it's just simple CSS.

                                                                                                            2. re: Pincus

                                                                                                              Found the old red was too conspicuous at work when I was trying to be sneaky, I mean discreet!

                                                                                                            3. Safari/OSX: The layout of the right column is badly broken. It is pushed down so that the top of the right column is just below the bottom of the left.

                                                                                                              On the one hand, this is nice because it sortof hides all the non chowhound content. On the other hand, this is bad because it is almost certainly not what you intended.

                                                                                                              This is happening on all pages: topics, board listings, places, etc.

                                                                                                              3 Replies
                                                                                                              1. re: Chuckles the Clone

                                                                                                                Agree with this (I'm using IE7). And the video for "how to season a wok" is overlapping other things - looks like spacing on different articles, etc. isn't correct.

                                                                                                                1. re: scout1222

                                                                                                                  We are having lots of issues with the spacing on stories and articles. Those fixes are being prioritized last in the list behind the Chowhound board related fixes.

                                                                                                                2. re: Chuckles the Clone

                                                                                                                  I'm using Safari 3.0.4 and am not seeing a problem with the layout of the right column. I don't think that makes me very lucky, though!

                                                                                                                3. I liked the old one better. The color was easier on the eyes and the font was easier to read. It's just too white! It doesn't seem as appetizing in this color, if you know what I mean. It's sterile looking.

                                                                                                                  1. Now it's not remembering what posts I've already read.

                                                                                                                    Also, I also strongly agree that this white gives far too much contrast. Much preferred the softer oatmeal. There definitely needs to be a way (like before) to change the background color.

                                                                                                                    Edit: the not remembering already read posts problem comes and goes.

                                                                                                                    1. When I go to a person's profile I see the old avatar instead of the new one.

                                                                                                                      1. - chow.com front page is a mess - different frames are all overlapping over each, looks like a collage.
                                                                                                                        - aside from other gripes on typeface size, the typeface is way too small inside this here "reply" box. I can barely see this - meanwhile, the "Attach photo" and "Link to a place" and "Post My Reply" button are (relatively) gigantic, such that they are taking up almost an equal amount of screen space as this entire text box.
                                                                                                                        - different skin options would be nice - clearly many people don't like the white background (I'm still on the fence).
                                                                                                                        - does seem you've squeezed more content from elsewhere on the site into the right hand and bottom bar of the board pages, which I guess is a good thing, as it's done without interfering with ability to peruse the board.

                                                                                                                        edited to add - why is my post double-spaced?

                                                                                                                        4 Replies
                                                                                                                        1. re: Frodnesor

                                                                                                                          Have you adjusted your font size in your browser for a larger font. For example, in IE7,the drop down for page gives the option of five text sizes from smallest to largest. If going from standard or medium text size to larger or largest, all of the problems you mention happen. In addition you lose "My Chow" on the navigation bar if you select size "larger" For size "largest" it just wraps the nav bar around.

                                                                                                                          The text size is the same as before only if you used the default medium text size.

                                                                                                                          Design team, earlier in the thread you mentioned "We have intentions of including font size setting in a later update"

                                                                                                                          Is that what you are referring to? Also, how much later? I'll have to limit my browsing of Chowhound until the text size is readable.

                                                                                                                          1. re: rworange

                                                                                                                            I'm referring to a scenario you may have seen on sites where you see three or four capital letter A's in a row embedded within the sites webpages. Each one gets a bit larger and when you click on one of the letters the text gets larger.

                                                                                                                            I can't say exactly how much later. We have to meet with all of those on our team and scope how much work that is to implement and then prioritize that against the other issues we have.

                                                                                                                            It is something that is on our list and we had hoped to include in this rollout but were unable to due to resources.

                                                                                                                            As I've mentioned previously we haven't changed the body font from the old designs. We are monitoring these comments and will be looking into any ways we can tweak the design and or font spec from here to increase readability in any way.

                                                                                                                            1. re: Design_Team

                                                                                                                              Yes, it is the same, but only if you selected the standard text size on your browser. All that changing my text size to 'larger' does now is increase the size of the titles while leaving the text ... the important part ... a medium size. Since I happen to know that it is possible for this tweak to be made ... it was untweaked when correcting the ads on the right side dorpping to the bottom of the page ... it might be an easy, quick fix to resolve many of the complaints about the small text. I also know for a fact that it would eliminate the issue of glare. It is squinting at that small text when you were used to being able to adjust it in the browser previously that makes it seem like a harsher glare.

                                                                                                                            2. re: rworange

                                                                                                                              I am always set on "smaller" for font size in IE and am generally happy with it on 80-90% of the sites I visit - it was perfectly fine for CH prior to redesign. Likewise, failure to underline or otherwise highlight links is a pain in the butt and user-unfriendly.

                                                                                                                          2. Some quick thoughts from a casual user suffering no shortage of opinions:

                                                                                                                            Some emphasis on content gets a little drowned out in all the white and bright, colorful ads sometimes. Giving users control over the darkness and size of default fonts would be a great touch. A high-contrast version(i.e. dark background, light text, larger fonts) might save some with vision problems a lot of trouble. Taking current styles from the video section seems like a good start for something like that.

                                                                                                                            The font and spacing changes are generally a win. I love a good serif. :) The new default user icon is very classy. ;P The home page really pops, but the latest from Chowhound there feels like even more of an afterthought than before.

                                                                                                                            All in all, a step in a better direction. Nice job, everyone.

                                                                                                                            1. Generally fine so far, tho' i'm one of those challenged by the glare...too much white...

                                                                                                                              suggest making the "New Look FAQ" stand out (Bright color AND ALL CAPS) so that people register it right away, esp. after reviving from the initial OH WOW reaction and then looking for an explanation. Thanks. L.

                                                                                                                              1. Love love love the clean look. Don't like the blue avatar as it clashes horribly with the red prominent on the site. Really a pet peeve of mine, but otherwise, great. I hated the old colors.

                                                                                                                                1. Thought you'd like to see how when you "edit" recent posts, the text runs off the right side of the screen and cannot be seen.

                                                                                                                                  Mr Taster

                                                                                                                                  1 Reply
                                                                                                                                  1. re: Mr Taster


                                                                                                                                    Not all the text of a post shows when you click on Edit. The far right edge of the text is cut off -- you can't tell what is there and what isn't.

                                                                                                                                  2. Too much white. White is a marketing NONO. Bland, and uninviting to the eye. For me, it's slower, too.

                                                                                                                                    1 Reply
                                                                                                                                    1. re: Diana

                                                                                                                                      Sorry to reiterate what I just said, above, but after reading through all these posts, my eyes really do hurt. I love CH, have been using it since 2001 and would hate to give it up now, after all the wonderful things i've learned, but if this white doesn't turn at least greyer, i really will not be able to read this anymore. It's giving me eye-ache and headache, both!

                                                                                                                                    2. Way too much WHITE .. I liked the old style better.

                                                                                                                                      1. I had the old version set on the red background, which I really REALLY prefer. This is... garish. I hate the white. Really hate it. In fact, I hate it so much, I may not be back until I can reset it to something else. Seriously.

                                                                                                                                        Also, am I just dense? Did we know this was coming? How did I miss it?

                                                                                                                                        1 Reply
                                                                                                                                        1. re: litchick

                                                                                                                                          We did announce the coming changes about a week ago -- there were threads on each of the three site specific boards, as well as a link to a preview in the teaser in the top right corner.

                                                                                                                                        2. Way too much white. And the gray tones are too light to provide any eye relief.

                                                                                                                                          1. I like the gray and white. Not as cheesy as the old look and easier on the eyes. I also like the fly out menus.

                                                                                                                                            The fonts showing the poster's names are a little too small, and that welcome message on the home page should go away for people who are logged in -- I don't need to be told to sign up and that it's free since I'm already a member.

                                                                                                                                            Otherwise, nice job. I like it.

                                                                                                                                            2 Replies
                                                                                                                                            1. re: oolah

                                                                                                                                              It's easier on your eyes? Really?

                                                                                                                                              It's killing me. All this white is giving me a headache. It's making my eyes hurt.

                                                                                                                                              1. re: litchick

                                                                                                                                                Really? I much prefer the white. The high contrast makes it easier to read than those hideous colors the site had before. Most reputable content sites out there have white backgrounds for text. Think the NYTimes, Slate, etc

                                                                                                                                                Maybe you have your screen brightness turned up too far?

                                                                                                                                                My main issue is the font size, which is not a disaster, but sort of annoying.

                                                                                                                                            2. I know the Design Team will be looking at the feedback in terms of the white background, but wanted to offer a workaround for those of you having headaches: Turning the contrast settings down on your monitor can make a real difference.

                                                                                                                                              Mine has different pre-sets for 'movies', 'text', 'internet', etc and I had it set on movies, which made the white quite blinding. Switching it to 'internet', which turned the contrast down, made it much more pleasant. The same effect could be achieved by manually adjusting contrast and brightness.

                                                                                                                                              7 Replies
                                                                                                                                              1. re: Jacquilynne

                                                                                                                                                I have mine set on internet and it still gives me a headache after awhile.

                                                                                                                                                1. re: Jacquilynne

                                                                                                                                                  I tried changing the contrast, and it helps a little. But because there is also so much gray, the whole screen starts to get washed in gray.

                                                                                                                                                  Another note: the heading for the board, at the top of this thread ("Technical Help"): I think it would be helpful to somehow show that it is a hyperlink. For now it just looks like more gray text on the screen.

                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Jacquilynne

                                                                                                                                                    Or just narrow your browser window so that only the left column of the content of threads is displayed. The layout adjusts fine for that, plus you don't have to see all the crazy activity in that right-side column of adds and stuff.

                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Jacquilynne

                                                                                                                                                      I just linked to the cached page of the former Chowhound screen and what a HUGE difference. Immediately my eyes stopped straining. Then I came back here, and it's like staring at the sun--even with the contrast lowered, but I could only lower it so far, before the page just looks like a gray screen.

                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Jacquilynne


                                                                                                                                                        I hope the issue of the white background is addressed. It is not an acceptable work around to have to change contrast every time looking at chowhound and change it back for all other sites on the web.

                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Jacquilynne

                                                                                                                                                          OMG I feel like Deer in the Headlights!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!I am blinded.

                                                                                                                                                          Sorry, I work on a computer all day, over many sites and come home to view a few dozen sites nightly. My contrast is set just fine thank you. Having to turn down contrast for one site...well can I say...ain't gonna happen. And it is approaching arrogance to think I need to do that for this site....I am thinking flashbacks of soup nazi.

                                                                                                                                                          I have been a CHer for several years now and been through several of these "improvements" I mourned the loss of Oatmeal....survived the Maroon. But this is a deal breaker. i really do have a headache, now.

                                                                                                                                                          Aleve blue is a nice color.

                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Quine

                                                                                                                                                            I'm not suggesting it as a permanent solution, but for those who are enduring actual headaches while they look at the site, but who want to keep using it, it might bring them some temporary relief while the design team has a chance to address the problem.

                                                                                                                                                        2. The smaller print is a strain on my eyes so I will need Chowhound glasses. My reading glasses don't work well because I sit farther from the screen than from a book. But I think I can find a pair at Walgreen's with a little trial and error for about $15.

                                                                                                                                                          5 Replies
                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Veggo

                                                                                                                                                            Pick me up a pair would you? Thanx.

                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Gio

                                                                                                                                                              Funny you say that, Gio. I bought two pair of titanium-framed, 1.5 reading glasses today at Walgreen's (it was a buy-one get-one free deal) for $27.99 and the little type looks like a billboard now. One pair will be my Chowhound glasses. They are so good that I can tell what the monitors did last summer....
                                                                                                                                                              It would be nice to have a splash of color in the field somewhere. The black and white reminds me too much of the prison newspaper.

                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Veggo

                                                                                                                                                                I got bifocal contacts 4 months ago so I wouldn't have to wear reading glasses, but they do absolutely nothing for this site. I'm finally to the point where I can wear them almost all day without feeling like my eyes are being rubbed with sandpaper, and now I'm back to where I started with the eye-strain headaches from this site. I will wear my progressive glasses tomorrow to see if it improves things any since they have separate reading and computer powers. The really pathetic thing about all of this is that I'm still in my early 30s and have horrible eyes.

                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Veggo

                                                                                                                                                                  Oh and of course you're going to keep both for yourself..... I too would like to see a splash of color every now and then. This white on white reminds me of a hospital. Not very much like a warm, welcoming sit down and have a bite to eat site.

                                                                                                                                                              2. re: Veggo

                                                                                                                                                                I just accidently discovered another option that I don't think has been mentioned before:

                                                                                                                                                                I wore my PhotoGrey tinted prescription glasses inside and they cut the white background or increase the contrast just enough.

                                                                                                                                                                Now, just get rid of the supersmall fonts that don't improve space utilization or readability.
                                                                                                                                                                Thank you.

                                                                                                                                                              3. It's very bright, it's very VERY slow again, and I join with those (on the "take a look at the redesign" threads from earlier) who objected to "Places" being renamed "Restaurants and Bars" - on the Boston board, at least, there are plenty of places amongst our Places that are neither restaurants nor bars.

                                                                                                                                                                1. Make the hyperlinks stand out from the body text somehow. You will get way less click-through if you don't change this -- they are nearly impossible to see unless you accidentally mouse over them.

                                                                                                                                                                  I liked the old colour scheme better. It was easier on the eyes, and was more distinctive. The all-white scheme does look more modern but there are thousands of sites out there that look more or less like this.

                                                                                                                                                                  2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: mogo

                                                                                                                                                                    The links are currently not formatted correctly and are in our list of fixes.

                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Design_Team

                                                                                                                                                                      Thanks. Can't wait to see the final product.

                                                                                                                                                                  2. Posting a reply causes the browser to scroll up to the top of the page rather than remaining at the location of the new post. This was a bug in the previous redesign, and has returned.

                                                                                                                                                                    3 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Chuckles the Clone

                                                                                                                                                                      yeah...I just got zoomed to the top of the class after a reply. What a huge pain to have to scroll back...and previously read posts were not condensed. OUCH ouch.

                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Quine

                                                                                                                                                                        Exactly. This is just a pain in the ass. Like having a great English sports car that is always broke.

                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Scargod

                                                                                                                                                                          "Like having a great English sports car that is always broke."

                                                                                                                                                                          Isn't that like an oxymoron? :-0)

                                                                                                                                                                          BTW, the proverbial 2 cents, I loved the '56 Crown Vic rich red & cream (oatmeal) format and I'm "Blinded by the Light" in this latest scheme.


                                                                                                                                                                    2. Chow.com front page is a huge mess. Layout is wrong in a number of ways. Here's a screenshot from about halfway down the page. Safari/OSX:

                                                                                                                                                                      4 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Chuckles the Clone

                                                                                                                                                                        Perhaps CNET or Chowhound uses web design interns who are still learning? Some of this is very fundamental, like seeing that it works across platforms before you put it out to the world.

                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Chuckles the Clone

                                                                                                                                                                          Same deal for me. Please fix this. I don't want to have to load firefox every time I need a chow fix. I am using the most recent version of safari.

                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: mortarNpestle

                                                                                                                                                                            No problem for me. Also most recent version of Safari/OSX. Could it have been fixed in the past half hour? or is there another cause?

                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: JoanN

                                                                                                                                                                              Still a problem for me. Chow looks just like it does in CTC's screenshots. I can get it to work better if I enlarge the text (command+) but that makes everything else too large and I have to stretch my default window size to see the page. Its not a huge deal i guess, but I would think it should work regardless. Once again, in firefox it works either way. Also, just to be clear, Im running safari 3.1.2 and osx 10.5.4 on a macbook pro.

                                                                                                                                                                        2. My biggest beef so far is that the listing of topics within each board uses a much smaller font size than before. For that matter, now that I am replying, so does this text edit box. In the case of this screen, if I use the browser controls for increasing the font size, the rest of the text (i.e. the text in the actual posts) gets too big. So that is not a solution. The text sizing before was perfect. So this is a big step backwards. This is a huge pain. I can get over the change in color schemes and such, but the text sizes should be set as they were before.

                                                                                                                                                                          2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: CrazyOne

                                                                                                                                                                            We are working on restoring the text sizes, for instance in the reply box where they have gotten smaller however that was not the intent but an error in translation. The body text is same as before. The listing of topics is smaller as we felt it would facilitate getting more topics up on your screen at a time making it quicker to scan. We are taking in all this feedback and will address these issues accordingly.

                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Design_Team

                                                                                                                                                                              It's not so helpful to have more topics on a list if you can't read them anymore ....

                                                                                                                                                                              The constant changing of font size is also causing some of the eye strain almost everyone is complaining about I'm sure.

                                                                                                                                                                          2. Minor thing--


                                                                                                                                                                            Steinberg post is showing up four times. It looks like it's tagged with media four times.

                                                                                                                                                                            1. pet peeve...ads that when you happen to accidentally drag the cursor over them open immediately...and that inevitably, given the relationship of the right column ads with stuff on the page, will result in the cursor getting dragged over them...argh.

                                                                                                                                                                              1. I HATE the new look with a passion !! Much harder to read, and hurts the eyes. The type is also horrible. I may well have to abandon CH. BTW it was not broke, so why did you fix it ???

                                                                                                                                                                                1. Your redesign is not to my taste, at all.

                                                                                                                                                                                  1. For comparison purposes, here are two screenshots of the same part of the same page under the old and new design. Body type size is identical but the line spacing has been increased in the new design which means there's less text on the page. Since one of the announced reasons for this redesign was to put -more- information on the page, this is probably an unintentional oversight.

                                                                                                                                                                                    The old design, as you can see, had a background of a very light yellow/brown/pink color which gave the pages less of a white-hot-surface-of-a-star feeling.

                                                                                                                                                                                    [This is using the Safari browser on OSX with default settings. Other browsers, settings, etc. will certainly vary.]

                                                                                                                                                                                    4 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Chuckles the Clone

                                                                                                                                                                                      Thanks for those screen shots. Just that little bit of contrast makes all the difference for these old eyes. The new version is bland and glaring, at the same time. Very wearing.

                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Chuckles the Clone

                                                                                                                                                                                        Dorking around a bit, I see that the old background color was #faf1d8 which is a very light orange.

                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Chuckles the Clone

                                                                                                                                                                                          That wouldn't be so bad if that's what I was getting in IE6.

                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Chuckles the Clone

                                                                                                                                                                                            Yes thanks, makes me miss the old days (of yesterday morning :)) -- I really don't like this new layout either. I thought I might just need to get used to it, but I'm with those complaining about eyestrain, too much white -- and I think white and grey is cold and off-putting, personally, and yes, bland.

                                                                                                                                                                                            eta: oh and that happened that others are complaining about, where after I replied it shot me up to the top and I lost my place in this loooong thread.

                                                                                                                                                                                          2. Using Safari 3.1.2 Powerbook G4 I use "Hotposts" or whatever this is called now.

                                                                                                                                                                                            The whole web page does NOT fit on my screen ....it hangs off to the side horizontally...this has never happened on Chowhound or any other sites I surf to...

                                                                                                                                                                                            1. (1) Lots of room on the right for "sponsored links' the more replies, huh!

                                                                                                                                                                                              (2) In music, reading blue ink is easier than black ink (ask Paul McCartney). But, this gunmetal gery is an okay color also. Not liking the red (as in red, black and white) but I am partial as it reminds me of certain companies. I would prefer most of the red ink be purple (eggplant) (aubergine). Blue and purple are computer colors ! Red and purple are The Red Hat Society ladies !

                                                                                                                                                                                              (3) The "Search this board" and the SEARCH (upper right) could be more pedantic; would you consider "Find it on this board" and "Search website" not so stupid, but relevant?

                                                                                                                                                                                              (4) Very professional looking. Putting on the harringbone jacket. Hey can we have optional "tablecloths" to change the background like you can on Windows?

                                                                                                                                                                                              VERY VERY GOOD WORK, professional.

                                                                                                                                                                                              (5) Gonna see if it still takes a luooooooooooong luong long time to reload after editing a post.

                                                                                                                                                                                              THANK YOU $ THANK YOU $ THANK YOU $
                                                                                                                                                                                              VERY VERY GOOD WORK
                                                                                                                                                                                              THANKS FOR LISTENING

                                                                                                                                                                                              SOUND CLIPS HERE
                                                                                                                                                                                              Tune in: Pink Martini's - Sympathique
                                                                                                                                                                                              Next up: Michael Buble - Fever
                                                                                                                                                                                              (I wish!)

                                                                                                                                                                                              1. If you guys have your hearts set on white on white, is there any chance you can make the font blacker? I use a formatting software program that has that option and it really makes a difference! Here's hoping you can do it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                1. I don't mind the bright white as much as some of the others, but the post text is not only a bit too small now, it also looks like it's grey rather than full black, which makes it doubly difficult to read. Compare it to the body text of the sponsored links to the right, for example - they appear to be the same font size but are MUCH easier to read!

                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. REALLY REALLY REALLY like the static dropdown up top to ease navigation.
                                                                                                                                                                                                    VERY COOL DUDE!

                                                                                                                                                                                                    1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: kc girl

                                                                                                                                                                                                      No great shakes. What's with the blast of black when moving between windows?

                                                                                                                                                                                                      Type is too small. Background is too blah -- and no choice this time?

                                                                                                                                                                                                      Why the redesign, I haven't seen any improvement at all.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    2. Well, it just lost the ability to keep track of New messages again.

                                                                                                                                                                                                      What I really wanted to report was that when you look at "Hot Posts" (or whatever you changed it to) and then you select "Change Board" on the upper right of the list, it crashes with an application error.

                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. Please move up the message boards. Tonight I had to scroll down the entire page, past a bunch of blank space, before I found them. You also have made the print waaaaaay too small.

                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. i can't handle the white background - seriously this is killing me.

                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. The blog list shows today's Grinder posts, but the Digest post from April 20, 2007 instead of the current one. If you click on Digest on the Blog pull-down on the nav bar, the page shows entries from March and April, 2007, but if you click on the individual Digest sections, their pages show current entries.

                                                                                                                                                                                                            7 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Caitlin McGrath

                                                                                                                                                                                                              reposting since my other post had a reply from the mods that said to post here.


                                                                                                                                                                                                              i'm really trying to be supportive, because i do like chowhound, but its more than a little frustrating to have unplanned outages that turn out to be total site upgrades.

                                                                                                                                                                                                              i'm a she-geek by trade, am on numerous forums, both for profite *ie chowhound* and those run entirely by volunteers.

                                                                                                                                                                                                              in every other instance on every other forum, there are test groups and users that give input (ie beta test upgrades) and at a MINIMUM - everyone gets some kind of advanced notice.

                                                                                                                                                                                                              it's getting more than a little frustrating to have outages and upgrades without the user community ever being notified.

                                                                                                                                                                                                              we asked this last time -whats wrong with talking to your user community? esp as a for profit venture, cbs is making money, or at least attempting to make money, off of a site where the content is generated by unpaid enthusiasts. how about a little consideration?

                                                                                                                                                                                                              and please - i need another background but white. i'm about to go blind here!!

                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: winedubar

                                                                                                                                                                                                                We did do an announcement a week in advance of the change -- it was teased in our teaser line at the top of every page, as well as in a sticky post on the top of each of the three site related boards. You can see some of the early discussion here: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/558836

                                                                                                                                                                                                                We also did do a small beta test with a couple dozen regular users of the site invited to test and provide feedback on the changes -- and quite a few changes were made during that testing window.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Jacquilynne

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I managed distributed software development for many years so I've had lots of experience with distributed software changes.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  We would never have done such a small group to test and provide feedback. Only a couple of dozens .... far too small a group to get enough valuable feedback to give a sense of potential problems. With a viewer-ship of the size of this website, that's way too limited. There is simply no way this could cover the wide range of viewers that you have.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Why was this so limited?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Carole

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Analysis paralysis. Sometimes, you just pull the lever. This crew has experience with this - they know how loud we can get after a major change - and they also know how soon things settle down and people mainly do what they come here to do - talk chow.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    They listen to our complaints and take our suggestions seriously. They go into triage mode, and then they prioritize and fix. Jacquilynne holds our hands. (not meant to be insulting - she does much more than that)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    It works. Get over it and start writing more chow stuff.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Hey Jacqui - tell the guys, Good Job. It's quicker. I haven't gotten a single error page. Sweeeet.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: applehome

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Well, I strongly disagree with the "sometimes, you just pull the lever" remark. Luckily this is just a basic forum and doesn't involve anything really important – like handling our money for example. So, maybe you are right ... just pull the lever. The only point I was trying to get across was that better beta testing would have avoided many of these complaints. As I'm sure you can tell, I am not a big fan of the implement first and then fix the problems approach.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I am glad it's quicker for you – I'm seeing very spotty performance. Still sometimes takes 30+ seconds to get to the board I frequent the most. Haven't seen any error pages, though, and that's an definite improvement.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Anyway, enough said, last post by me on the redesign.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  2. re: Jacquilynne

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    i'm a regular user *ie, always open on my laptop* and i never saw any notice anywhere.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    where's the teaser line?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    perhaps it would be a good idea to make it more obvious to more users that a change is coming up. so far i haven't found a single regular poster/reader on the southwest board who knew there was a change

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: winedubar

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      The teaser was up around the right-corner of the top menu bar, and I did see it, though barely - though I believe they were trying out the new super-tiny type for it, as it was almost invisible. It was also a static screenshot (and, IIRC, a partial one at that) rather than a beta of the actual site.

                                                                                                                                                                                                              2. when i click on 'chowhound' to get to my local southwest board, in the box that expands i can't see the southwest board. thats because it drops down too far below what displays in my browswer window. if i scroll down, then i can't click on the 'chowhound' button/link because its no longer on my screen.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: winedubar

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Try clicking on the 'big' chowhound at the top of the page, then scroll down - that's been working for me.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                2. I love the white background. Very crisp and easy to read.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. I'm really not a fan of the white background. Like so many others, I find it much harder to read

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. - i'm a fan of drop down menus and not having to click back and forth to find a board...HOWEVER.....the drop down menu for Chowhound needs to be wider, rather than longer. I have to scroll down the main page in order to get the lower choices to show (also because the advertising on top takes up space), and even then, I can't get the lower ones to all show.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      -add me to the list of non-fans for the white....too stark...and personally I liked the red, it was rich.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      -as for the ads that were always there.....can't the ads not be confined to the main page....many sites have ads on their pages, but when you go to the forums, it's all forums, and they're WIDER.....not squashed into one side to make way for other stuff...less scrolling to read.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: im_nomad

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        You're so right about the forum needing to be wider. This is the only forum I frequent that still keeps ads when you're on a specific board and limits the width of their listings and messages. That's what's forcing them into using a too-small font and presenting this huge area of white that is so jarring.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      2. WAYYYYYY TOOOO BRIGHHHHHT!! :)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I'm all for a change guys, but I can't even look at the screen for longer than a few minutes....sigh...there goes endless hours of fun Chowhounding! :(

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        If there was anyway that users could have an option of the old red background, or the new white one - then I'm all for that. The old classy red made it feel very cosy I thought. The white (despite being BRIGHT) is too clinical and cold.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. There have been many comments about the size of the font but I have a problem with the new style. A font with serifs (what is it - times roman?) seems so old-fashioned. I find it jarring to my eyes and disconcerting. But I guess I'll get use to it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: JamieK

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Georgia, not Times Roman.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Sans serif fonts are easier to read/process. I actually prefer them to the cleaner but less legible Helvetica and derivatives, though not so much for the centred, all-caps board name at the top of the page. The Stories / Recipes / Blog / Chowhound lists at the bottom of the page are a sight for sore eyes, however. IMHO, of course.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          2. I hate the face that in my maximized browser window, there are two 'margins' of greyspace on either side of the content. If I resize to make things wider, I really want them to get wider.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            The rollover headings at the top (chowhound, recipes, stories, etc) are annoying. The Chowhound one especially since it extends past the bottom of my screen. Since I have to click on it anyhow to see allthe topics, why not just eliminate it and make itlinks again?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            "Hey, ThreeGigs | Logout" - Times New? Ugh, clashes with the rest of the text, and it's too small to boot.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Can you (finally) make these editing areas where we type in the posts a little larger, *please*? It's difficult to proofread in such a small area, with such small text, in grey.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            A reply to a reply to a reply to a reply is going to wind up about 15 characters wide.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            White... hurting eyes... must...get....tissue. So bright. Okay, sarcasm aside, I like black text on white, but only if the text takes up a significant fraction of the whitespace. May I suggest a slightly off-white or tan color for the background? And perhaps something darker and more colorful than the grey?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Chisel the edges more on the 'post my reply' button, because it doesn't look enough like a button to me.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Attach Photo and Lint to a PLace... why serif text when everything else is sans serif (Hey, ThreeGigs | Logout excepted). The mixing and matching of font families is jarring. To serif or not to serif, that is the question.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            10 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: ThreeGigs

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Ah, I just saw your post after posting above. I agree the serif font and the mixing is disturbing.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: JamieK

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                And while we're at it, what about c/lc? It still really bugs me that under My Chow my name is JOANN, not JoanN. There's really not much left in the new design that's all caps. Is there some reason I'm not comprehending that our names need to be all cap rather than initial cap?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: JoanN

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  What OS are you on? I'm not seeing this in Firefox on a mac OS. Let us know what OS your using and browser and we will look into it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Design_Team

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    On her profile page: "JOANN'S RECENT POSTS" and maybe elsewhere?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Good thing she didn't pick a user name like "AnAlbumCover" or "PenIsMightier" ...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Design_Team

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I'm on OSX 10.4.11, Safari 3.1.2. But this isn't a new issue. I complained about it during the previous redesign (three computers and two platforms ago) and was told it was something the then design team hadn't even considered but that they'd look into it. Evidently I was the only contributor bothered by it and nothing was ever done about it. But as you can tell, it still makes me nuts to click on My Chow and find out I'm JOANN,

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: JoanN

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I see it that way in IE as well on a PC - the username on someone's My Chow page is all caps in the profile on the right.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I bet it makes it difficult for you to do searches under your username as well, since I don't think the search function is sensitive to capitalization.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: MMRuth

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          >II bet it makes it difficult for you to do searches under your username as well, <

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Damned right it does! There's at least one poster named Joann, and I have to wade through all her posts to find mine. C/lc sensitivity in the search function would make my life a lot easier, but it would probably be a pain for others so I live with it. I'm not happy about it, but I live with it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: JoanN

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            What we really need on that front is to have quoted search terms be searched exactly -- searching user:"joann" shouldn't find user "joanne" or user "joanna". That would also work when people were searching for exact restaurant names and other precise terms, as well.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Jacquilynne

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              True, and helpful. But searching for JoanN would still bring up Joann. Hey! I'll settle for whatever I can get.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      2. re: Design_Team

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Also safari 3.1.2, but osx 10.4.11 on a macbook. Guess I won't be upgrading. Here's a screen shot of what it looks like for me.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                2. If we're tallying up here, I'll put my vote in the column preferring the old oatmeal theme. The white here does feel very bright.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Take a look at the shade of white used on the old site:


                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  If you're really committed to white, what about something like that? I used to spend hours on that version of Chowhound and I don't recall the eyestrain I'm starting to feel after just a little while here.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  9 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Chris VR

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Registering a second for what Chris VR said above....This palette is too bland and very hard on the eyes.. .. Any plans to change that out to something more user friendly?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Chris VR

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I'm working on fixes and listening to all this feedback. I wanted to upload a file comparing the old CH text vs the new CH text. On the left side of this screenshot is the new look (Arial 13px font on 18px linespacing) vs the old CH text (Arial 13px on 16px linespacing). The background hasn't changed but admittedly the site is brighter which in turn makes the text "feel" smaller. You will also notice that we increased the linespacing for readability but I'm doing tests now because it may in fact be doing the opposite and letting too much white come through increasing the glare effect. I'm also working on background colors and other design devices that will help the glare issues for heavy readers of the site... Please be patient with us as we work through these issues, as mentioned above we are a small and dedicated crew behind the scenes here and it's going to take a little bit of time to put the proper fixes in place.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Design_Team

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Thank you. It's good to know that our comments are being considered. I still think if you had a larger beta group you would have saved yourself a lot of trouble.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Design_Team

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Design Team (Jacquilynne?), thanks for the quick update that you're working on the perceived font size and the background colors - very good to know you all are listening!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Design_Team

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Whitespace good. Glare bad. Not mutually exclusive!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: embee

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Thank you for working on the glaring white. I couldn't even read the new posts to this topic before my eyes started watering. Other than the "white" issue, I have had no other problems with the site. Not like you're not busy, but could you try to offer some other color options as soon as reasonably possible. I always have food questions and issues to address... Always something bizarre going on in my kitchen. Thanks.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            2. re: Design_Team

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Let me throw in my 2 pence on this particular issue that the old 16px linespacing is both easier to read and gets more content on the screen than the 18px. Going back to keeping reply box text the same size as the regular content would be a welcome fix as well.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Design_Team

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                AH! That is exactly the problem. I knew something was off with the text, but wasn't sure what it was. The higher "density" of the paragraphs in the old version made the site less white, and much easier to read. The white space created by the increased line spacing competes with the actual content too much in the new design.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Strangely enough, as I am typing here in the reply box I notice the line spacing appears to be much smaller. Whatever it is you've got in the CSS for these boxes, please apply it to the posted items. It is definitely easier to read! The paragraphs read as one unit, rather than a series of lines.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: mogo

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Woo! You've fixed it! Many thanks. It's a great improvement already. :)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            3. the topic and the counter for the number of posts seem smaller, and much harder to read. if you look at the "last post" and "date started" column, the words to nearly maximize the space. it's much harder to read, and without enough contrast. it does hurt my eyes as well. can the design team reconsider the ratio of words-to-white space? i feel that there is a lot of unused space!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. My quick, first impression: CLEAN.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                But there's a small problem in that the page runs off my 15.4 inch PowerBook screen, and I have to move the scrollbar back and forth to view all. I'm presently using Safari 3.1.2
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I'll have a look in Firefox.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                —It looks the same as in Safari, but moments after opening, Firefox (Mac,vers 3.0.1) crashed.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I was quite happy with the last version of Chowhound, especially after you provided the light tan skin. I's say it was one of the best forum interfaces on the Web (with the exception of no private messages and a few other minor flaws.)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                EDIT: Tried this in Firefox again. Another crash.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                EDIT 2: Trying this in Camino (Mac). Looks better in terms of fitting the screen, but text size is smaller. Horizontal scrolling is necessary when I increase text size.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Why are there two, vertical, space-wasting gray bars, one on each side?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Anonimo

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  It appears most people used the red background, but like you, I used the tan, and I liked it. I agree white feels clinical, not food-friendly.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: tatamagouche

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Maroon was the default theme and an amazing number of users didn't know they could switch to the oatmeal theme. Among my circle of Chowhound friends, just about everybody who knew about oatmeal used it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                2. Thought I would chime in.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  At first glance the header seemed attractive and I thought WOW. However, I strongly agree that the listings are way too bright and too difficult on the eyes. It is difficult to scan through the posts with this type of contrast. Even as I type this my eyes are burning!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I loved it the way it was and also thought that it was one of the best forums out there. It is astonishing to me that you would make such dramatic changes without giving the users a sneak peak and a chance to give feedback!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I dislike this new look and contrast very much! HATE IT!!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. Another vote for anything but white. I find the whole page blinding, so much so that I'm signing off now before I get a headache.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Please, oh please, fix this, so I don't have to give up my beloved Chowhound!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. Mostly negative from me, sorry to say. Don't like the Times Roman/Georgia font on the header and don't like it being centered -- should be left-justified. Don't like the white background as most have already said. Font size is obviously a problem, hopefully it will be fixed soon. Also I'm not crazy about no longer having a separate Chowhound board page but instead having it as a link on chow.com, but I guess we all knew that was coming.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Greg B

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Well, www.chowhound.com still works, it just redirects to the new URL but it's still a home page for Chowhound. Could be worse!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      2. Ooh text size is too big, I mean too small. Too much glaring white space, no, not enough white space. Why can't we change the font to Olde Mucca pre-Cambian Scandinavian? Don't you get it? As a veteran of real time applications from when Bill Gates had severe acne, the #1 reason ANY of these apps make it is RESPONSE TIME/CONNECTIVITY! If you don't fix that, all other improvements are tied for last!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. Um, what's up with the scroll down effect??? it is staggered and making me crazy, as is this white background and small font.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Seriously, I adjusted to the last "upgrade", but this is too much.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I don't even know if any one else is complaining about the fxxxxx up scroll down cause I coudn't make it through the whole thread without getting a headache.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Please let is scroll down smoothly, like before!!! It burns, burrns, burns...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: rabaja

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Can you give more details on this? I'm not sure what you're referring to.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Jacquilynne

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Okay, sorry if I wasn't clear.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              In IE 7 the arrow keys used to scroll down are scrolling with almost a stutter- step. Does that make sense?
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              They do not scroll down smoothly, although my computer is set to 'smooth scroll down'.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Interestingly, in Firefox 2 it scrolls down just fine, so that's what I'm using currently.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              The small font and white screen are sadly still paining me...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          2. add my name to the list of complaints about the colors here...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I'm another person who hates change, and is of the "if it ain't broke don't fix it" mentality, so it'll just take some time to get used to the new format...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            except for the colors, please fix that!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. Much too bright. Makes me not want to browse and use the site as much as I had. Bothers my eyes.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. The WHITE is very unappetizing . If this new page was a restaurant plate I'd eat at home . Without a change in color ( some color ) I'll pick a new restaurant ( website ) .

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. Just in case the Design team isn't following the similar post on Site Talk, I'll summarize:
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  - drop down menus are Good, tweak to be usable on smaller screens e.g. Chowhound forum lists in four columns, Blog options in two columns.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  - add alternative themes back - I liked the old cream background - isn't that what CSS is for?
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  - add adjustable font sizes specific to this site in MyChow settings, if technically possible
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  - make hyperlinks a Different Color (blue) - it will break up the monotonous black text.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  - change 'Bars & Restaurants' back to Places or Placemarks for gawd sake
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Thanks for not changing too much of the look and feel.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  TIA, Mike

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: DiveFan

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Mike, Gotta say it's been tough to keep up with these threads and work on fixes! :P Thanks for the summary, agree with most of it and changes will continue to be rolled out.


                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  2. Oooo, pretty. And it seems oh so much faster too.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Since you're asking: after a while the full white does seem a little much, perhaps something a little less virginal would work, but the full-on oatmeal didn't do it for me. Something between the white and an ivory might be nice.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    All in all, very nice. Thanks!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: sailormouth

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      It is probably faster because fewer people are spending any time on the site because it is unreadable. I know I can't spend more than 10 minutes on the site without without my eyes burining out. Way to go to fix the slow performance ... make the site unreadable to a good chunk of the community.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I'll check back from time to time, but until this glare and type size is fixed, this is it for me on Chowhound.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    2. MY first impressions are positive. I prefer the new color scheme, and have no problem with the fonts, even with my 67 year old eyes. I also like the new layout -- easier to select a board, easier to search the current board.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. Sorry, but count another reader that is having problems with too much white and with the smaller (and lighter) type.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. anyone reading this feedback, I will not return to chowhound for at least a week and hopefully, magically, it will be fixed. who's with me?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          13 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: bigjeff


                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Even though the overwhelming consensus is the sight is difficult to read

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. I know nothing will be done today
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            2. The handful of positive comments will be picked out of this thread as validation that the right design decision was made
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            3. I will check back once a day. If nothing is done within a week, that is it for this site

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: rworange

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              WAKE UP, Chowhound! When one of your site's most ardent supporters and enthusiastic posters posts this (I mean the post above by rworange), you have a big problem.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Better think hard about this, CH.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              BTW, nice careful testing. Text gets cut off when editing a post, in IE6.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Steve Green

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Oh puhleeze. This happens every time there is a site re-design. People threaten to take their ball and go home and invariably stay. The team is clearly listening to the feedback and trying to reprioritize the next round of fixes.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Threats and hair-fire-setting do nothing to help.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: yumyum

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I wish I could believe that, but based upon the fix prioritizing that we've seen from Engineering, I have serious doubts (I know, it's a different department, yadayada). I'm more inclined to believe that the (presumed) twenty-somethings in Site Design don't really care about middle-aged people and their poorer vision -- if the site looks good to them that's good enough. The large number of technical problems in the new design doesn't exactly give me faith in their abilities either.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Steve Green

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    It begs the question, "what are Chow's priorities?" Money and resources went into something that wasn't broke. People were already upset with functionality and now they have more to be upset about. If it's like hitting your thumb with a hammer to forget you have a toothache, I think it's backfired. I just don't know what the management is thinking. And, is this "design by committee"?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Scargod

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Well, in your perception it wasn't broken. However, you don't know what the driving reasons were. The designers have said somewhere here that there definitely were some issues with the content management. I can't imagine what major problems could be solved with a new design but presumably there were some or CNET wouldn't have spent money and effort on doing it. I think you're not giving them enough credit if you assume they did this just for shits and giggles.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Hey, I've got my own issues with the design too, but I think you can't say there was no reason for doing it. I don't think it makes sense for them to suspend all the development on the site while the engineers work out the (multiple and seemingly worsening) technical problems. These things usually happen in parallel, driven by different areas of the business unit.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I also think there's no way one design is going to make all people happy. (I'm actually surprised to see how many people here are happy with it!) I think the best we can hope for is the designers will be able to tweak to make those of us who don't care for the contrast/headache issues happy, while not torquing off the making the people who currently like it. And there are going to be some people who just won't like it no matter what they do, like there were with the last 2 redesigns. I have no idea whether those people grew to like it or drifted away, but that's the way of the world. You can't make all of the people happy all of the time.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Chris VR

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Chris, you've totally misread what I said. We're talking the "look" here. This thread is about the new look. Cosmetics. The look was not broken to the point that it had to be fixed, the functionality IS.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        It's frikin slow right now and unresponsive! I don't give a shit what the color is till it works better!
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Yes, there are probably different areas, but there sure was a gaff by the oversight committee or general manager as to priorities.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Scargod

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I don't disagree with your experience, but I'm zipping right along today on a Mac using Firefox.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Scargod

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Sorry for misreading but again, I'll say we don't know what's going on with the business unit. There are all sorts of reasons a site might initiate a change of the look and feel (branding, marketing, positioning, consistency, legal issues, who knows?) and just because we're not privy to those reasons don't mean they don't exist. I stand by my feelings that such a change would not be undertaken lightly- if there's a change of this magnitude, I have to assume there are solid reasons for it, because I just don't believe CNET would take the chance of rocking the boat like this if there weren't good reasons for it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Chris VR

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I thought Chowhound was now owned by CBS ????

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Carole

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                CNET bought Chowhound, CBS bought CNET. So both are true.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                2. re: rworange

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  rworange, Regarding your #2 point...please, no need to make assumptions as this is not the case.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I've been on these boards with you through this process including BETA and we are working diligently behind the scenes on fixes. The fixes will take a little bit of time to unroll since some research is involved to do it right and we are a smaller crew than those of you on the outside may think. Please hang in there with us.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Design_Team

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Thanks for the reply about that.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I actually do know how small the crew is and its the reason why I've hung through on so many of the challenges of the site.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Hopefully some poster might be able to answer just what is different for some of us. It seems some people on IE can get larger size text. What is different for the rest of us? And the text does change on one page.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    It is not just cosmetic. The oatmeal was soothing, but after a while the new colors are ok. It is just I cannot read the tiny text. It is not just bitching about design. It is about blurry vision, and eyestrain and headaches. I wish I could have beta tested more, but my eyes kept giving out.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Anyway, again thanks for the nice reply. I'll just shut up now and hope things work out.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              2. My 40 year old eyes have never had to adjust font size on a website before this afternoon on this website. So I adjust begrudingly through my browser and then after browsing here, go onto other sites that I use and have to adjust back down because the font one those sites is now too large.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Um, no. Not something I want to have to do on a regular basis.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                And as a member of the Southwest board, the fact that when you pull down the drop down you can see all the boards without scrolling?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Again: Um, no.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I"m not crazy about all the negative space with the white. And I am finding even at a larger size the font is difficult to read on the white...don't know if it's because it's too light(not really a black?) or the actual font.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. I'm sorry, but I have to speak up and defend the white again.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Every content-based text-heavy site has black text on a white background. Look at the NYTimes. Look at CNN. Look at the BBC. Look at the Huffington Post. The Wall Street Journal. Time Magazine. The New Yorker. Look at ANY site. It's black text on white. Why? Because that's easiest to read. I'd like to hear the complainers name just one content-heavy web site that isn't black on white.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Sheesh -- people will complain about anything given the opportunity.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I like the white and I think it's a vast improvement aesthetically and also for readability.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  6 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: oolah

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    That's why I'm not sure it's the white that's giving me the problem. I read the NY Times and WSJ daily online as well as do lots of online reading of academic papers for some classes I'm taking. I never have issues with eye strain doing so.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Something about this combination of design, background, font and outline is really giving me issues. I think some is the actual color of the font? It seems very light on the white?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Also, the fact there's so much white that's completely negative space(no text, no ad, no photo, no nothing) over here -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------->>>>>>>>>>>>> seems to make it hard to read

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I admit I'm not very technologically versed nor do I give this stuff much thought. I'm just finding this new design very difficult to read. Maybe if the font was a bit bigger. Maybe if it were a bit blacker? Maybe if the text spread across the page and there wasn't a vast big white space on the right half of my screen?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: ziggylu

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I think you are correct about the design having issues. It's a combination of the vast amount of white space, the font size and type, and the color palette generally. Most of those other sites have fonts that appear much blacker on the screen and are therefore easier to read. In addition, they all seem to stick to blue links that are easier on the eyes than what we have here. I also do a lot of reading online and this is the only site that gives me a headache within minutes.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    2. re: oolah

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      But this is NOT black on white. It's grey on white. Not much of a contrast and difficult to read for any length of time. On IE/7.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: oolah

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Here I think is part of the problem - yes, "content-based text heavy" sites often use black text on white background. I think part of the reason this one in particular is bothering so many people is that it is NOT, due to the layout, all that text-heavy. To the contrary, as a result of the layout, the entire right-hand side of the screen is usually blank white space. Likewise, much of the space even within the board threads is white b/c there's so much spacing between lines of text, etc.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Noticed as well that many boards help rest the eyes somewhat by alternating light background colors on threads so it's not all white.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Frodnesor

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Yes, this is exactly the issue. I spend a lot of time on news sites, some of which yes, are white with black text. But they are a lot more text based, and so there's a lot less white blank space. Also, comparing this to the washingtonpost.com and nytimes.com, the links and headlines are in blue, and there are a lot of links on each page, and that also adds some contrast to the page. Here, with just the grey, whiteish grey, cold white, and then more grey for links, there's not a lot of contrast on the page, and there's a lot more white than in pretty much all other sites I go to.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          And yes, the text size (not within the threads, but on the main board pages) is way too small.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Frodnesor

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Yes, so much blank white space is a big part of the problem. Black & white is fine--there's just too much white.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        2. Initial reaction: I hate it. Cold, bright, stark on my large-screen Mac Cinema monitor. Reminds me of the winter I lived in Pierre, South Dakota.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Second reaction: ditto + many of the issues raised by others, including font size.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          chowhound is one of hundreds of Web sites that I visit regularly at home and at work, and I will not make special monitor adjustments just for you. The fact that Jacquilynne suggests it takes me back to the early days of clueless-developer, user-unfriendly computing.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          People generally have to indicate an interest in becoming beta users. This is the first example in my experience where everyone was just thrown into a poorly tested new version without warning and with no opt-out possibility.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          10 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: sbritchky

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I for one will not be continuing with Chowhound until/unless the font size and color changes are corrected to something more usable. This reply type, for example, is virtually unreadable in IE6; the topics lists on the individual boards aren't much better. The gray on white is too fatiguing to read.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Why bother going on anyway -- what a moronic decision for Chowhound to make all these changes and then to add insult to injury by coming up with ludicrous suggestions like "adjust your monitor" or "change the font size in IE". You guys are just clueless.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Steve Green

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Steve, please read what the Design Team has added to this thread - they are WORKING ON IT. Just as they did the last time the site was redesigned, giving us the option of the maroon or oatmeal/cream after many complaints about the maroon background.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Calling them moronic and clueless is so not called for and completely unhelpful. They're AWARE the gray on white is fatiguing to readers. Those suggestions are coming from other users, not the Design Team.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              While it's not optimal right now, give them time to fix things instead of calling them names. If not, it's ultimately YOUR loss for leaving CH.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                That's a nice call for diplomacy, LW.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                In the past on CH, as you well know, changes have occurred very, very slowly. Corrections have happened very, very slowly, if at all. So, based on history, the Design
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Team/Engineering Team saying they are "working on it," is not much reassurance. I wish it were.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I am hopeful the Design Team can re-group, and understand that the overall scheme they chose is not user-friendly. It's a big gulp -- to admit that after lots of hard work, that their efforts were not successful in achieving their goals. More work is in order.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                And, just as a matter of customer service, to ask the user to "fix" the design by adjusting his monitor settings does add a *little* insult to injury. Even if it's a temporary "fix." It asks the user to put up with yet another thing -- and the Chowhound user is already dealing with many error issues, slowness and other malfunctions. I can understand how a user like Steve may feel an additional layer of frustration in addition to those previously felt.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Agree with you on the name-calling, but my sense is that it indicates frustration rather than anger.


                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: maria lorraine

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  marie, we're all frustrated. I've posted enough on feedback threads and am able to express my frustration without calling the Design Team and/or the Engineering Team "clueless", "ludicrous", and "moronic".

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  An "I for one will not be staying..." comment seems more like an ultimatum and a stamping-of-the-foot temper tantrum by a kid who can't have their own way vs. an adult who knows "Hey, shit happens" and that hopefully, other adults will be fixing the situation *when* they can get to it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Should Steve choose to leave because color, font size are not changed *immediately* to his satisfaction, it remains his loss of a wonderful CH neighborhood.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    OK, LindaWhit, let’s frame this in different terms:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Let’s say you go to a restaurant where you’re a daily customer, and (although the menu is the same) there’s a new cook, who puts way too much salt on the food and adds a lot of chili oil to all the dishes. You complain to the waitress, and she replies “The cook is adjusting the recipes, just be patient and he’ll be making everything to your satisfaction in a week or two.”

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Someone at an adjoining table says: “Just take some Pepto-Bismol and you’ll be fine”. You say “That’s ludicrous -- whoever is in the kitchen is clueless, and it was a moronic decision to make those recipe changes. I won’t be coming back until things are straightened out, if ever”. A person at another table overhears and says “No need to be childish, with ultimatums and having a stamp-your-feet temper tantrum! Hey, shit happens – like the waitress said, the food will be fine in a week or two (or “when they can get to” adjusting the recipes). If you choose not to come back, it’s your loss.”

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Now before you reply that it’s a different situation because Chowhound is free and you have to pay for a restaurant meal, please remember that Chowhound is now a commercial site and accepts paid advertising, so in a sense we are “paying” by having to wade through the ads (we won’t even go into how poorly the site has been working, compared to other, more complex commercial sites).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    That said, my statement about the “moronic decision” was directed to whoever decided to go live with the new look before testing it properly. As several posters have pointed out, a dozen beta testers does not constitute a proper test. Also, I’d bet anything that at least several of those beta testers pointed out problems that weren’t corrected before the site went live. I stand by my other statements that the monitor and font size adjustment suggestions were ludicrous, and that the team is clueless. YMMV.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Steve Green

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I think that the issue is not that Chowhound is free, it's that if I went to a restaurant where I was a daily customer one time and the food was oversalted, I would not a) insult the kitchen staff by calling them clueless and moronic or b) declare that I was never coming back.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Steve Green

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Apples and oranges comparison (a restaurant changing a menu and CH changing their look).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        While I might agree that a few dozen beta testers does not a constitute a proper test, calling people names is just unproductive and rather childish. Since when is ANY software ever released with ALL of the fixes recommended by beta testers completed? I sincerely doubt there's ever been a software release that was perfect from Day 1.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        But I guess if you don't like the site, you'll find another that doesn't make any changes.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I had a small bit of insight into the beta test. At the start, there was pretty much universal agreement, often in terms much harsher than anything appearing here on this thread, that the whole thing was a disaster. And that's because there were a large number of bugs and design issues.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Over the course of the test period, there were a bunch of changes made, ranging from small tweaks to complete rethinking of a couple of aspects of the changes. By the end, while there wasn't complete agreement, it was at a point where a reasonable argument could be made for release.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Chuckles the Clone

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Thanks for some first-hand insight, CtC.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              2. re: sbritchky

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Really like the new clean look.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Works well with firefox.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                No problem.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              3. Way way too bright, and too much white. The glare and frequency are hurting.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Yes, the re-design is, uh, clean, but it's to the point of being antiseptic -- very unfood-like.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. i hope that the editors realize that a lot of "audience participation" is at stake here.... this board is an invaluable resource, and the collective breadth and depth of knowledge really is quite amazing. wouldn't it be sad if it diminished, simply because of readability issues? one need only spent a few minutes to realize that a clear consensus is forming. if you, the editors, want to improve the system, i think people are all for that. i think the question then becomes, is this (the current design) really an improvement?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: kotatsu

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    So you ask for feedback and then you delete those posts too?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Did you ASK for feedback before you made the arbitrary changes? Like sorting by date, bigger type, NOT messing with the background color?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Oh, that's right, you didn't have to ask.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    No, if you're realllllly asking the question, the new design is NOT an improvement.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  2. The new look is very cold and unfriendly. The old color scheme was more comfortable, friendly, and relaxing. This new color scheme puts me on edge and makes me antsy. The text is too small and having to adjust it every time I visit is a nuisance. I really like it better the old way. I also liked that you could set the color you wanted before as well.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. Just a minor cosmetic bug: the re: in replies is set off to the right of the reply text.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      (Viewing in Safari 3.1.2)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I just dl'd a new version of Firefox. I'll see if it crashes on this site as it did last night.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I'll do that later when I have more time.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. One of the things I find especially annoyuing in the new design is NOT having the top-of-the-screen Chow Logo and menu bar stay in place as you scroll through the posts. Please please please put the threads back in a frame and cure this annoying and time consuming problem!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        For the record, I'm using a Chrome browser reserved for Chow because the site doesn't play nice with IE. And that's a real drag.because Chrome won't build internet shortcuts at the click of my mouse, and they are my prime method of storing research or sites of interest. Bummer!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Caroline1

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          That was true in the old design as well -- the logo did NOT stay in place when you scrolled.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        2. I like it. I hated the original redesign and the red and oatmeal scheme. I have always found the redesigned site slow and I still find it slow, whether I use IE or Firefox.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I think it looks much better, and, importantly for me, it's slightly safer for work now!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. I just pulled up the New York Times web site which is also black on white to see why that works and this doesn't. First of all, the NYT is using a well-chosen font. It has serifs, which is MUCH easier to read. The NYT font is actually even smaller the the one that everyone (nearly) is complaining about here. You can go to a smaller font using serif and still keep it legible. I thought it was fairly general knowledge that san-serif fonts should not be used for large bodies of text as they cause eyestrain. Also, the NYT puts in a punch of color here and there: subtitles are in dark blue, the times are in a dark (soothing) red, the side bar listings are in grey, etc. Someone on this design team needs to look at this site to get some ideas.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            To quote an article found at http://www.charfishdesign.com/:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            "Some fonts are easier to read than others, so some are well used for main body copy while others are best reserved for chapter headings, pullquotes or any brief area of emphasis.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            The two basic choices for the main body copy font are serif and sans-serif. Serif fonts have little serifs, or tails, on them like the image to the left.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Serif fonts are often considered better used for body copy, as the serifs act as trails or pointers that lead the eye from character to character. This can reduce eye strain and make the reading little smoother.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            On the other hand, sans-serif fonts (”sans” meaning “without”) do not have the tails.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Sans-serif fonts can also work well for body copy, but because they lack the serifs, they often appear to be closer to together and jumbled. This, if not done well, can make for eye strain and tough reading and that’s no fun. So generally the sans-serif fonts are bumped up in size a bit, to increase legibility."

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            13 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Carole

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Interesting that I found what looks a lot like a clone of your new layout. Attached is a sample of it. Maybe your designer is using the same program...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: fussycouple

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Wow, good find.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I googled 'woork', found the blog, and when I went to the main site you see exactly how how much better this could look.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              2. re: Carole

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Just for the record, the old site used -exactly- the same body font. And in my browser at least, a font of exactly the same size. See my screenshots somewhere up near the top of this thread.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I'm not saying the experience is the same, but the shapes of the letters might not be the place to go looking for the problem.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Chuckles the Clone

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I think it has more to do with the fact that the font is not black on white, it's grey on white, which makes it harder to read and thus gives many of us (myself included) the impression that it's smaller.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                2. re: Carole

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Yes, I was just reading the front page of the NY Times and then came to this site. I think the fonts are the same size but on the NYT there is more contrast between the type and the white background than here. Also, lots of blue on the NY Times page which is easy on the eyes and again, together with the pictures and pops of color offer lots of contrast. Very little negative space.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  This site is also running very slow again for me today.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Carole

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    "First of all, the NYT is using a well-chosen font. It has serifs, which is MUCH easier to read."


                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    "The NYT font is actually even smaller the the one that everyone (nearly) is complaining about here."

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    No, the NYT font is bigger. Screen shoy showing today's NYT article on left side of screen, your post above on right.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: maria lorraine

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Usability studies have actually found that serif fonts are easier to read on paper and sans serif fonts are easier to read on computer screens.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: MplsM ary

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        The latest usability/readability studies say something different.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        What those found -- in both print and web media, was that font size was most important, specifially font height, and letter spacing -- and that being a serif or sans serif font didn't matter as much as those other three variables.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Here's the Arditi and Cho study from 2005:
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        "On the whole, the researchers found that there was a negligible difference in the readability and legibility of serif vs. sans-serif fonts. In addition, recent research has shown that other factors such as font-height and letter spacing may be more important than the presence of serifs in increasing legibility and readability.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        "Early evidence suggested that serifs should be avoided online. However, recent studies have shown that using serif fonts online may not be as detrimental to the online reading experience as previously thought. In fact, depending on the purpose for which a serif font is deployed, it might have some advantages over sans-serif font."

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Other studies, particular the ongoing ones by Michael Bernard, have found that blanket generalizations about serifs or sans serifs fonts aren’t enough to ascertain readability. In 2003, reading times and comprehensibility of the Times New Roman serif font was markedly higher than the Gigi sans serif font, and preferred in both personal and web applicaitons 68%.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Another study in 2003 by Bernard also confirmed that font size was more important than a serif or sans serif font. "Researchers compared the readability and legibility of Times New Roman (serif) and Arial (sans-serif) fonts with relation to typeface, size, and format, and concluded that the most important factor in determining font preference was not serif or sans-serif
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        but instead font size."

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        What was also found important:
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Font color and contrast between the font and background.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        A number of fonts on the same web page was found to be especially jarring.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        As was a multiplicity of images, and glaring, bright backgrounds -- both fatigued the eyes.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        So, for Chowhound:
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Small sans serif type doesn’t work. A larger body type would be better.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Mixing fonts doesn’t work.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Grey color fonts aren’t preferable to blue or black.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Glaring white background fatigues the eyes.


                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: maria lorraine

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Thanks for the updated info. Seems I've fallen behind using and regurgitating old Nielson info. After I pass my Java certification I'll have to spend time updating my old usability knowledge.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: maria lorraine

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Thanks for posting such a detailed and informative reply. It pretty much jibes with my understanding (not totally up-to-date but based on extensive user testing conducted in the lab of a word-processor manufacturer that was one of my technical writing clients).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Speaking personally, I generally find serif typefaces more legible for body text, whether on or off screen. Which isn't to say there aren't plenty of hard-to-read serif typefaces, too.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Some factors we -- especially the site's design team -- should bear in mind are monitor type, size and quality; environmental issues like ambient lighting; and the acuteness of one's vision and, if applicable, corrective lenses. We each tend to talk about our individual experience as though it's universal, applies to everyone, though nothing could be further from the truth. The site looks quite different -- and harder to read -- on my desktop CRT monitor than on my portable's LCD screen. On the other hand, the CRT is more adjustable. The LCD has only a brightness adjustment -- contrast is fixed -- yet it also comes with a font-smoothing utility that can significantly affect legibility.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            All this argues for a site design that, unlike the current one-size-fits-all approach, is adaptable to each user's particular combination of screen, lighting, vision and personal preferences. Skins and font-size settings would be a big step in that direction.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Still, based on the replies in this and the corresponding Site Talk thread, we can safely say that, for most users, the current setup -- the small, low contrast typefaces, the huge expanses of glaring white -- doesn't work.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: maria lorraine

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Excellent discussion of the font issue. Thank you for going into so much detail.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          2. re: maria lorraine

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Screen shot showing comparison, mentioned above:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: maria lorraine

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Have tried 3 times to upload photo...I cannot.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I like the car analogy that's been used here -- a shiny new coat of paint, but
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              what about fixing the engine?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        2. I hated the previous redesign and complained mightily. While I settled on the "alternative" theme as at least somewhat usable, it was never better than that. As such I applaud the current effort.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          The new design is less cluttered. The site seems faster, though I have no idea whether this is due to the design changes or whether there simply aren't many people online at the moment. It is more content oriented, while the previous design emphasized the (in my opinion, appalling) design elements at the expense of the content.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          That said, I have two complaints. These are serious, and I know I am not alone.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. The fonts. The default fonts are MUCH too small. Many of us are, perhaps, more "mature" than the design team if you have anything like a typical software shop. I am in the IT business and, at most places where I've worked, most designers were under the age of 30 and very few were over 40.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I use Firefox and have a VERY good display. I also have a Firefox extension called NoSquint that permits very precise, and specific, font size adjustments at both global and site levels. Using this tool, I have been able to make REPLIES to postings very legible. I have set the text size on Chowhound to 120%. However, I can do nothing to make the Chowhound menus, top level postings, text captions on graphics, and several text elements readable.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I cannot easily read what I am typing at the moment. At 120%, these text elements are too small. If I increase the font size to make them read clearly, the text instead distorts and the reply text (readable at 120%) lines run together as their leading goes negative.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Whatever you are doing to format the reply text should be applied to everything else. I like the typeface, but you MUST either make the default larger or make it possible to adjust all other text as you can adjust the reply text. I'd be happy to send you screen shots if my meaning isn't clear.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          2. The glaring white background HURTS. Other white areas of my browser are very muted compared with the Chowhound window. Other currently open tabs display white that doesn't hurt. Other open applications on my screen display whites that do not hurt.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I use Chowhound when taking breaks from work. I can't go to the effort of changing settings on a carefully calibrated screen just for Chowhound. I like the white background. I don't know what colour setting you are using that makes the site go glaringly bright, but PLEASE tone it down. My eyes have started to burn and I am developing a headache simply looking at the screen.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          In summation, I like the new design a lot. The UI is much better, But you must deal with the font sizes and the glare. The glare issue, in particular could be addressed in a few minutes. The font size issue may be more complex, but I reiterate that I can adjust the reply text flawlessly. Why not everything else?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          7 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: embee

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            The flash of BLACK in your eyes when you move between screens. If you're NOT going to change anything else to a more customer friendly format, at least can't you do something about that FLASH OF BLACK?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: dolores

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I'm not sure what you mean here. Can you describe what you're seeing and when in more detail?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Jacquilynne

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I've seen this a couple of times too. Apparently, way down underneath everything, the bgcolor of the pages is black. So what seems to be happening is the browser lays out the black page background first and then layers the rest of the page on top. If there's a delay in loading the rest of the page content (I'm guessing) then the black background remains long enough to be perceived as a black flash.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                It's a very rare-to-never occurrence here on safari, but maybe on other browsers ?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Chuckles the Clone

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Yeah, I've encountered that too, but frequently in the most recent old design, not yet in this one. I always use Firefox to access CH.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Chuckles the Clone

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    > I've seen this a couple of times too. Apparently, way
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    > down underneath everything, the bgcolor of the pages is black.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    While I don't see this effect myself, I think you're right. From the CSS:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    body {
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    background:#000; <--- This is black, but would be a simple for design team to change it to #fff (white)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    background-image: url(/images/bg_chow_refresh.gif);

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  2. re: Jacquilynne

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    It doesn't always happen, but often the background image doesn't load immediately and the black page background will appear to "flash".

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Jacquilynne

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Oh, the Black Screen of Death is quite common while navigating between
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      boards. It appears before anything else does...with the Chowhound banner at
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      the top.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Then, it's a nuclear-bomb blinding flash to white.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                2. I also find it too white. It's harsh. I need some contrast somewhere. Even the message text is too light for me. I find it very hard to look at.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. Hate. that's really about the best way to quantify it. Why?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    -The old design allowed most users to concentrate on the discussion thread, which is why we're here. The maroon isolated the conversation, so you could choose to ignore the commercial crap on the sidebar, if you desired.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    -This redesign seems to be about a design and advertising, not usability. Its all the same content priority because its on the same background color. Food is about warmth, the site should emulate that. This new site is NOT warm, its cold, stark and uninviting.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: hzp

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I'm going to agree with this. The ads seem much more prevelant, and the gray on white makes my water.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    2. the chow boards drop down menu:
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. most people use general topics, make that list first.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      2. i suggest large rows -- instead of the columns. you can do small columns within a larger row section. e.g. the first row section would be the general topics, the second row section could contain the regions, like you had on the prior design. much friendlier to use.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      3. now, i have to make a special move to ensure i can scroll over to general topics without popping "out" of the menu -- the oblique angle makes the "pop out" much more likely.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      4. the menu bar is too close to the section below; i find the drop down boards menu appearing when i'm really just trying to go to my posts...(maybe i just need to be more careful....)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      don't like the bright white
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      don't like the small type
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      what is with all the blank white space on the right side of the screen? like there --------->
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      what was wrong with the old design?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: alkapal

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        FWIW, I display CH in an 800-pixel-wide window, not maximized, making the white space to the right much less of an issue.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      2. I love the new design. It's light, fresh, and makes me want to dig into the site. As a web designer that works on major international brands, I give it a thumbs up :)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. Sorry, I am not liking this whiter then white look, it's to hard on the eyes and just to plain looking. I am actually finding myself not staying on the boards for long becase it is just to bright. OK, not sure what the problem is with posting my reply but twice I have tried to post this message and I keep getting some page about Summer somebody and the post is not going through. Will try again.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. Here's an observation about text being too LARGE:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            The font used for the Hot Posts page header ("Your Unread Posts for XXX") is so large that the header runs over to a second line of text for most boards. I'm currently looking, for example, at http://chowhound.chow.com/new_posts/40.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            For that matter, the text used for the title of the first post in each thread is also too large, e.g., "Feedback on the Redesign? Let us know here" on the current page, http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/560190.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. As this is just another posting of what many people have said, i must repeat that....THE WHITE IS TERRIBLE...besides being more difficult to look at for long periods of time, it seems that the branding that came along with the red has gone away. It now looks like any other board out there.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. Looks totally washed out with all the white...changes the entire warmth and ambiance that this community represents..

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                It's gone completely to vanilla...not even French vanilla ! Please go back to the old version but make the appropriate backend improvements...like being able to get email alerts on various discussion threads.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. One word: Skins.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  It's very easy to implement, it's easy for users to figure out nowadays, and offers the best of all worlds to everyone.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  For me personally the new layout is way too bright. Maybe the red was a bit 90's, but giving users some choice is the best and easy solution.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. hey, i'm gonna try to keep it constructive (but as you all know, i have a very hungry inner snark-monster).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    i don't like georgia. she's wussy. i think a BOLDER, more heavy-line font would solve some of the reading problems. i think everyone is working with the site on control-plus (i'm 33 and 20/20 and i need to do this), so the wimpy thin lines of georgia get fuzzy on the larger setting and contribute to the eye strain. certainly can't see screen-shots or more detailed pix very well either. the reply font is especially teeny and will cramp people's responses to posts, reducing their number and also length/detail. you know this already, but i am very concerned about it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    if the blank white background spaces
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    <----------------------------here, & here------------------------->
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    were chilled out to a more neutral color than the glaring white-- beige/tan/oatmeal, a nice warm color, hey anything really. it would really help and i think the whining about headaches would get a lot quieter. is that as simple as i think it is to fix/try?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    i would like the link buttons on the bottom of each page to have color highlights or be proper buttons, so it's more obvious and user-friendly for newer users/browsers (example on the bottom of this thread, "back to technical help," "back to top," "reply to original post").

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    it's a little more commercial-magazine-looking, which i don't like but i can get over. the user-friendliness has declined due to these appearance-related, fixable things, and the site does look more sterile and less. . . "yummy". . ?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    i know i've already said my piece about changing the name of "places" to "restaurants and bars," and i read the FAQ and realize you folks are trying to make it less confusing for new people browsing the boards, but i still think that changing the all-inclusive, pan-chow catchall "places" to "restaurants and bars" will ultimately restrict the content of the site and the general discussion of chow here. can i post about my fave deli in "restaurants and bars?" yeah, probably, though it's borderline. . . but my fave chocolate shop is probably out, huh. as is my summer produce stand, my gourmet grocery store, my state & county fair, farmer's markets, bakeries, coffee shop, hot dog stand, taco truck, seasonal fish shack in the park, etc, etc, etc. . . i think the heading "restaurants and bars" will limit future contributions, and be more confusing than "places" was for new users who may not realize that chowhound is about more than just consumer restaurant reviews. there are many folks who barely eat out, who don't use restaurant reviews and are here mostly for the "home cooking" board, for example, who would shy away from "restaurants and bars," and miss valuable and helpful content. if chowhound is truly "front and center, all about the food," you gotta rename "restaurants and bars" to something more inclusive. too wordy, maybe, but i think "restaurants, bars, & chow-places" would be much more clear and inclusive.


                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    7 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: soupkitten

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I wanted to reply earlier to the switch from places to Restaurants & Bars as I too think it sounds less inclusive, I think I have the the answer - Places for Chow or even Chowish Places. Fewer letters than Restaurants & Bars and relates back to the reason we're all here - Chow. Hey, we all Google so why shouldn't we all Chow?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: soupkitten

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Wonderful! Chowhound Team please pay attention:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        "The all-inclusive, pan-chow catchall "places" to "restaurants and bars" will ultimately RESTRICT the content of the site and the general discussion of chow here.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        "can i post about my fave deli in "restaurants and bars?" yeah, probably, though it's borderline. . .

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        "but my fave chocolate shop is probably out, huh. as is my summer produce stand, my gourmet grocery store, my state & county fair, farmer's markets, bakeries, coffee shop, hot dog stand, taco truck, seasonal fish shack in the park, etc, etc, etc. . . i think the heading "restaurants and bars" will limit future contributions"

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Ah, by being more welcoming to "newcomers" with Restaurants and Bars instead of Places, you became less Chowish -- counterproductive to your goal. Please think this through.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: soupkitten

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          i was so busy bitching-- erm, i mean, being constructive, that i forgot to say that some of the changes are pretty slick, and i like them. like the subtle stripe/plaid, grid thing going on with the new posts screen. that looks kinda sharp, imho. there's other things i think i'll appreciate more as i get used to them. i just didn't want to be so crushingly negative, i'd hate to be a site wonk on chowhound, it would be as hard as trying to cook all of our breakfasts right-- can't please every person, and it's pretty thankless. . .

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: soupkitten

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            You have no idea how much grudgewank most development teams have to deal with from end users. It's incredibly rare (and incredibly nice) to hear "good job" or "I really like this, even though I don't like that" once in a while.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I'm not a shill for engineering and I'm not saying the readability problems aren't annoying, I'm just saying these folks aren't out there to torture us. They'll continue to work on it to get it right.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: yumyum

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Thanks, yumyum. That bears repeating.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          2. Here's one...the drop down menus drop down too far. When you are at the top of the page, and you mouse over to the chowhound tab, about 1/2 of the items fall below the bottom of the page. You have to partially scroll down the page, till just the tabs appear, and even then, you cut off the bottom. Any way to make it like it used to be,so you can see all of them. On my screen everything below the Metro NY header in the first column, and Spain/Portugal in the second gets dropped below the screen

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. This page is too hard to digest to see whether others have posted something, so in case someone hasn't mentioned it...
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Mac OS x.4.11
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Safari 3.1.2 Background diagonal pattern is much lighter than Firefox 3.0.1

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. "»" is used inconsistently across the site. sometimes it signifies a call to action as a link, sometimes not. Example: Recipes landing page - "» Come browse CHOW's recipes" is not a link but then at bottom of page, "RECIPES »" & "STORIES »" , the carat signifies a link. Also on the BLOG>Green Landing page, "more »" is also a call to action

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. Mac 10.4.11, Safari 3.1.2 & Firefox 3.0.1
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  on this page (and similar pages): http://www.chow.com/recipes/13533
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  the headline's descenders (the "p" & "y" of "Ginger Ale Apple-Lemon Slushy") touch the photo underneath it. Also the photo is aligned center horizontally, but aligned to top vertically. My opinion is this doesn't look good... it might look better centered on both axis or have the grey background match the height of the photo asset.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. Mac OS 10.4.11, Safari 3.1.2, Firefox 3.0.1
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    The number buttons for the various pages at the bottom of the page have rollovers that look pale yellow, but the design scheme of the site seems to be greys, reds and white, so why pale yellow? it doesn't look like it matches to me.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. it looks okay so far, bright and clean.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      the features on the homepage are all over the place... like the background div is much smaller than the content div and everything gets pushed around to the right

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      i'm running firefox on a 14" laptop

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: dumpycactus

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I much preferred the old lay-out, although maybe I'm just not used to this one. But I REALLY liked the old color scheme better, much more elegant.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. The darker gray background is nice, and helps a little on the eye strain. And alternating white/gray in the list of board posts is nice. Thanks. But there is still too much white space.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. Here's one for you - why are the names to whom you're replying no longer listed to the right? There's a bunch of white space. For instance, alanbarnes response to yumyum at the top of this thread doesn't show who he's responding to - just a slight indent - and in the collapsed view, it can sometimes be hard to figure out who's responding to who without clicking on that post to view it within the post.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Attached a picture to show what I mean. Hope it works.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          8 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Hmmm...picture attachment didn't work with a .bmp file. Let's try it again with a .jpg.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I see the 're:xyz user' unless it's a reply to the OP (original poster, for the acronym police).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                They're there for me and, to the best of my memory, always have been.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Windows XP SP3, Firefox 3.0.2

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: carswell

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I'm on Windows XP SP3 using IE6. Wonder if it's the IE version as the reason I'm not seeing the person being replied to when the thread is collapsed?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Just fired up IE (7.0.5730.11) to check it out. The "re:" names on the collapsed threads are visible, though I'm experiencing all kinds of hiccups and scrolling/loading latency issues. If you haven't tried Firefox, this might be a good time. Performance is much crisper, the add-ins (Flash and animated ad blocking, to name only two) far superior, the interface is user-friendlier and the installation/transition nearly painless. www.mozilla.com/firefox

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: carswell

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      So it's either Firefox or upgrading to IE7. I should have thought to check at work yesterday morning before I came home sick to see if the missing reply names were there (I have IE7 there).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Thanks for the info on Firefox, carswell.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I just remembered I had posted this query on this thread re: the "re:" names showing - I'm at work, and they do show up with IE7. Will check again when I get home to see if home PC (IE6) still doesn't or if it was a glitch when I originally posted.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          OK, I'm home. And no - they do NOT show up using IE6. So perhaps a technical ticket should be opened up for this issue.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              2. im not a fan:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                - so much white -- the stark whiteness of it is distressing to the eye.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                - new sub-nav font -- a serifed font?? its so chunky, hard to read.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                - in general -- its less organic, its more sci-fi, and.... BUSY, BUSY, BUSY.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                ...sad. i used to demo your site and point out its cleanness, its clarity. now its all gone.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. It's like waking up in bed next to a stranger that you don't recognize :)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Fonts was too small, and washed out looking, way too much white. Too much contrast, gives headache, and repels one from wanting to linger more than a couple minutes. It should be warm like a glowing fireplace, or a kitchen that you like to hang out in and chat, not sterile like an examining room. Wrong mood, bad design for this kind of content. It's not an online gallery for Richard Avedon photos, it's a forum for info and other resources,and as such it should be easy on the eyes in terms of text size, font styles, and background color. Warm it up. Also, the thin little grey menu on top is totally overkill, I mean how many choices can you have in the header, and with all those drop down menus, it is just overwhelming. It would have been better to put some stuff on the side and leave the top more sparse with just my chow, and the main chowhound boards, and sign in, in the header, and then have the other menus on a side bar. In the middle area, you could feature your video of the day, and whatever ad junk you have on the right hand side bar. No one is going to scroll all the way down as you are making them after suffocating them with that very dense header. People look at the top, left side, and middle when they get to a page. They look last to the far right. I hope you get it changed, because as a longtime poster, it's really a turn off.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  4 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: janie

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I prefer the cleaner look the site has now. Font size is under the user's control and has been now for quite some time now across platforms and browsers. If white and dark greys gives you a headache then newspapers, word documents, excel docs and pretty much any other productivity software must be too much for you as well.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    To be compared to avedon is a compliment.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: cycle10

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Not in this particular context it isn't.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: cycle10

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Font size is only partially under the user's control. Most other white site backgrounds I deal with, including other open tabs in my browser (Firefox), do not cause painful eyestrain. The comparison with newspapers is specious and inappropriate.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I also like the new look, but I cannot tolerate the inability to control font size successfully other than for posted replies.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Toning down the white to a more soothing background (which can still be "white") should be an easy enough task. I tried this on one of my own web sites to verify. It took only a few minutes. This type of font size on white is one reason why e-books haven't made much headway. Overt human physiology is involved in these psychophysical reactions.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: embee

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          If I hit "cmd+" (mac) all the text becomes bigger. If I do this on Firefox, everything including the graphics gets bigger. NYT & USATODAY all have white backgrounds online and print. I for one don't get a headache viewing their content nor on any other highly trafficked site like yahoo, google, amazon etc. It's interesting that RSS feeds by default have a white background and dark text. Browsers now also allow for users to customize their preferred stylesheets to suit their needs/preference. This feature can be found in the preferences in your browser.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    2. I like the redesign. It is easier on the eyes and works nicely. Some of the responses are still slow, but I hope that will all be sorted out. As I find people looking for sources of ingredients, however, I wonder if a category for seasonal foods might be appropriate. "In the markets now ..." It could be something attached to local boards similar to the cookbook of the month. Oak Joan, please think about it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Father Kitchen

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I love that idea, Father Kitchen. Of course, it would need to be calibrated to different geographic regions. Maybe an idea for the Digest?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        By the way, have you ever explored the Ingredients section of CHOW? To me, it's an unfortunate well kept secret, as there has never been a link, that I can find, to it, but you can search the section.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        For example:


                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        But the only way I know to get to it is to do a search for, in this case, cilantro, in the main search box, and then use the drop down menu to limit the search to Ingredients. I've by no means looked a lot of the Ingredient entries, but the ones that I have looked at seem very useful to me.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        P.S. Design team - I do wish there were an 'advanced search' hyperlink under that search box - I feel as if it's a waste of time to have to do a general search, and then narrow it down further as a second step.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: MMRuth

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          We have a search specific project on the horizon that will improve search sitewide. We have plans on deck to improve search here and wanted to include them in this step but for our work flow it makes sense to look at that aspect of the functionality of the site across the site as a whole as it needs much attention.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      2. Well, I can say this: The new look has certainly helped me with my life goal of becoming an anorexic. I used to be triggered to eat as I browsed Chowhound. Now, nothing. Wait, I take that back. I AM triggered to read the newspaper. From cover to cover. Every time I log back on I am more and more dismayed at the state of things. At least, as other users have requested, give us an option on the colors. For a website developed on good eats, this is just not visually appealing. And we all know eating is almost as much about the visual as it is about the taste.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. Just for fun, here's one of the Site Talk threads that accompanied the first major redesign after the CNET sale:


                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          It's interesting that the most common complaint is that the font is TOO BIG :)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Chuckles the Clone

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I believe that was after the first redesign, this one http://web.archive.org/web/2006071506...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            which was different from the one we've had for the last year or more.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I think we were all just in shock after losing that dated typewriter font :-)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          2. Love the darker grey on the side! So much better.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: JasmineG

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Yes, the dark gray helps - thanks!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: MMRuth

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Still don't have the dark gray on the side, no matter what font size I use (I just clicked down to the Smallest size - just the darker gray around each post box - still lots of white on the right side of the posts.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            2. too bright! lose the white!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. When I resize the text so I can actually read it (Ctrl-+), the page expands past the monitor width. Horizontal scroll bars are annoying and the sign of fairly crappy design.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Windows XP & Firefox 3

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. As a user who pretty much just reads a few select boards, I hate having to scroll down the boards list (at http://chowhound.chow.com/) to find the boards I want to enter. There is so much other stuff at the top of the screen now (and on the right side of the screen), that the links to certain boards no longer fit within the screen frame when you open that page.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    My vote would be to rearrange that page to allow all of the boards, or at least the most popular boards, to fit in a single screen frame on the chow entry webpage. (I mean, is the Caribbean board as popular as the Manhattan board?).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    (At the moment I am using Firefox 3.x with a display set to 1440 x 900 pixels, but I have had this same problem with the current design while using other computers with presumably different display setups.)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: racer x

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      racer x, IIRC, that fix is going to happen. I'm pretty sure I read the Design Team saying they were aware of the largeness of the pop-down Board window and were going to fix it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: racer x

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Not sure what browser you are using, but jfood just marks his selected boards as a "Favorite" then click between the fabes. no biggie.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      2. I can't log in to My Chow.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. Someone said that it's a childish ultimatum to say I'll stop reading Chowhound if the design doesn't change, but the new design hurts my eyes and overwhelms my brain. The font discussions are very edifying and help me understand part of it, but the overwhelming, boring whiteness is the trump card. And I've been reading for, what, five or six years?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. Why are new posts at the bottom? I think that paradigm should be shifted to new items 'floating' to the top.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            3 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: cycle10

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              That works for non threaded discussions, but not here.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: cycle10

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                New posts have always shown at the bottom. Changing the structure of threads would be a much greater change than the fixes needed to the new look, and would also destroy the threading of the CH boards. i.e., the embedding of replies.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Caitlin McGrath

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Every site I visit with threaded discussions puts the new posts at the bottom. Since we read from top to bottom, it does not make sense to put the newest posts at the top and make the user scroll down to read one post and then up again to read the newer posts referring to older ones.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              2. Overall I think the site looks more refined with the new background colors and less dated with the superfluous arbitrary dominating colors of beige and maroon. I'm glad to see slab serifs.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. I like the nav and the dynamic menus, but I'm not a fan of the buttons in the nav menus (ex. "publish a recipe"). The chowhound menu though has some issues to me. First, it's gargantuan. And why doesn't "hot posts" and "latest posts" have a similar rollover as the rest of the menu items?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. I do not like the white background! Please change it back to the way it was before. This is hard on the eyes and looks unfinished.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. I like it. You might want to contact FoodNetwork and show them how it is done. They just changed theirs, and it is horrible!! Why change something that is working to something that does not work??? Beats me!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. Has anyone else noticed that the ordering of the boards (not just the number of columns) is very different in the CHOWHOUND mouse-over menu and the Hot Posts "Switch Board" listing?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. I've tried all the tricks suggested and can't get the font size (in the body of the posts) to be any larger. When I increase text size (using IE6 here) only the header and title fonts increase (to gargantuan proportions) but the body text remains miniscule. I'm not about to switch browsers for one site! Is there a workaround or will Chow be addressing these issues more directly in the programming and design?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          3 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: GSM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Marie Lorraine way, way up in this thread said instead of changing the text size use the zoom option.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            It seems the font is sized in pixels. That seems easy enough for engineering to change and NOT size it in pixels. As does changing to a darker text and a different, less glaring white background. In the mean time, anyone who wants to take the trouble to adjust their pages accordingly for Chowhound can give that a try.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            It works pretty well, except occasionaly the type is scrambled. Also it changes textsize to medium which means since I read all other sites using the large text size option, I have to change back and forth when I move from Chowhound to any other site on the web.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            As others have mentioned the comparison with newspapers and other black on white websites is irrelevant. There are too many variables ... font type, colors, etc. The point is that people who read other similar websites without problems are having problems here.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            What makes me sad about all the problems with the website is that I can no longer get new people to read the site.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            The long time readers like myself might continue to read, though probably less frequently.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            But if I tell my friends they can read the site better if they use a different browser, the steps that they need to do to change the background color or text size ... and when they get server and timeout errors they just need to keep trying trying to refresh the page until something appears and if the machine freezes while reading Chowhound to clear the spyware cookies and if that doesn't work to shut down and restart ... they tell me just to send them an email if I see some restaurant that will interest them.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I Google a lot. When I come to a site that is badly formatted and difficult to read, it is rare I'll stop to read the content to see if it is worthwhile. When I come to a page on an unfamiliar site that gives me an error, I just move on assuming the site is broken. If that site comes up again in Google, I don't even bother clicking on a link a second time to see if things are fixed. I assume they are broken and it is a dead site.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Besides turning away more and more long time readers, how many new readers will never know how great Chowhound is.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            And as mentioned, there was a beta test with some chowhound posters, including me. That was a step in a good direction.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            There were lots more bugs prior to the release. I'd only suggest next time in giving a little more test time, and involving a few mo more posters. As mentioned, lots of people would have volunteered. A few of us who tested asked not to release this until a few more issues were corrected. However, thinking about it, at that time, given the smallish group of testers and the fact that the big stuff was fixed, I think it was time to hear from a bigger audiance and get feedback.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Maybe next time have two test phases ... an initial small group and when the big stuff is fixed, opening it up to a larger second test group.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: rworange

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Diff between IE6 and IE7:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              IE6: Toolbar at top, go to View pull-down menu, then to Text Size.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              IE7: Page pull-down menu to Text Size. If that doesn't work, use Page Zoom.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              GSM, just above, uses IE6.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: maria lorraine

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Ok, I tried upgrading to IE7... making text size larger still changed only the header font size, not the body text size. I tried page zoom-- this resulted in overlapping text. Grrr!!!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          2. I, for one, think there is NOTHING wrong with black on white; it's used on a majority of text-intensive websites (OK, throw in a little blue, like Google) and it's suited books and newspapers throughout their whole history. And how many times do you have to explain that you actually didn't reduce the font size after all, to get people to stop complaining that it's too small now?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I'd advise the designers to just kick back until all the steam is let off. Chowhounds don't like change, apparently, even when they only THINK it's a change. There were a lot of tantrums thrown when the C|Net desgn kicked in Those that threatened to walk then are still here. Call their bluff. All you have to lose are a few whiners.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            3 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Xiao Yang

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              A majority of posters here think it looks awful for whatever reason. That's all that matters. Your advice for the designers should be ignored.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Greg B

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                A vast majority, to go by the comments on this and the Site Talk board.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Also, many of the hounds who threatened to leave in the days following the CNET software rollout (largely due to the hard-on-the-eyes maroon theme) didn't because the design team was responsive to many of the issues they raised and quickly introduced the eye-friendly oatmeal theme. One assumes a similar fix is in the works this time around.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: carswell

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Excellent points, Greg B and carswell. I certainly hope the design team is responsive this time as well.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Though books and newspapers may be white (though actually they are often more of a beige), unlike a computer screen, they do not glow with their own light.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            2. Safari is my "new" favorite browser for CH.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              The type is super simple to increase/decrease from the VIEW tab and the black against white, blue outline surrounding the post box, red box and grey all look fabulous!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              And, I absolutely love the use of the color blue!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Day three in redesign and I'm still jazzed!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. Cannot link to a place in a reply to a post.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                When I click the "Reply" button, the icon displays as it should in the Reply window. When I click the "Link to a Place" button, all that displays in that window is a drop-down list of chow areas.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Appears to be happening on all boards.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Using IE 6.0

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. I've been able to increase the font size successfully using CTRL+, so that's a good fix. However, when I do that, the words on the menu bar (the one where the words are red) shift all the way to the far left and overlap completely. Refreshing the screen does not help. The only fix is to reduce back to 100% to see the menu bar, then increase to 160% or so in order to read the threads. Sorry to add another glitch to your plate, but I thought you would want to know. BTW, I'm using IE7.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. Also, I just noticed that with the far right menu item, VIDEOS, at 100%, appears as VII. There is some sort of blank bar on top of the rest of the word.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. A laundry list of additional comments more aesthetic than functional (I consider the font size issues and the over-bright white page and lack of skin options functional issues) ->

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      - too many different fonts. On my usual "Boards" page, the Chowhound logo is in one font; the "Special Coverage" heading is another; the items in the Special Coverage bar are in yet another (or are not in allcaps like the heading); the control bar (Chow, Chowhound, etc.) is in still another; add if I'm not mistaken, the "Search" button is still another. It just looks jumbled and slapped together; oh, and the "Attach photo" and "Link to a place" in the reply box are yet another different font.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      - the control bar has an odd "blank space" after the "My Chow" button which is a different shade of grey, a slightly skinnier size, to fill in a gap until you get to the right side of the page. Looks choppy and sloppy.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      - the "Search" button and "Add New Post" button are different shades of red - the "Search" button being the new glaring, unsettling red, the "Add New Post" being the prior, calmer maroon-ish red (not my favorite color but much easier to look at)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      - the "New" highlight in the boards (used to highlight new threads, and new posts within threads) appears to be continuing to use the old oatmeal and dark red color theme - intentional or vestigal?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      - the Special Coverage bar has a diagonal cut on the right-hand side, right in the middle of something, but there doesn't seem to be any ability to scroll or expand it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      - the right-hand side content is not appearing at the top of the page next to the board, but rather at the bottom, so that the page has all of the left-hand side content (with blank white space on the right side), then all the right-hand side content/ads (with blank white space on the left side).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Frodnesor

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        >>" the right-hand side content is not appearing at the top of the page"

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I've started a separate thread about this problem. Glad to see I'm not the only one it's happening to:


                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      2. The new Search is too limiting and if you don't put things in quotes it becomes too unlimiting. Poor design quality, harder to read.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Who's new partner convinced him or her to tinker with something that was already good?!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. yeah, why are searches limited to results in the last year? why was that decision made? it really restricts the ability to search -- esp. in topics tht are not "time-sensitive" -- like resto reviews.....

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          5 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: alkapal

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            The 'search this board' results have been initially limited to the last year since we introduced that feature -- it was part of an effort to help people find the most recent threads on a topic, as we got a lot of complaints about people bumping old threads. As always, you can adjust your search timeline on the results page to include everything back into the 1990s when the site was started -- a single year is just the default.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Jacquilynne

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              ah, its the default....ok! thanks! (was it always the default, cause i've pulled up old threads without changing any settings? oh well, anyhoo....)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Jacquilynne

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Oh thanks for clarifying ... I wondered about that too. I often look at posts from older than a year but I think the default might stop people bumping up ancient posts as often.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I just found the search preferences, but they are a little hidden. There must be an easier way to adjust them than I did ... is this in the FAQs?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: yumyum

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    If you search the whole site (the search bar that's now in the upper right corner), you get all results across CHOW, including Chowhound results from the beginning of time, sorted by relevance. To adjust your results, you hit the 'more options' button and that brings down the search options -- I do agree that could be more prominent.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    When you search just this board (the search that's now showing prominently above each board, which used to be just a small text link next to the title), you're limited to the one year -- but the 'search options' should open automatically on the results page, hopefully making it more obvious that you can change those dates.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I think the difference between the two searches and how prominent they are to how prominent they were might account for the discrepancy you're seeing, alkapal -- you probably used the main search more often before because it was much higher visibility.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              2. love the drop down menu from "mychow" on the navigation bar.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                love the fact that recipes have large font ingredient list! how about doing the same for the instructions? (and is there a "print" function that will give a clean printout of just the recipe/intro -- without the site's headers, ads, etc?) that would be great. thanks.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                still hatin' the frozen tundra-white look. i'm goin' snow blind! ;-)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: alkapal

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Using XP Pro, SP3 with IE7, usually browse with Firefox 3, no significant problems. Noticed the reply to button not present, other than that, the white background is less stressful with more ambient light (a good practice with any lengthy monitor use). I know this is a work in progress and the feedback from the hounds should help address the major issues.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: fresnohotspot

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    hey I just noticed the reply to feature is now re: - that works for me... dang! I'd like to think that was in response to my post, I can fantasize.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Okay let's try this, my new concern is that the new pages have no sweepstakes offers for round trip tickets to Bali.