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Sep 25, 2008 10:51 AM

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.