Readers react to the new

As I may have mentioned, my former project has undergone a redesign. I’ve been monitoring user responses to this via the comments on stories. Judging by the remarks on this story, the new design is not getting an enthusiastic reception. Here’s a sample of comments (remember, people who regularly comment on a site’s stories tend to be its core readership):

  • More people are concerned about the dreadful new layout of the posting page than are able to comment on the story. Scotsman, this is your worst idea yet.
  • What a joke! Newsquest will be falling about.the old format was much better, this change in not good at all
  • It’s a bit mince n’est pas?
  • I will report this site as unsuitable.
  • I happen to know that Johnston Press got rid of the team behind the old Scotsman website. Not without a fight.
  • I think we shoudl e-mail the Scotsman. Their site used to be the best among UK papers for usability, comment and ease of reading – this is now very poor, and worse than the Herald.
  • I think this is knackered already lol
  • I’m gone. This is unusable.
  • Oh, this site is just the worst now.

For me the most damning comment was this: “With the Herald you can at least see what you have written and use bold and italics.” The Herald website, which for so long lagged behind as an object of derision and pity, is now favourably compared to the dear old Hootsmon.


Yet more negative feedback in this piece entitled “New look for Scotsman’s leading website“. Here’s a flavour of the 46 responses:

  • This is appallingly bad, the old design was a little dated perhaps, but much better than this. I thought we left behind this ‘my first homepage’ aesthetic with Netscape Navigator and dial up modems. Why does Johnson Press seem so concerted to make The Scotsman into little more than a regional newspaper of little importance?
  • Not only are there still glitches in this new setup, but it is, to say the least, appalling. It is badly organised and quite feeble in comparison to the original. Did the Editor’s kids design it themselves, ot was it a school project?
  • I’ll post as usual … but I don’t like this set-up. Not a bit of it! It’s now a generic newspaper look. How uniquely Scottish is that? Bad move Hootsmon … Your advisers want shot!!!
  • Sorry, but I don’t like it very much; it’s almost identical to that of the Montrose Review, Brechin Advertiser and all the little locals which are printed by Johnson Press…adequate but not sufficient for a broadsheet such as The Scotsman…
  • This website is awful. I suppose the new dreadful look matches the new dreadful standards of journalism under Johnston Press.



Mad propz to for spotting yet more disgruntlement in this Edinburgh Evening News story. Here are some further highlights:

  • This took “several months of preparation and planning”? Looks more like an afternoon’s work by a couple of drunk toddlers.
  • As a web designer and project manager with around 12 years experience working with some of the largest blue chip companies in the UK I would give this effort 2 out of 10 (well at least it loads!)
  • All three Scotsman publications online have glittered in a galaxy dominated by website giants such as BBC News , Guardian Unlimited and the New York Times – to cite just three worthy examples.The cliche that now leaps to mind is: “If it aint broke,why fix it”?
  • This “new look” is an embarrassing step backwards. The old Scotsman websites had a simple and effective style. Quite classy almost. This new version is something else. I wonder if the design remit went like this:
    “Let’s implement something that looks like tawdry p!sh, indistinguishable from all the dross that’s out there. We want to run the Scotsman into the ground”.
  • This new dub dub dub is shocking. Sack the person responsible. I would love to have some Evening News journalist contact me. I’d give them a piece of my mind, lets face it they cannot spell, thay have no proper grasp of grammar and they display an appaling lack of sense. Morevover where are all my letters going as I type them. I wondered if there was something amiss with my set at this end. Perhaps it is the ‘improvements’ made by the Johnson Pres people. Bring it on schoolboys, we fought a war that you might print your drivel. Merry Christmas.

Merry Christmas indeed. God bless us one and all.



Filed under Journalism, newmedia

3 responses to “Readers react to the new

  1. kcneon

    I just had an email about the change to the site. I thought it looked cleaner and more updated, but didn’t really think about the posting of comments and such.

    That’s a shame folks are upset because I luv reading their opinions!

    …oh what a tangled web we weave, right?

  2. Pingback: » What news sites should be aiming for in 2008 Cluttered Desk: The website of writer Craig McGill and his thoughts on, well, quite a lot…

  3. Pingback: Early reports make grim reading for new look Scotsman website « Black and White and Read All Over

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