The New Look of ToT

Posted on by Jon Kelly (Jon)
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You may have noticed that we just launched a re-design of This Or That. We've heard again and again that ToT is attractive, but often difficult to consume. Kind of like the iPad app Flipboard, it was as if someone barfed pretty pictures about random subjects all over the page. No one had any idea where to dive in or how to find the topics they were interested in.
We've made two major changes to address these issues and make the site easier to use. The first is the addition of categories to our top-level navigation. Before, all blog posts went into a single uncategorized feed. ToTs were categorized into about 50 different categories and sub-categories as they were created by users, but those categories were not represented on the site. We've whittled down our categories to just seven: Politics, Entertainment, Sports, Tech, Lifestyle, Offbeat, and my personal favorite, "Biz" (a whole category dedicated to stories about Stoli shill Biz Stone and "Just a Friend" rapper Biz Markie).
The second major design change was to present our posts and ToTs in feeds that are largely text-based. Pictures are great and we think that they add a ton of interest to the site, but we think that text is much easier to navigate. There's a reason why every one of the the top 22 sites (#23 is MySpace, which is primarily glitter and oontz) are more than half text. Even You-Tube dedicates more than half of its home page to text. It's now much easier to quickly review the top stories and ToTs on our site.
Speaking of the top stories in each category, we've also introduced our new slogan: "Own the Watercooler" (or "Pwn," if you're so inclined). If you come back to the site every day and check our main feed or sub-feeds, you should be well-versed on the top controversies of the day and the main arguments that people are making on both sides of the issue (as well as the point of view of our writer).
One late note: we're not close to being done. To tell the truth, we're actually in a Chrome-like rapid-fire development mode. After launching Top Users (our leaderboards) two weeks ago and the redesign today, we'll release some additional design tweaks and fixes over the next week or so.  We then have not one, not two, but three major features scheduled to launch in the first eight weeks of the new year. Stay tuned!

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