Yesterday the popular website Anime News Network launched a new layout scheme. The first thing visitors will notice is that what was previously in the left sidebar has been grouped into tabs in the upper right corner. This leaves the top and left parts of the website open for large-space advertisements such as the current and very noticable one for Coyote Ragtime Show. (ADV must have paid a nice sum for that spot.) Also the logo has been remade into a rectangular size and the elf girl (Jadress) who was sitting in the upper left corner has been ditched.
What ANN said about their new look:
Anime News Network Gets a New Layout
Yes, it’s true. After 3+ years of our current layout, we’ve decided that it was time for something new. The new layout incorporates a lot of features that we hope will make the site more intuitive and easier to browse. There are several additional features to go with the new layout that will be introduced to the site over the coming month, we’re very excited about some of them, and we hope you enjoy them as much as we think you will. In addition to the new layout, we’ve also ported much of the site from PHP to Ruby on Rails, this has caused a few glitches, which are currently causing the site to run slow at times. These will hopefully be sorted out very soon. All in all, within a week to ten days, the site should not only be as fast as it used to be, but faster. In the meantime, we would like to thank you for your patience. Let us know what you think of the new layout in the forum or be quick about it and let us know in this poll.
The old layout for comparison (dugg out from the Wayback Machine)
The tabs make it easier to navigate features or the encyclopedia and the search box is positioned in a better place, now above the tabs. Previously, it was halfway down the right sidebar and only showed up on Encyclopedia-related pages. Most of the right column content like Recent Reviews and Latest Articles are still there and the red tone catches the eye more than the previous blue theme. I’m anxious to find out what the “several additional features” will be and hope that they won’t significantly slow down the site.
The one thing really bugs me about the redesign is that the middle section where the main content (articles, reviews, encyclopedia entries) is displayed has been constricted noticably. Reviews and encyclopedia entries have been adjusted accordingly and still look good but regular articles and columns seem more difficult to read.
Previous large site-wide ads have gradually driven me away from ANN and toward more text-focused sites like AnimeOnDVD and Anime News Service. Hopefully after the Coyote campaign ends, the site will assume a slightly less-cluttered look but given the site’s previous history with promotions, I doubt it.