Reddit begins rolling out first redesign in a decade

Image: Reddit

Reddit has redesigned its website and the changes begin rolling out today, marking the first time in a decade that the social media network has altered its interface. One percent of users will see the new design today, and over the course of the next few months, the design will come to all Reddit users and lurkers, as Wired reports. As of now, those who see the change can still switch back to the old Reddit.

The new Reddit design replaces the navigation bar with a menu on the left corner, which resembles a lot of trendy website templates available on Squarespace, Wix, or Tumblr. The menu opens up to display links to feeds, subreddits you follow, and user profiles. Users will be able to choose to view Reddit in three modes: “classic view” which looks more like the Reddit we know today, “card view,” which vaguely resembles Facebook, or “compact view,” for more densely packed information.

To make things more intuitive for new users, different fonts will now distinguish whether a link is heading outside of Reddit or leading to another post. To promote content creation, a big blue button stands out on the main page, r/all, inviting users to post something new. And posts will now open up in boxes to keep you on the main page you’re on so that each new link won’t be taking you away from the page.

Reddit in Card View
Image: Reddit

Along with the revised site, Reddit designers have also reimagined Snoo, the platform’s mascot, as a more 3D cute mascot who’s traversing planets instead of just standing there in the logo. New users who join Reddit now get Snoo as a default profile photo, until they change it.

Five months ago, Reddit CEO Steve Huffman explained a bit more about the redesign, which by then had already been in the works for a year, by posting on the site: “Many of us evangelize Reddit and tell people how awesome it is ... then when those new people decide to check out Reddit for the first time they’re greeted with dystopian Craigslist. We’d like to fix that.” Craigslist’s site is a scrolling list with plenty of white space, and Reddit currently still looks similar. Both hearken back to the beginning days of the internet when HTML was the primary way to code a page and embedding a link could have been considered an accomplishment.

Reddit in Classic View.
Image: Reddit

But a Reddit user’s response to Huffman hinted that older Redditors might not be fans of change. In a comment that got nearly as many upvotes, the user Fauster, who moderates a subreddit for stocks, responded, “Older users will hate it if they can’t use the old Reddit. It’s a format that sucks at first, but there’s so much room for information. Yes, statistically, a page is optimized with 33 percent text, 33 percent images, and 33 percent whitespace, but Reddit would absolutely suck with that format.”

Those users who liked the old site better will be able to keep using the old UI. Reddit says in its announcement post today, “We do not have plans to do away with the current site. We want to give you more choices for how you view Reddit.”

Comments

if it’s not broken…

Eh, it kind of was broken. Links (like images) could behave fundamentally differently if you clicked them in a mobile browser or on desktop. The interface didn’t give you any indication of if a click was going to expand some content in a preview, or take you to the comment page.

I don’t know if they’ve fixed this UX issue, but Reddit certainly had problems.

The surprising part is that someone designed Reddit and thought it looked good enough to leave it alone all this time. One of the worst web designs of any sites I frequent.

I disagree. The design is content-centric, and really densely packs a lot of info into the space. Also, the lack of eccentric design and images makes the site load fast. I used the new design last month and immediately reverted back to the old site. Could not navigate content as well. Luckily, they will be keeping legacy reddit as an option.

I’m not saying it’s not functional. But it’s not exactly inviting to new users to have your site look like it’s straight out of 1999. It looked very dated.

For the love of god they’re keeping the old page. I’m already sick of you dweebs bitching about this shit.

So much better

I want this now!!

use the mobile app, pretty much the same!

Those users who liked the old site better will be able to keep using the old UI. Reddit says in its announcement post today, "We do not have plans to do away with the current site. We want to give you more choices for how you view Reddit."

Good thing, those are all terrible in how much wasted space there is. Either way, I just hope it’s not like how they claim to support the old profile page. Yes, the old profile page exists, but it’s not possible to make it your default. You have to load the profile page and then click the … menu and then click "Overview (Legacy)", which makes it useless in practice. If I have to manually select it each time, it’s going to be frustrating. If it’s a permanent toggle though, I’m fine with them making any change they want to the default.

Isn’t that what the "View user profiles on desktop using legacy mode" checkbox at the bottom of https://www.reddit.com/prefs/ does? (Never tried it, so I’m legitimately not sure, but I’d imagine it would…)

Ahhh, thank you. That option didn’t exist when I was switched over to the new profiles. Glad it’s been added.

Thank you for this! Didn’t know this was an option.

On widescreen monitors the redesign has an obscene amount of whitespace.

Welcome to web 2.0

There’s only so much content can you put in a column.

It looks like Tumblr.

It looks like MySpace.

omg.

This looks WAY better.

Finally.

"REEEEEEE change it back!!!"
-reddit users right now

I don’t get why website redesigns like to add all that whitespace. It’s actually not a bad re-design if not for it.

Really liking the card view, and it’s nice that they’re leaving options open to users.

Not really sure how much I’ll benefit from a desktop redesign it at this point, though. I seem to use Reddit exclusively on mobile these days.

The current design is absolute garbage in its purest form, I enjoy using reddit when I use the appollo app

The official Reddit app on iOS is also kind of shit. Narwal is lightyears ahead and runs way better.

Every time I open reddit I thought I entered a wormhole and get teleported back to 90s.

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