If you're reading this, you've probably seen a link offering to opt you into checking out our new homepage design – and you're perhaps wondering what it's all about.
Right now, The Register is alpha testing a new front page layout, which we started talking about publicly in July. Back then, you had to click on a link in an article to opt in. Now we're bringing the redesign to wider attention with opt-in and opt-out links at the top of the homepage.
The goal is to create a page one that is responsive – so that it looks good automatically whether you're reading us on a phone, tablet, or desktop computer – and is more dynamic for our editors. Whether there is big breaking news, a story with a great photo, or just business as usual, our journos should be able to lay out the headlines and pictures as needed. Right now, the homepage is quite rigid, and we want to make things a little more interesting, clean, and fast.
We're still working on and tweaking the design, and your feedback is valuable. We're taking it slow, and giving folks plenty of time to tell us where we're going right or wrong. Our backroom vultures pored over your thoughts from the previous testing round, and we've already acted on some of your points, and still debating others internally. What you see, if you do opt in, won't necessarily be the final version of the new homepage.
What's changed and what hasn't
We've more clearly labelled parts of the page so that you can see which section contains our editor-picked top stories, our latest news articles, and a collection of the most read stories of the hour. If you're worried you've missed one of our stories, just start from "latest stories," and read down the page.
As for the number of pictures on the homepage, our editors are gradually getting the hang of balancing the mix of images and headlines, and just headlines.
Some of you aren't fans of the boxes around the headlines. We're still figuring out if we've got the right weight on the lines. The headline boxes are narrower on some rows in order to squeeze in adverts. If you turn off your ad-blocker, or whitelist El Reg, you'll see it looks a lot neater as the ads fill the whitespace.
What you can do
To opt in and see the new design, click on the "opt in" link at the top of the front page. The page will refresh with the new layout. To go back to the classic layout, click on the "opt out" link that appears at the top of the homepage, and the site will go back to something more familiar. Seven days after you opt-in, you'll be automatically opted out.
If you're using a mobile device and you opt in, the new layout should be responsive and show you a mobile-friendly design. When you opt out, you'll go back to the current mobile edition, if you've previously selected that, or the desktop layout.
If you're using a desktop machine, and you opt in, the new layout should be responsive and show you a desktop-friendly design. When you opt out, you'll go back to the current desktop edition.
Thanks for trying it out – and thanks again to our designers and techies in the vulture's nest for toiling away on the site's Perl-powered innards. Let us know your thoughts in the comments, please. ®