Yet an other unsollicited redesign of Reddit? Yes & No. Let me explain.
Like many fellow Redditors, I’ve been incredibly unsatisfied with the Reddit Redesign. It’s such a huge departure from the UX we’ve trained our muscle memory to navigate efficiently over the years.
So I set the following 60 minute challenge for myself: Take the old Reddit and (instead of Redesigning it) simplify the UI & UX in order to make it easier to navigate & use. Here’s the process:
(1 of 3) Analyzing the New
- The UX is so fundamentally different from the classic Reddit, it completely changes how users navigate & consume content
- While I welcome the slightly simpler UI, it has dramatically reduced the amount of content one can see at a glance, forcing the user to scroll at least 6x more.
(2 of 3) Analyzing the Old
- Long titles can sometimes hurt readability
- The page looks cluttered
- There’s information overload that long-time users have learnt to filter out, but scares new users away
(3 of 3) My Redesign
Design Decisions Explained
- Web safe Font: Instead of choosing a fancy webfont font, I went with Arial. Arial is one of the most web safe fonts out there. This helps improve the rendering speed of pages so all users, even with low bandwidth, can have a smooth experience
- Left aligned: Various eyetracking studies have shown that humans scan a web layout in an F-pattern. With this in mind, I returned to the classic left-alignment.
- Titles have a fixed maximum-width: In order to improve readibility, I went with a width of around 55–65 characters. Studies have shown that going much wider, adds a level of difficulty when reading the text.
- The clickable titles are blue: There have been many experiments around link colors. Blue still comes out on top. Most likely because it’s embedded in our memory as a native way websites showcase links. It triggers a specific area in our memory that allows us to instantly understand which parts are clickable. There’s no need to reinvent the wheel. Design should serve its users, not a personal preference of a designer.
There are a bunch of other small decisions made along the way and unfortunately I wasn’t able to redesign everything within those 60 minutes.
By no means is this first version the perfect substitute for the current Reddit design. I understand there are business decisions (ad space being one) alongside other angles to be taken in account. That said, when ever you choose to redesign your product, make sure you start from what your users already know.
- Don’t turn redesigns into a revolution that alienates your core users.
- Use redesigns to evolve the product into a simpler and more user friendly experience.
- Start with what you have, then remove hurdles from the user’s journey.
- Measure what you make & talk to users. Always design from your user’s perspective.
Thanks for getting this far.
My name is Karim
Lead Designer @ Fairpixels.pro — UI/UX Design firm for B2B SaaS Companies