Tuesday, August 30, 2011

TechCrunch Redesign Has Reduced My Site Visits

Back in July, I wrote about my disappointment with the Techcrunch site redesign. Since that time, I've noticed that I don't go to the site as often. In fact, I seldom go there. Given the choice of a free minute or two to browse the news, I find myself going through an entire list of sites before I start browsing Techcrunch.

The funny thing is, I remember a couple of posts -- one about the complete redesign fail of another tech blog, and another from the Techcrunch staff talking about how much the previous design was disliked when it was rolled out. I get the feeling that the Techcrunch staff has dug in their heels and won't change this design come hell or high water. Not that they have to. But, I can only imagine that there are other readers like me, readers who have gone from avid visitors to occasional visitors after the redesign.

Perhaps A Different Motive
The other thought keeps buzzing through my head was a description of the new design and how it would enable each post (and the site) to survive on it's merits -- to really highlight the content. In contrast, what my experience is that in the previous design, I actually read some of the writers as columnists. I looked for their posts and sometimes gave them extra credibility based on who the author was.

For me, the new design makes it harder to identify the author, reducing the weight that the writer carries. I wonder if one of the underlying goals was reduce the brand value that the different Techcrunch writers have. If you were AOL and you wanted to lower salary costs, one path might be making individual writers less significant.

It might be interesting to look at Techcrunch analytics by author and compare pre-redesign with post-redesign. I think that you would still have to account for the change in behavior based on the traffic drop; with the site redesign, I'm less inclined to click through a post, but I'm more inclined to specifically look for a couple of writers.

But once again, at this point, all I can really say is thanks to Techcrunch for all of the previous years of content. As with many things that come and go on the Interent, c'est la vie.

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