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The Rediff revamp – How do you like it?

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And finally ladies and gentleman we have a winner for this week,  and it is Rediff. I am not sure how long but I am in the crowd who really hated the busy interface of Rediff.com. I have expressed my reservations more than once. Finally, Rediff took a leaf out of lot of books and stuck to – what I think – is the best possible interface for an Internet portal.

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Though content is king kong, having the right design really matters. One of my favorite blogs is ZenHabits.net. That blog talks a lot about how to simplify life along with other things. It also follows the principle of Do what you say and it started with its blog interface. It stuck with the most minimalist design I have ever known. Having a most minimalist design for a blog is suicidal from earnings perspective. But Leo did it anyway – and quite frankly – I like it.

Google the most visited website and the most wanted piece of real estate online stuck to a minimalist interface for so long. Anything on Google’s home page will draw  few million eyeballs. Then why didn’t Google capitalize on that? Only Larry and Sergey can answer but let me try. They wanted a minimalist interface which does not confuse people. When people come to search something they should not search where to search.

Then I questioned why can’t Rediff do it? Rediff and Google are different. Google is a search engine and Rediff is a portal. That is not an excuse for making it difficult for people to look for things. But, in times like these it is not fair to ask a portal to simplify its interface and sacrifice profits. But Rediff did it. And I like that.

The new interface is what people from North America were seeing for a while now. It has opened it up for all and now people in India can enjoy the peacefulness of a lovely design.

Rediff now stands for – An interface without a single ad on India’s most wanted online real estate.

I would like to know what  you think about the new design?

PS: I still have my reservations about the content on Rediff. Like having a slideshow where a short 300 word bullet pointed article would do. And also the long tirade of thesaurus words which challenge reader’s vocabulary rather than the thought process.

PPS : In the screenshot above looks like Rediff has get the priorities right – News, money, cricket, movies and shopping.

  1. med troy says

    it really sucks !!….dont you guys get it…!!…previously it was bombarded with information now there is no information at all (perception)….which frustrates the user … i have noticed people visiting NDTV site more than rediff now…

    simplicity is not equal to void…

    please re design or your revenue will drop in Q3 and Q4….

    1. Winstar says

      I cudnt agree with you more.. the content is questionable but at least it made decent reading (and I was a regular visitor.. being the total vella that i am). But now I have no clue as to where the news lies. It was much better organised before. I moved to an international location for an assignment and by default the Rediff international page wud open up whenever I tried to access rediff.com. "God, I hated that!!" To avoid that i went to the extent of typing "in.rediff.com" to access tht super user friendly rediff home page (cud hav added it to favs.. but being the total vella I am.. ahem ahem)

      This new page cudnt suck any more and med troy is abbsolutely right.. I am looking for alternatives.. economictimes is a site which is gud (although a tad business oriented.. but i love its simplicity)

  2. AM says

    I miss the bold headlines for big news, as well as the placement of the text: it was in the middle of the site giving it an ‘important’ feel.

    I think the text size has to be increased to match that of the icons or vice versa.

    As far as a redesign, it looks better, but does not give the same rediff-feel: it feels empty.

    They can still add more content to fill a standard screen, it gives the impression that the page has half loaded.

    But since I come only for the news, it doesn’t matter as much…..

  3. Ajay Agrawal says

    I like the new design.IMHO one minor change would make it even better.The tabs(Headlines,News,Movies,etc.) should be displayed left and all the categories on the right (Shopping,iShare,Mail,etc.).That would make it more convenient. The tabs content is where majority of users will focus first (better ergonomics).

    1. Sriram Vadlamani says

      I agree Ajay. That is where the heat map for a particular website would be.

  4. Sriram Vadlamani says

    I hear you all. But, don’t think the old interface was just too busy with the ads and the content really gets less than 20% of real estate?

    A good thing would be to go for cookie which looks for your preferences and go there directly. What say?

    1. VJ says

      true.the old UI did not make better use of real estate..and the new UI has created a new problem.would have been better if both of them had been mixed efficiently.

      Cookie–this would generally limit your browsing to whatever you prefer and miss out other interesting articles.we just go to rediff to read headlines and end up clicking “bipasha’s bikini” newz:))

      1. Sriram Vadlamani says

        LOL : That would be the biggest sin we can ever commit – missing Bipasha bikini news. John can miss it but we absolutely can’t.

        A balance between the old and new design will be a better option. But Rediff took so long to come up with this and I hope they don’t take the same amount of time to come up with a new interface.

  5. VJ says

    I agree with Anand.By simplyfying the entry page they have made users to click “more”. As a content website ,i guess its ok to have your important content in the front page.Almost no hetero-news website in the world have such an entry page(wired,digg,reditt,yahoo india, or even samachar).rediff’s strength is content and they have to showcase it in their homepage.

    rediff has to take a couple of facts from yahoo news or ibnlive.Yahoo news india, would always put “pictures” in the news rather than words.the headline wud be something like “world in pictures”.I think they have understood that Indian mass are triggered by visuals:).

    1. AM says

      Rediff does not put pictures, I believe, because they want the page to load fast. Of all my bookmarks it is the fastest loading page. This applies specially to Indian networks which are not as fast.

  6. Raja says

    In my opinion sites like rediff should have a reasonably busy UI, to consume content in the new UI one needs to know what exactly they want before entering the website, (For example while entering the site I need to decide, now I want to read news or I want to do some shopping etc). In busy UIs I may go to the site for reading my mail even then I will come to know everything happening around there whether I like it or not.

  7. diduknow says

    havent they gone to the other extreme with no information at all. While one could laud the effort of getting everything on a single scroll it is hardly providing any value and everything is perhaps atleast one click down.

    anand

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