What’s Wrong with Digg

I’ve been a regular Digg user for years but I have to say that their most recent design change both sucks and concerns me about the future of the site. This started not that long ago when Digg revised its comment system and made it virtually unusable. The comment system is a large part of the attraction of Digg and what was once a clean and simple interface became an ugly, nested series of blocks that got bogged down in the overuse of JavaScript and AJAX. Now I’m a big fan of JavaScript and AJAX but the designers of Digg need to take a lesson in moderation. It’s difficult to visually follow threads the way they have used blocks to separate posts and the vertical lines don’t help at all. The worst part comes when you try and open a story with a lot of comments. FireFox users will often be greeted with the message, “A script on this page may be busy, or it may have stopped responding. You can stop the script now, or you can continue to see if the script will complete” at which point you can kill the script, let it continue, or debug it. Another issue has to do with posting comments. I’ve personally seen the bug where comments simply disappear from the story I posted them to yet when I go to my profile it still shows that I made a comment. Some part of Digg knows I made a comment yet another can’t seem to find it. Finally, and I’m sure this is related to the AJAX issues, but stories with a lot of comments can’t display them all at once. Instead you have the option at the very bottom to display comments x through y. What bugs me about this, and maybe I just don’t understand how they’re counting, but a story with say 450+ comments only has a link to “Show 51 – 101 of 253 comments”. Huh? Does the 253 refer to top level posts? Does the 253 mean that I’m looking at a page with 200 comments and there are 253 more to see? The meaning of the numbering is not immediately clear and therefore becomes irrelevant. Digg’s founders keep promising changes in the comment system and other changes to the site but this has been going on for months now with no end in sight.

Going back to the issue of Digg’s most recent design changes, I have to say that it seems to be no improvement at all over what they had 18 months ago. There’s still no picture section, the design is getting more blocky, and now the front page is suffering from longer load times. Digg needs to be fast, clean and simple. Simplicity has always been the key to Digg. Keep the site lightweight, make it easy to contribute. That’s all.

My profile. Why can’t I select how many items I see on one page at a time? It’s still impossible to view each story I’ve dugg at once. Instead I’m forced to go one page at a time with 15 items per page. I tried to write a script using Digg’s API to do this but they limit the results you can pull there too.

Friends. I’m sure plenty of people enjoy the Friends section of Digg but being a rebel I really don’t give a shit about what story someone else has dugg. I’m sure it has it’s pluses but I go to Digg to explore, not to be lead around.

And don’t even get me started on Digg’s search.

4 thoughts on “What’s Wrong with Digg”

  1. Well they seem to have fixed the slow load on the home page but I noticed yet another annoyance. Every story now has the domain preceding the summary and it includes an em dash (a dash on steroids). When I see a title I want to read about, my eyes don’t want to have to hop over the domain every time to read it. Stick it at the end with the other useless information, like how long a story became popular. Oooh look, this story became popular 13 minutes ago. Hurrah!

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