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NBCNews.com Changes Again

It looks like I wasn’t the only one who thought that nbcnews.com’s last redesign was a disaster. Less than six months after radically redesigning their site, nbcnews.com has changed yet again, but this time for the better.

Gone is the layout designed only for mobile devices, with huge images everywhere and stories seemingly randomly scattered about. The latest design is closer to their old layout where stories are categorized, with a better use of space. They also left out a feature of the design prior to the last layout where a block of code above the header was hidden, forcing you to scroll up to see it after the page loaded. Anyone else using that pattern? I don’t think so.

So far, out of nbcnews.com’s last three layout changes, this is the best. We’ll see what they do next. Latest layout:

NBC_News_-_Breaking_News_&_Top_Stories_-_Latest_World,_US_&_Local_News_-_2014-09-11_09.38.17

Temporary Design Change

This is just a short note to let you know that due to recent server issues, we’ve had to temporarily change the look of CMF. We’ll be going back to the old look shortly, once some issues with our template are squared away.

PHP Pagination Class – Version 3

It’s been a while since the popular PHP pagination class has received any of my attention, so a few months ago I set out to re-write the class to be more up to date. This version takes advantage of both code and security updates as well as updates to PHP and MySQL. I’m also planning on moving the code over to GitHub where it should be easier to manage.

Here is the new and improved PHP pagination class for your enjoyment:

Download

See the example files for how to use. I’ll create step-by-step instructions shortly.

Demo

Note that the demo uses MySQL’s free “world” database available at http://dev.mysql.com/doc/index-other.html

  • Example 1 (basic paginated database result set)
  • Example 2 (Form variables passed via pagination class)

Nbcnews.com Creates the World’s Least Usable (and possibly the ugliest) News Website

Nbcnews.com (formerly msnbc.com) has a history of terrible design choices. One of the worst, which I wrote about back in 2010, involved some ridiculous header that remained invisible when the site loaded unless you chose to scroll the page up. While I had no doubt that they would continue their tradition of making bad design choices, I was shocked to see their newest debacle.

Unfortunately I don’t have any images of the old layout to show you, but here’s a quick capture of their new layout as compared to the old:

Breaking_News_&_Top_Stories_-_World_News,_US_&_Local_NBC_News_-_2014-02-05_12.15 Breaking_News_&_Top_Stories_-_World_News,_US_&_Local_NBC_News_-_2014-02-06_13.24

Seems like whoever is in charge over there is really excited about mobile devices since it’s painfully obvious that the site has been designed to target smaller screens. In fact, it appears as if Nbcnews.com has totally forsaken desktops. Now, they have some Frankenstein hybrid of their old site mashed up with Pinterest. Hope you like images with your news because the site is loaded with them. Loads and loads of large images (which we all know mobile devices love to load quickly because they’re lightweight and don’t eat up data charges). And good luck trying to find anything easily. Categories seem to be randomly ordered, and the search page looks like a typical 404 page not found page, except that it’s not — it’s really their search, just optimized for mobile devices (hooray!).

I’d be curious to know if Nbcnews did any research or used focus groups to hone their new site, or whether this was all created without feedback. Don’t get me wrong though, I’m all for a decent mobile-friendly website, but don’t ignore desktop users in the process of building one.