Throw out that old, small monitor!

By Steve Outing

NYTimes.com introduced a redesign over the weekend, and overall I give it a thumbs-up. Plenty of bloggers are commenting on it, and I’ll leave it to others to do a serious critique. You can also read editor Len Apcar’s description of what’s been changed.

One significant change rekindles a very old debate: The site has been changed so that you need a large monitor to view it. If you have an old monitor and still view the Web in 800 x 600 mode (yuck!), have a modern monitor but don’t have your browser window fully maximized, or view websites in 800 x 600 mode, you won’t see some of the right side of NYTimes.com pages without side-scrolling.

I agree with the Times’ decision to go to a 1024-pixel screen width for its website pages. It’s 2006, and finally I think we can safely design our sites for the majority of online users who can view a 1024-pixel page. For those still on antiquated monitors: Hey, you’ve got to upgrade eventually. The industry shouldn’t hold back just to please the minority of people still using old equipment and viewing the Web in 800 x 600 mode.

Another thumbs up goes to headline links on the homepage and section pages: No underlines. Hurray! It’s time to recognize that users no longer require underlines to recognize that something’s a link.

Author: Steve Outing Steve Outing is a Boulder, Colorado-based media futurist, digital-news innovator, consultant, journalist, and educator. ... Need assistance with media-company future strategy? Get in touch with Steve!