June 19, 2009

Embracing the new Cricinfo

We've been listening to your feedback on our new site design and are working on your recommendations

Let me enter the guilty plea at the beginning. I could offer up a dozen excuses why this page hasn't had a new entry for a couple of months, but that would be a waste of space. All I can offer is a promise to be more regular.

It's been nearly three weeks since Cricinfo's new look was launched. Your feedback continues to pour in, and it is gratifying to us that it does. Most of you have liked what you have experienced, and many have offered constructive criticism about the things you haven't liked. Some of you who have absolutely hated it have let us know in the most certain manner possible. But even the angriest feedback has been reassuring: a reflection of what Cricinfo means to you, and how much you care.

We have been listening. Not just listening, but acting on several of your suggestions.

The full scorecard is now full again, with all the innings presented in a single frame, as opposed to behind tabs.

The local time has been restored on the scorecard pages (that was an oversight), the typeface for the commentary has been changed, and only boundaries and dismissals are now displayed in bold in commentary.

The other significant revisions have been on the homepage. The news links looked slightly orphaned under the strong main panel. We have now lifted them by adding bold headlines and organising them the way they used to be in the old design. The page looks more balanced now.

Download speed has been matter of concern for many. We were aware of the issue while redesigning the site. It is a richer page now, it has a larger lead photo, and there are more thumbnails and more links, so inevitably the page is heavier. And no, the video player isn't contributing to the load.

It¹s perhaps a much smaller issue on broadband to which standard the world is marching inexorably but we have been working on the problem and I am happy to report that the page is quite a few kilobytes lighter already, and it's going to shed more weight yet.

The black news module has divided opinion quite sharply at that. Like it was with Geoff Boycott and Sourav Ganguly, it's either love or hate (I loved them both), with little middle ground. The idea of using a strong colour on top was to create a focal point for the homepage, and to that end, it has already served its purpose: it has got plenty of attention. But we are not impervious to the matter of readability, and let me assure you that the matter is under consideration.

Keep writing, and we will keep listening.

Sambit Bal is the editor of ESPNcricinfo