Ars Technica is one of my favorite tech news sites. Though they’ve been around since 1998, they’ve had very few layout redesigns. Nowadays they have an ultra-cool design, but they didn’t start out that way…
April 22, 1999
I despise (most) designs with a black background and white text. It’s hard on the eyes, and come on, that color scheme should have died with DOS!
December 7, 2000
Well, at least they expanded the resolution to fit a 1024px screen. I still don’t like the way it looks though. To top it off, the Wayback Machine missed a few images.
November 25, 2004
Yeah, finally a good design! The two blank spots would have ads, but the Wayback can’t capture them of course. This design firmly says “news site.” It looks pretty good, though it doesn’t have anything on the current design. I had to tweak this slightly in Photoshop, as the absence of the ads sort of screwed-up the positioning of the right column.
April 4, 2007 to Present
This is one of the coolest designs I’ve ever seen. I was surprised it had only been around since April, since I found Ars Technica (through Digg) in that month. The header especially is cool. I like the tabs and the background. Take a look at the website for the full effect. It’s cool.