Design Spotlight: ZDNet

ZDNet has recently redesigned their website.

New ZDNet Design

The new design is certainly heavier than the old one, which had a white background, and was more “open.”

The new design has some interesting aspects, and overall looks pretty good. I like the nice and simple navigation bar (especially the coloration), and the rest of the layout is simpler than the old design’s.

The site has become more “blog-like” than ever. While before just a few articles were featured on the main page, there is now a long list of recent posts occupying the center column. The section just below the navigation, containing a featured post and a list of “top posts,” is one of my favorite parts of the design (aside from the red navigation). It looks good, and it highlights the content a lot of frequent visitors would be looking for.

In addition to their new “blog-like” elements, they now have a “big footer,” as people call the large page footers containing peripheral content. They’ve loaded it with a tag cloud, and several similarly styled pseudo-clouds, which are really just lists of links.

This isn’t really design related, more of an architectural thing, but why do so many large websites have such an aversion to .htaccess? ZDNet, like many other websites, uses the ugly permalink style that WordPress, and other CMSes use by default. Why don’t they build some new permalink structure?

ZDNet has taken their blue and red color scheme from the old design much farther, with good effect.