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Thoughts on LiveJournal's new layout

On Thursday, Livejournal switched layouts to their new site scheme. They aren't automatically switching people over yet, but
it looks like they will be in a few weeks.

I decided that I'd try the new site scheme out, just to see what it's like. Since I'd have to switch eventually, I figured I'd figure it out sooner, rather than later. The actually switching process (outlined in the entry linked above), was simple and rather painless. I didn't find any real accessibility issues making the switch. I found a few good points and a few bad points to the new scheme. I'll let you be the judge if it meets your purposes or not.

First, the good things:

  • No more "clickable". One of the most annoying things about using LiveJournal for the last few years has been the fact that for some reason, everything, and I do mean everything, had a "clickable" attribute assigned to it. If you went to an individual entry on most journals (not mine lately thankfully), the entry itself was labeled "clickable", even though there was nothing to click in the actual text. You could get around this by setting your screen reader not to announce that attribute for the LiveJournal domain. Then, in January of this year, LiveJournal gave everyone a subdomain (previously, this was just for paid and permanent accounts). So, instead of going to
    http://www.livejournal.com/~puppybraille
    you'd go to
    http://puppybraille.livejournal.com
    For some reason, that threw off JAWS, so you'd basically have to make that settings change for each user's journal you visited (what a pain!). Thankfully, they seem to have fixed that in the new site release. Nothing I've run across is clickable.
  • Smaller pages. So far, it seems like they've consolidated things under subcategories, in a more task-oriented manner. This means that instead of practicallly every link showing up on every page, there are fewer links. The page load times may be somewhat smaller, but I can't be sure right now.

The stuff I'm not so sure about:

  • It's somewhat tricky to navigate the site right now. First, with a screen reader, I have to go through the links to frequently asked questions and stuff before I even get to the options for some of the more frequently used stuff. Fortunately, if I skip down by headings, I can find my username and see some of the stuff I need more quickly.
  • With fewer links come more clicks or steps to get to activities. But I think this is something I'll get used to.

It's nice that in the new changed scheme, we didn't lose all ability to use the site. In fact, we didn't lose anything, at least not that I can see. I'll play with the site more, but these are my thoughts. More personal stuff coming later.

Comments

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dancingdreams88
Aug. 20th, 2006 05:37 pm (UTC)
I switched over, and I love the new site layout. I haven't completely explored it yet, but I love what I see so far:)
kl1964
Aug. 21st, 2006 12:08 am (UTC)
For some reason Windoweyes refers to those pesky things as on-clicks as opposed to clickable. Who knows why? I won't miss them one little bit if they go away.
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