Are you ready for the new Reddit?
A source of mine, close to the Reddit project, sent me some of the new screen shots as well as some explanation for the new features that will be rolling out over the next week or so.
There was a concern for some time at Reddit, that a pull down menu would hide the available options unless it was opened up. That concern has changed on Reddit since the majority of the users rarely utilize the options available.
“We already know that very few users explore beyond the hot/new pages and there are some great sort options that get neglected.”
The new Reddit UI also changes the way the submissions look, adding more space between each submission as well as a visible change to the order and location of the submissions information.
I was really happy when they introduced subreddits but I was not happy with the fact that in order to see all the topics within my favorite subreddits, I had to visit each one separately. So this next new feature is one of my favorites.
You can now select which subreddits you want to see in your main view of Reddit.com. If you want to see only a few subreddits at a time you can select them by checking them in the top right box and only those subreddits will be shown.
I am not sure how many people actually understood why the numbers, located just to the left of each submission on Reddit.com, would change colors from gray to red. This was an indication that the submission had already reached the number 1 position at some point.
This is important as a number 1 submissions begins to move down over time. People might not realize when it is on page 3 that it was indeed a hot topic at one point.
With the new UI, Reddit has added momentum arrows which indicated if a story is rising or falling in popularity.
The indicators are pretty obvious and the numbers will still turn redish orange when they have reached the number 1 position. Reddit’s front page updates every 60 seconds.
“You’ll notice the momentum arrows on the hot page — we’re hoping to better get across the mentality of how our front page works, so users are motivated to reload to see how things have risen or fallen.”
Above in the navigation pull down box you might have noticed a controversy option. This is a pretty interesting aspect to the new Reddit.
“Sorting by controversy is something unique to Reddit, since we’ve got both up and down arrows, a link can have 0 points but 100 up and 100 down votes — something that definitely merits some attention. this sort options should expose a bunch of great content that never gets hot enough to be on the front page, but is still worth a gander.”
You will also notice above that their is an option to sort by time period. The picture shows “this week”, but I have been told it will include variations up to “1 year”. I believe this is also potentially going to be included as a feature for the front page as well, but that is not yet confirmed.
This is only round one of many new changes that will be coming in the future, including a revamp of the submission process and profile pages.
Initially the UI and new features will be available only through http://beta.reddit.com to allow users to test it and provide feedback. There is no word when it will actually be up on the “beta”, but I am told sometime today or tomorrow. Actual release date to Reddit.com is also unknown at this time.
More information has been made available by Reddit staff in the comments relating to this article on Reddit.com here – http://reddit.com/info/6gp4g/comments/
“Yes, although this version still is rather dense (considering there are still 25 links by default on the frontpage), it was meant to open up some space and make the comment/etc. buttons more accessible and inline. I’ve seen way too many new users (in usability testing) not even see the comments button and ask “oh, but how can i comment?” The hope is that the color-change and new line will remedy that.
The big thing I wanted to change here was eliminate the ‘browse’ button, which admittedly is rather misleading (“why would I want to click a browse button when that’s clearly what i’m doing”) and still requires a few extra clicks to sort by top of a given time period. I assuaged my concern with the dropdown (that it hides options) with the fact that very very few users click beyond hot or new already.
As for the repetitive text, I hear ya, but I’d rather err on the side of being more instructive than less at this point — reddit is already pretty damn terse as it is.
Regarding the design, I’m happy you like the rising/falling indicators — more folks voted up your comment than voted up these against the arrows, but I’m interested in hearing thoughts on how to show momentum intuitively and w/o distracting users.”
I am really excited about these changes and think this will really improve the user experience on Reddit.com.