The New Yorker website flipped the switch on a new design and Jason Kottke and commentors provide instant-reviews. Oh, also some instant hacks, like this one to create a URL so a story appears on one page rather than several: change the URL by appending “?currentPage=all”. Biggest complaint: they killed all previous incoming links — all old URLs don’t work. Why do people do this? Don’t they know links are the currency of a networked economy? Best new feature: cartoons interwoven with edit, as in the magazine. I don’t know if they’re new or not, but the animated cartoons are clever, also.
While I generally agree with the geeky complaints from other web developer types — and unlike the USA Today redesign, there are no social features of the New Yorker, nor, frankly, would I expect there to be, my instant reaction to the design is extremely positive. (Wait a minute on that social-free comment, they do point to the blogs of some of their contributors and they have a Digg link (weird — I wouldn’t think the Digger demographic would be readers of the New Yorker — perhaps it’s because they have also a CondeNast owned “Reddit” link) on each article. I find the site’s design an excellent evolution of the web presence of the most print-centric of print properties. Still I wish they didn’t wall off the archives — even from subscribers. (I do own one of those CD sets of the complete archives, however.)