Medium’s Members Only Redesign

Why I’m Not Feeling It

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Image by Sebastian Mantel, unsplash.com

I won’t belabor the matter, so I’ll get right to the point. As a design professional and a user of Medium, I’m not feeling this new and improved design. And it’s not about being resistant to change.

In the visual and literary arts, the maxim less is more is sage advice. Basically, the practice holds that the creator should strip away all that unnecessary or that would detract from the message which will in turn amplify, clarify, or accentuate your message. Why have Hamlet’s relatives talk amongst themselves about how moody he’s been when Hamlet can tell you himself?

The old homepage wasn’t bad per se, as much as design fell victim to the content and algorithms that were used to fill it. I don’t know about you, but the stuff I was getting wasn’t necessarily the stuff I was most interested in.

Enter Medium redesign team.

It seems to me that the design team (who unleashed that God-awful green M on the world, which I still can not embrace) in an effort to give us something fresh and streamlined, swung the pendulum much too far in the other direction and the resulting layout is well … sterile, spartan at best.

spartan — showing or characterized by austerity or a lack of comfort or luxury

I get white space. I’m all about white space. It serves a multitude of functions like framing pages, creating columns and rows to establish rhythm, guiding your eyes and showing you whats most important on the page. White space provides balance, but for the love of page grids, only five stories per section? Yeah, I know you can always click on the header for more stories; but why five? Is it a magic number?

Am I nitpicking? Probably. But if you know writing, the devil is in the details. And that same principle applies to design.

Idunno. It just seems like an awful lot of wasted space to me. The smart for my money would’ve been to 1) keep the old template, 2) strip out that junk at the top, and 3) populate that grid with stories from these new algorithms currently in use. Call me cranky … I’ll take that, because I am. I’m paying for what I’m getting now.

But then again, what do I know?

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