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DESIGN

Digg: Before and After Its Redesign

The site's new designer wanted sleek. A design-firm CEO and former Digg fanatic says looks don't matter. Below, the two duke it out.
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The Original Site

Justin Van Slembrouck, Digg designer, : "Digg tried to do too much. The site was sliced and diced in so many ways."

Karen McGrane, CEO of Bond Art + Science: "I disagree. The old Digg made it really easy to filter by category. You could, for example, find all the popular funny images in the past 24 hours. I used it all the time."

Van Slembrouck: "The emphasis on Digg numbers led to too much gaming of the system. People artificially pumped up numbers to drive traffic to their site."

McGrane: "The value of the old Digg was that it was a participatory experience. For some people, being able to vote on content was important."

The New Digg

Van Slembrouck: "Our goal was to distill a noisy, cluttered Internet into calm and boil it down to 10 important things. To say, 'This is what you need to know.'"

McGrane: "The design is beautiful. But it's like they decided that what I want is an editorialized, stylized version of popular content from the Internet. If I wanted that, I would use Flipboard."

Van Slembrouck: "We downplayed the Digg button. Most of today's conversations happen elsewhere on the Web."

McGrane: "By doing this, they don't put me, as a user, in control."

IMAGE: Digg
From the July/August 2013 issue of Inc. magazine




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