For Those Who Can’t Let Go Of The Past: The Techmeme Re-Underliner

Remember the old Techmeme of a week ago, before the new design took effect? Sure, the new design is easy on the eyes. But is it better?

Personally, I’m already used to the new look, other than the sponsored posts stuck in your face in the new middle column (push those to the right, please, where ads belong). But some people just can’t let go of the past—people like Eric Marcoullier (founder of OneTrueFan, Gnip, and MyBlogLog).

Marcoullier hates the new design so much that he created a Chrome extension to revert it back to its old look. The main feature he cannot live without is the underlined links. In the new design, the underlines are gone, making the site much cleaner with more room to breathe. But it also removes a key part of the information density which makes the site so useful, argues Marcoullier.

Techmeme’s headlines and excerpts now makes it look more like a blog or other primary news source than a link aggregator. Partly that is because the links have been de-emphasized. Marcoullier thinks it is easier to parse the different sources when they are underlined than when they are separated only by a comma and spaces that make them look too similar to the excerpted text below the main headline. You can see a before and after below.

Which one do you think is more scannable? I always found the underlines too cluttered. But seeing them here next to the new look, Marcoullier does have a point that the source names in the “More” section now tend to bleed into each other when the conversation gets too dense.