The New New MSE Masthead – your thoughts please

Last week I blogged about our proposed new masthead for the site and other changes (see New Masthead blog). After all your feedback, we’ve been working on some improvements, and before we go live I’d love your feedback.

The ‘new’ masthead (see below for the new new one)

Click here to see a clearer full size version

While most of the feedback was good, there were a few issues which we’ve tried to address below:

  • My shirt colour too bland: In many ways this was a deliberate choice of pic, as I don’t want to dominate the site. I’ve been reducing my head size gradually over the years and would love to get to the stage where it’s not there anymore, but as many of the searches for the site involve my name and people get confused with other sites, it’s important it stays. Yet we’ve upped the colour level a bit in photoshop.
  • The Forum Button: It’s a lot more prominent now and has both a direct click and a menu dropdown option.
  • The ‘You look like a comparison site’ issue: MSE has always had a homely or even homemade feel. We feel it’s right to get rid of some of that flavour for clean lines, for easier browsing and navigation. Yet of course that means we follow more of a standard path.

    Some people pointed this out and said we’d lose the charm that comes from garishness and quirkiness by doing so. I think there’s some truth in that. Thus, much to my designer’s dismay, I asked for a slightly jarring, clashing element that’s reminiscent of our old ‘consumer revenge’ stance and which shows the true flavour of the site, to go back in. That’s where the deliberately slightly clunky placard comes from.

As for the folded arms photo – it was a bit like marmite to people, so we’ve decided to go for it to see if it works.

The new new masthead

Click here to see a clearer full size version

Important! Please let me know which you prefer using the discussion links below: