Home

Share this Story

Welcome to the New Droid Life

new dl

As many of you noticed last night and this morning, we’ve undergone some major changes around here. We are proud to introduce you today to Droid Life 3.0. It has been two years since we last revamped the site, but in my biased opinion, this is the biggest and best change yet. There are a lot of cool things going on, so let’s talk about them. 

Responsive Layout

This is one of those one site built for all type of changes, or in other words, a responsive layout. No matter what you are viewing the site on, whether it be tablet, phone or desktop, you won’t have to request mobile or full versions of the site, the site will change automatically for you. To test it for yourself, grab the corner of your browser right now and drag it inwards. Neat, right?

I can’t even tell you how many times that you, the reader, have requested a mobile version of the site. And truthfully, there always was one, it was just hard to find. But going forward, you won’t have to worry about finding one, clicking “view mobile,” or any of that other tedious stuff, as the site will adjust depending on your screen size. Yes, mobile is go. Tablet layout is also go. All sizes are go.

BIG. EVERYTHING.

From the beginning of this redesign, we wanted to see how big we could make things, yet still have the site remain functional. If it’s not obvious already from the desktop version, we went really big. We’re actually already toning some of it down thanks to immediate feedback, but we really want images to be in your face; for headings and quotes to stand out. We’re moving into a time where screens have higher and higher resolutions, so had we kept things down a notch, we worried that it wouldn’t be future-proof and things would look too small in the near future. I’d imagine that the next computer you buy is going to have a retina-like resolution if it doesn’t already.

So here we are, with our big beautiful, image-heavy Droid Life 3.0. It might take some getting used to, but I think the more you look at it, the more you’ll like it. Especially as we fine tune everything to be just right. Take our Nexus 5 review for example – holy gorgeous. Oh, and assuming we can step our photography game up to make pictures worthy of this new look, that should help.

And if the BIG is simply too overwhelming, you can always adjust the zoom in your Chrome browser. I know that’s not an ideal fix, but things slim up nicely at around 90%. You can access zoom by heading into Settings>Show advancing settings…>Zoom.

Other Stuff

  • Persistent Top Menus:  From the home page to individual post pages, we’ve given you tools that stick to the top of the site even as you scroll downward. You’ll see shortcuts to get you back home, for sending in tips, quick buttons for sharing, a search box, and even some of our favorite links to places like our DL Show page or reviews. This is one of those things we can add to over time, so if you’d like to see something added, be sure to let us know.
  • That DL pink, tho:  Did you really think that we’d go away from one of our trademark looks? Of course we kept the pink around. It’s not going to overwhelm anyone (at least we hope not), but it’s there, especially as you hover over items.
  • Previous and Next Stories: At both the top and bottoms of individual posts, you’ll see buttons to get you to the previous or next stories. In the past, you had to jump all the way back to the main DL page to find the next story, so we decided to make it easier for you to continue reading.
  • Older Posts:  As time permits, we’ll do our best to bring older posts up to snuff. Thanks to the way we were creating posts in the past, they weren’t exactly tailored for such a big change, but we’ve got some ideas to make them look much prettier over time. Stick with us there. For the daily readers, going forward you’ll see everything fit ever-so-nicely into the new theme.

Feedback

Guess what? We like feedback. We don’t necessarily like assholes, but we do love it when people make thoughtful and helpful suggestions. It’s a new site after all, designed by us with hopes that you’d love our vision. But you the reader are the most important piece to this whole gig of ours, so if you aren’t happy, we want to make you happy. We’d love for you to give us feedback in the comments or via email over the next few weeks so that we can make adjustments to the site as needed.

Also, we’d like to give a shoutout to our friends at Coulee Creative who put this together. This is the 3rd site redesign they have done for us, and we couldn’t be happier.

  • Ray

  • HarvesterX

    Not being able to switch into DeskTop mode sucks. Granted, there isnt one. But with a screen resolution that is higher than my previous monitor on my older (not that old) PC, I should be able to cram a lot more in and I can’t now. I’m far from having good site either.I’m 20/30 WITH glasses, and I keep my font as tiny as I can take it.

    The persistent menus? I’m not seeing them. Just Facebook, Twitter, and G+ Life counters.

    A HUGE plus though. The web designer FINALLY got rid of the plagueing invalid cross referencing between domains which drove me crazy and resulted in me not using this site for a good while (instead I went to XDA and did some degelooement… Shameless plug,.in general G2 dev I have an actual useful “lagfix” utility)

    I’ll give this a few days. Overall I seem to like things, it’s just new. I do prefer it to the old but just miss a lot. Scaling on screen size seems off for some reason though…shouldn’t it be scaled by screen resolution? Dunno, haven’t done HMTL/XHTML in ever. I also have a hosts file blocking any ads so might remove that and check again.. Good job … yeah there’s a few things I’m getting used to but much improved

  • Max

    I’m not a fan at all. Everything’s way too big. Readability has been severely reduced (desktop and mobile).

  • Tony

    DL crew, I whole heartedly agree with the numerous commenters that the arrangement of photo, title, byline is very very confusing. I find it hard to quickly scan the website and find the new layout incredibly visually confusing… especially on mobile devices. I like the big, bold new look and overall I like what you are trying to do. However, the structure of the feed is tough on they eyes. I usually visit DL several times a day but since the redesign I find that I now go to Feedly to see updates b/c I don’t have the navigate the visual clutter.

    All of that said, DL is still my favorite Android site. The staff is great, the content is strong, and the DL community is generally WAY more positive and enjoyable than most sites. The troll to non-troll ratio seems to lean heavily non-troll… which just makes life and gadget news so much more enjoyable.

    Thanks for all the great work, and regardless of site design, I’ll always be a fan.

    Tony

  • Aime Eerin

    But you the reader are the most important piece to this whole gig of ours, so if you aren’t happy,

  • http://www.ashevilletechnologyservices.com Dan Brown

    I agree with the others on having the title above the picture… it makes it seem as if the next picture belongs to the story from the previous post…. just my opinion. The design is beautiful and fresh though, I like it!! Thanks guys!

  • Kyle Coppess

    I love Droid Life. I will always come here to read about Android and to listen to the podcast. In fact, in Chrome I have all my tech sites in one folder and Droid Life is the first one there (above Android Police, Android Central, Engadget, etc).

    That being said, I’m not a fan of the redesign. Title needs to be before pic. Center justified title looks odd. Font is way too big. As you suggested, yesterday I turned the zoom down 10% for this site. Came on here this morning, and the first thing I thought was, “Damn, I need to make the font smaller”. I went to do it, then remembered I already had. And there is no real separation between articles. I like to scan and scroll the entire homepage to see all the articles I haven’t read yet, then pick what order I read them in. So now when I do that, it’s hard for me to figure out what’s what.

    And lastly, I sort of get your logic that you are trying to ‘future proof’ the site. That being said, I just got my laptop about a year ago (1920×1080). I won’t be getting another laptop for a few years. I think most people are like me in that way, and it’s not like 4k laptops are right around the corner or anything. The pics are way too big as well. If you want them big in the article after we’ve clicked on it to read it, that’s fine. On the home screen though, it’s too much. On my Razr Maxx HD (with 4.7 inch screen) the site is impossible to read. Before I could see at least a couple of article on screen at the same time. Now the pic and headline alone take up the ENTIRE SCREEN. That’s just silly. I’ve actually started using Play Newsstand to read Droid Life now, because the mobile version of the site is awful (sorry).

    Bigger isn’t always better.

  • Edward Smith

    Please increase the contrast and font size of the “Older stories” and “Newer stories” page nav bar at the bottom of each page of posts. With this recent stylistic change it visually blends into the background. While everything else is high contrast big fonts the page nav buttons are smaller fonts and seem to be almost intentionally hidden now for reasons that are unfathomable to me.

  • Yakuzahi

    Sorry but I don’t like it.

  • Fabokid

    I really love the new look….

  • Brandon Golway

    I’m liking it, now if you guys could figure out how to get rid of that stupid list that keeps popping up whenever you upvote something it would be perfect! That thing is so damn annoying, especially when using a mobile browser!

  • Stephen

    I do not like the new look at all. It is very hard to read, and appears to have little separation to the eyes. I think having the title before the picture might help, but I still do not think that is the overall issue. I think the issue is the overall style. I think the titles being centered, the large font, the insanely large pictures, and the pictures being separated without a clear border between articles make the site extremely hard to read. I do not think I will completely abandon the site, but I will not visit it as much (10+ times a day). I will probably only come once a day at most now because I find the site way too hard to follow.

    I think having things on the sites main page small, and easy to scan is the most important thing for me as a reader. Then, I can scan the article, and decide if I want to read further and go inside. I do not need a large picture, etc to do so. I need something simple to give me an overview, and not in depth in my face introduction. I think having a small picture which can still be view-able, off to the side of the title, and having smaller font will allow me to not have to worry about scrolling so much on my phone, or having to scale my browser to an insane amount on my PC.

    I think what best describes the site now is it is in your face. The site is now that way instead of being informative, quick, and easy to navigate.

  • Drummer62

    I think the title at the top than the photo than the author info at bottom would look nicer. Just my opinion.

  • Guest

    Maybe make the font a little heavier? Some of the letters have a jagged thin look, while others seem overly thick.

  • tomn1ce

    For a second I thought I had gone to the wrong site and that my bookmark was kind of loco….The new look looks nice, but I think the title of the article should go above the picture. I thought it was my computer that I screwed up the fonts size I had to manually change the zoom in the setting. I notice a few complaining about the font size.

  • mgamerz

    The images are just way too large. I don’t even know if the titles are for the picture above or the one below it. It makes me scroll a lot more than I used to, they need to be smaller. Maybe make them bigger when clicked on instead.

  • http://twitter.com/jdrch jdrch

    Looks good, I like it :)

  • Scott Webber

    The main issue I’ve had with the redesign was on my Mac Book Pro 13″ – It is really hard to see enough on that vertically short screen. Make sure that images shrink down based not only on the width of the browser, but also based on height. Otherwise, I like the large look and feel.

  • 88chevy

    DL is now slower for me and looking at Google PageSpeed Insights it
    is clear to see why. With it’s 11 javascripts and 8 stylesheets. The
    super large photo above the centered “title” makes reading harder. Add
    the jumbo share buttons that seem to be EVERYWHERE, I get it, you want
    us to share it so you get more viewers but it’s just to much. Don’t need
    a share button at the stuck to the top header bar, every post and every
    single page. Hope DL 4.0 comes soon. ;)

  • Michael swaim

    I like the new look…. And yes Do NOT change the pink. The site looks great in this shade of Grey and pink.

  • Ron Perlman’s Jaw

    The site is absolutely HUGE on a 22 inch monitor.

  • Joel Gautraud

    My honest feedback (as a graphic designer):

    Stick to left-aligned text for your headlines (on the main page and in the articles). The center-aligned text is just out of place with your article layout, headers, and masthead. I think that would improve the nice redesign.

  • Silver Veloz

    I just got through reading all the Bios. Cool. Where’s Ron’s Bio?

  • REITdude

    Hate it :( Pix are WAY too large, and tiles below the pix make it difficult to scroll through. It looks like my Mom’s PC with disability feature giant fonts turned on

  • Dan Richards

    I’m sure someone else has said it, but it’s a little muddled when it comes to distinguishing between articles. Otherwise the overall direction and choice looks more modern and in keeping with trends.

    • RavnosCC

      Agreed, once I zoomed out, it was easier to at least look at, but it is more difficult to tell where one article ends and the next one begins…

  • Emilio Echezuria

    Simple, de fácil lectura, botones y titulos con diseños rectos elegantes…… Excelente pagina.

  • J. Gilbertson

    Definitely needs to go “Author bar”, title, picture, text body. Of course in that order it doesn’t make sense for the Author bar to include “by”. Just needs name. Or you can do title, author (get rid of the grey author bar), picture, text. Just my opinion.

  • jaluke

    i don’t like the picture located above the title of the article.

    • RavnosCC

      Maybe that’s the issue with trying to figure out which pictures belongs to which title…

  • thefullritz

    Love the new layout. Would like it if you put a time stamp next to each post.

  • Ztw1217

    Love the new look! so shocked when I first saw it and there wasn’t a mention of it at first. I believe that the desktop version should not change at all. Perfect!!! but while using my phone, i dont like the fact that after all the news feed and getting to the previous page or stories, if you keep scrolling, tons and tonsssss of ads… i liked the older desktop so the ads were on the right side and i could just zoom in a little more to ignore them. Love the look altogether and stick with pink!

  • fgonzo98

    Looks sharp! *approved* LOL

  • Tomek G

    It is nice clean layout, but I had to reduce size of it to like 66-75% to make it readable. It seems to be tailored for blind people

  • John Malin

    Maybe add a little more weight to the font? Some of the letters look really jagged in some places, and thin in others, and then others seem bolded? Makes it a little difficult to read from more than a foot or 2 away. Maybe it’s just my browser, but you can see here…. http://imgur.com/h5HMIw9

    The W and the O look jagged, while the D is thin on the curve and thick on the stroke, and the L and I seem thick.

  • http://www.theprogrocker.com/ John

    Love the new look. Super clean, great colors

  • droidify

    One of the reasons I come here is because you guys take photography serious. Beautiful site. I can’t wait to see the new pics if you thought the old were sloppy.

  • Eric Esparza

    LOVE LOVE LOVE the fact that the mobile site comes up right away. That was a pleasant surprise and a much welcomed change. Kudos!!!

  • pseudonym_b

    The one thing I miss is the pink highlighting of text. Can you bring that back? I feel like its just one CSS line that just wasn’t included.

    Also I think having the title above the picture on the main feed is a slightly better organization, but that could just be because I’m not used to it yet.

  • Brandonvazq

    To Kellex and the entire droid-life staff, great job keeping us updated with android news over the years. That aside, the title on the bottom of the image really kills the vibe for me on this site. I usually scroll down and read the titles and determine what i’m going to read/view from there. Having the title on the bottom confuses me as i’m not certain what image the title is belongs to. Anyways, keep up the good work guys!

  • Emily

    Either the majority of readers are 65+ or blind, or they launched a mobile site w/o a desktop version. I need to go buy a 4k resolution monitor just so I see more than half a post at once.

    • Emily

      Yep, definitely only a mobile site. Looks terrible on my Desktop but fantastic on my phone, except for the persistent top bar that takes up like 10% of my screen…

  • bryoneill11

    A few suggestions
    1. Keep the old Droid Life Font please
    2. In mobile version there’s a gap between the Logo and the Search button… You can use that space to include Droid LIFE (The old font please)
    3. In desktop version theres the same gap between the Logo and the “share this story” words in the banner. Use that space to include Droid LIFE (The old font)

  • wHyTeCoUnTrY

    Looks awesome. No complaints.

  • FerrariBauer

    I have observed the site closely and came to the conclusion that the site looks very much like Google now with card based layouts and boundaries. Looks pretty Amazing. Hats Off Droid-Life.

  • MrBigStuff

    I don’t like that I have to scroll through two screenfuls of ads to get from the articles to the comments. Not to mention the ad between the image and the article text, and that ridiculous banner ad about ebooks that shows up every time I load a page and is next to impossible to close. I understand you have to make money off of the site, but it’s really killing the experience on mobile. I think subtler ads would help a lot.

  • Jeff Schroeder

    Totally awesome! I LOVE the redesign.

  • kyle

    Site makes me fell like special needs. …..no offense!

  • jbdan

    Took me forever to figure out when you said to “grab the corner of your browser and drag it inwards” that you meant on a pc/desktop. I’ve been trying to do it on chrome on my tablet and phone…..=)

  • cwillen

    The site looks great, but is it just me, or is the search feature not working? The box is “there” in the code, but it’s not showing up on the page.

    Was the supposed to be a jQuery click-to-expand?

  • sski66

    Great job fellas’, Sun night when I went to the site I was like did I hit the Youtube or G+ site by mistake, hahaha, I really think it has that “Google Services” new look, the Card look, & I think that’s a good thing.

  • jbdan

    A great upgrade I really like everything about it. Well done all of you

  • Travis H

    Think we can get the title bar design with the lines in DL pink as an Android Home screen background?