I admit that I check ArsTechnica.com once a day or so. Today when I logged on everything looked different. They have upgraded to Ars Technica 7.0.
The site has several new ideas and ultimately, I believe it is a more intelligent site than The Verge. It's a little nerdier and a little less "hipster" feeling too. However, but it does borrow a lot from The Verge. First, Ars Technica (main page):
Now, here is The Verge (main page):
Both of the sites are now using a three column layout. With Ars Technica, you can switch to a more standard list view. It's also interesting to note the use of serif and sans serif fonts. As for the fonts and font families, The Verge uses Adelle as their serif font and Helvetica as the sans serif while Ars Technica uses Nautica Text (a free Google web font) as their serif font and Arial as their sans serif. Here at Tek Syndicate we keep it simple with Georgia and Helvetica.
Let's check out an article from Ars Technica:
And here is a generic article from The Verge:
They are similar in a lot of ways. Hell, every blog shares a few similarities. The Verge has a line height of 24 while Ars is only 20. This seems to give Ars a nerdier look. It looks busier, more like a tech site, while The Verge looks more like a magazine. Speaking of The Verge looking like a magazine; some of their articles are way over the top. Take this review: http://www.theverge.com/2012/5/11/3012990/htc-evo-4g-lte-review. It's practically a magazine.
So, why do I even care about all this nonsense? I know we have several web designers on the site and several more lurking (join already!). It's really important to think about the flow and style of the content. The Verge and Ars Technica do it better than just about anybody... It's not enough to create solid code these days. People will flee if you use the wrong fonts or if your site isn't organized properly.
Tek Syndicate is not fully finished at this point either. Time is hard to come by when you are making videos, traveling, and taking care of the business as well. We really need to finish the menu. It was slopped together as a place holder and I haven't gotten around to fixing it yet. I really like what Ars is doing on their new site. I'll probably steal some ideas.
It seems that all websites steal ideas. I looked at a few while working on the style of this site... I think we ultimately created something that has similar elements (to other sites) yet is unique... But there is still much to be done.
I will be making changes to the main page over the next few months and the header menu will be totally overhauled. Feel free to post ideas. I will not be able to do everything... but I can take the best ones and implement them.