The promised changes are up on cricket’s supposed home online. I’m not a fan. I didn’t like the previous version, which I found too cluttered and not nearly organized enough (no “hierarchy,” as web designers say).
The new look, however, doesn’t fix all those things. On the one hand, it is “cleaner,” mostly because of the neat boxes, each with its nicely marked function (“News,” “Specials,” so on). You also have more color (yellow! blue! black!). But you still don’t get a sense on what’s truly important and what’s not. There’s far too much text; the black box on top should be more prominent and include article photos next to it (rather than the random one to its left). I check Cricinfo compulsively throughout the day and I think it missed an opportunity here to give more space to its breaking news section (presumably what will be in the black box).
Having worked on web design, I know how difficult the process can be and I don’t want to criticize too much. So let me finish on two notes of praise: first, The Guardian has the best news website. Notice the clever and understated use of color; how “lengthy” the home page is, though not in a boring, list way, and the great integration of photo and video. Secondly, at least Cricinfo’s new live scorecards promise to look dreamy. The old version — while harshly utilitarian — looked like something out of MS-DOS.