For the first three seconds it’s in your browser, the new Vogue.com is a mildly refreshing change from the bare bones black-and-white minimalism of its last incarnation.
But then, you get a weird drop down, something that looks like an ad for Vena Cava — it’s actually what WWD calls an oversize features carousel with links to fun stories from the site and magazine, and an occasional ad. But every experience you’ve ever had with the Internet will tell you that this is an advertisement and that you need to get away from it as fast as possible, so you scroll.
Then you find out that that red menu bar is locked to the top of your browser. And then you notice that everything you see on the home page is from the Vogue Daily blog or has Candy Pratts Price all over it, but all you wanted to do was check out photos of Carey Mulligan from the October issue. Granted, if you hadn’t been so scared about what you thought was an ad at the top of the page, you might have clicked through it and found exactly the link you were looking for.
In a press release, Vogue.com’s editor Caroline Palmer says that “the new site’s design is a clearer translation of Vogue’s editorial voice, and it also leverages the functionality of the Web to give readers an experience in line with the high standards set by the magazine.”
Maybe it’s just us (or maybe it’s Vogue), but we have a better experience with the magazine when we’re holding it in our hands. Granted, the stuff you can’t get in the magazine is pretty cool — like the updated video player and the Local Look section (we think StyleSheets is the better option, to be quite honest). Scrapbooking what we like in the site’s Lghtbox and sharing it with other readers and editors of the site would be kinda cool, if that wasn’t something we couldn’t do with another networking tool.
But it’s hard not to appreciate the amount of time and energy that went into the overhaul, and when you consider that this is it’s first day, maybe it’s not so bad. The beauty of the Internet is that it can change in a flash. And we hope it won’t be that long before Vogue.com gives itself a few tweaks in improvement.