Netscape’s New Look Unpopular With Some
Netscape remodeled its home page in recent days – the site describes itself as “undergoing exciting changes.” But apparently a lot of people don’t like the alterations. There’s even a little note down at the bottom of one page, saying, “If the new Netscape isn’t for you, make sure to check out the free AOL.com.”
How bad is it when you give users an escape route? Pretty bad. The New York Times reports that after “one dismayed user posted an item titled Netscape’s blunder!!!’ on Netscape.com . . . . it elicited more than 300 comments, including pleas to please bring the old Netscape.com back.'” And that’s not all.
Bert Lao started a petition to bring back the site’s previous form. According to the Times, Lao “said the petition received more than 1,000 electronic signatures before Netscape removed his entry from the top stories’ page and closed all comments.” Lao has managed to get another 300 or so signatures since then, however.
AOL spokesman Andrew Weinstein has defended the change. (AOL owns Netscape, if you didn’t know.) “We want all of our users to be happy,” Weinstein said. But “almost any change is likely to cause some concern in a subgroup of users.” Fair enough. But when a change causes an active protest among over 1,000 users, it may be time to reevaluate things.
Netscape’s new features includes “anchor picks,” “your picks,” “your summary,” “our follow-up,” and “reader comments.” And the option to visit AOL.com if you don’t like the updated site.