Reddit is one of my favourite places on the internet, a source of both entertainment and news. The design of its website is very minimal, and hasn't really changed since 2008. This and a boatload of other factors have contributed to its success. Unfortunately Reddit is faced with the problem that new users find the interface confusing and so it takes a while before they understand how everything works. I decided to try and give a little redesign to clean up the UI, whilst still showing the important features front and center.

Old Design

Here's a quick look at what looked like on the 9th July 2017. I've been using Reddit for a few years now, but it's important to think about it from the perspective of a fresh face who has just stumbled upon the site for the first time.

There are certain elements on the page which are hidden, making them difficult for new users to locate. For example, the sidebar on the left which is toggle-able. It's so thin and blends with the background that 99% of the time I forget it is there. Another example is the subreddit bar at the very top, it is small and has a very similar colour to a browser's bookmarks bar making a reader's eye ignore it. This is an extremely poor choice as browsing different subreddits is one of the most important features and should be shown upfront, especially to new users who might not be aware of the different communities that make up Reddit.

Furthermore there are elements on the page with tiny touch targets and tiny whitespace making them hard to click/find and makes the page feel somewhat cluttered even with such a minimal design style.

The comment section is often navigated to for any link submitted to Reddit, but its access is not prominently shown, having the same style and weight as much lesser used functions such as "hide" or "report".

Finally we have the second screenshot which shows how reddit adapts to large screen sizes. I often find myself having to shrink the width of the browser window just because post titles stretch the entire length of the screen making me constantly have to turn my head to read them.

Redesign of Home

Here is my attempt at a redesign. I wanted to keep it extremely minimal, so much so that it almost resembles a wireframe. Furthermore I wanted to incorporate some of the style from the current design to keep it the same reddit that we all know and love (such as lowercase titles and square edges). Subreddits are now much easier to find and switch between. Live threads for breaking news are prominently featured up top with a colour to catch the eye but not so distracting as to interrupt the rest of the page. The post layout has been simplified to bring attention to comments, titles and votes whilst hiding the unnecessary one-off features inside a dropdown menu. Search has been promoted to the very top as reddit has tonnes of content for niche areas, which could do undiscovered for many users. The search hint has been changed from "search" to "what are you interested in?" as users will be more inclined to search for their hobbies and find content that suits them.

Redesign of Subreddit

The layout and style is so simple that it lends itself well to customisation. Subreddits have long been known for custom CSS (even if it is being removed soon), and the redesign incorporates this well. It provides a structure that is extremely configurable whilst still remaining very familiar.