The new website is up and while I somewhat appreciate the design change, the usability problems are disappointing—I know they got feedback on this. I never understand why designers mess with the link underline styles and colors to make them inconsistent. The site forces no underlining for links, which wouldn’t be so bad—indeed, it’s my preferred style—but it also has poor choices for link colors. Are links white, blue, brown, or red? Oh, that heading that’s blue and looks just like the links over there isn’t a link. Oh, that heading that’s brown and looks looks just like the links over there isn’t a link. Frustrating! I hate using my magic wand to find which of the text that looks like links really are. Worse, the designer decided that visited links should (almost) match the text color. So now you have to look through all the text for links.

Colors are also a problem on LCD monitors. Some of the text, particularly the brown when not bold, becomes faint so it isn’t read as easily. The visited link color might as well be the same as the text. The choice of the link colors seems to switch randomly as you progress through the site. Watch the colors in the left side navigation bar: sometimes they’re blue, sometimes brown, sometimes they become red when hovered, other times they become blue.

It’s really sad that the site suffers from these problems, because I really like the revised and much more user-centered content. If they’d just used the blue color consistently for links, the site would be a joy to use.