A couple of days ago I noticed Disqus started experimenting with a new design. Because I am always eager to try out new things I requested an invite immediatly. One day later I received an email informing me I can activate the new design on my sites.
Lo and behold
The “Disqus 2012”, as they are calling the new design, is now enabled for this site and you can try it out right now (just scroll to the bottom of this page). The most prominent change from my point of view is the community tab. It allows you to see which the top discussions and commenters are on the blog. Useful bits of information to get the feel for the community. For instance, if you check out the community on this blog, you will learn that it is a sad thing indeed.
They also seem to be grasping the social aspect much more fiercely than before. Clicking on a commentor now shows you a bunch of his last posts and some basic information. You can even follow people whose comments you like. I don’t remember if this was in the old design as well, but I haven’t noticed it until now, so I guess they did something right! I might even give this feature a try.
But what about commenting?
The community tab and the added social aspects are great, but what did they do to improve the whole commenting process? Well from what I can tell, not a single thing! And I believe this is a good thing. Writing comments worked well, and it would make little sense to change it. They did seem to add upvotes and downvotes instead of a “like” button, but I have no idea how this little change might impact larger communities.
All in all I like the facelift, but will it convince more people to share their comments? Lets wait and see.