In conjunction with the WWDC keynote today, Apple has given their website a long overdue refresh. The biggest changes are going from a white to black scheme, and dropping of the the Aqua tabs across the top in favor of a more conventional button bar. Basic architecture of the site seems pretty much unchanged, though the path to get to the major product categories is more streamlined. (Here’s a similar page from late 2006)
Instead of the sub-navigation bar under the main tabs there’s now an interesting slider/button bar. At first it looks like plain text buttons, but then you realize there is a sideways scroll slider that whips you through the options. It makes the icons above it move side to side, sort of like flipping through iTunes album covers but without the flip animation. Don’t know it’s really that useful, but it is novel. By embedding the category names inside the scroll bar, it perhaps implies that if you land in between then you’ll be looking at a category that is a blend of the two explicitly called out. For example, if you land part way between Macs and Applications, are you looking at something that combines elements of both?
They are still clearly trying to get the kinks out with the new code, especially on the .Mac side. The .Mac login screen looks half baked (half new style, half old style), and some bugs have appeared in the online mail. I now can’t read the bottom 4-5 lines of an email when reading it within the bottom pane, but everythings OK when I open the email in a new window. I assume they’ll get these things worked out in the next couple of days.