Reddit keeps testing desktop UI changes ahead of its IPO

Reddit refines desktop UI design in line with Android app. Changes include curved reply connectors, minimized comment display, and reduced desktop screen usage mirroring mobile layout. Sorting options relocated, right sidebar potentially removed.

Reddit keeps testing desktop UI changes ahead of its IPO
Image: Getty Images

Reddit, a leading platform for user-generated content, is known for facilitating open discussions and real-time information exchange. The user interface (UI) plays a critical role in presenting this vast information in a clear and accessible manner.

Following the introduction of the current UI design several years ago, Reddit is engaged in further refinements in anticipation of an initial public offering (IPO). These changes focus on aligning the desktop UI with the existing Android application design.

Initial user observations suggest a shift from straight lines to curved connectors for nested replies. Additionally, the ability to collapse comments lacking replies into a single-line preview appears to have been removed. Minimized comments now disappear entirely, leaving only the username visible.

A significant change involves a reduction in the utilized desktop screen real estate, mirroring the familiar center feed with flanking sidebars commonly found in mobile applications. The sorting options for subreddit content have also been relocated and minimized, potentially impacting discoverability. Notably, the right-hand sidebar appears to have been removed entirely in recent iterations.

A screenshot of Reddit's latest UI design
Image: Androidpolice
A screenshot of a reddit UI design test with a missing sidebar on the right
Image: Androidpolice

These modifications primarily center around achieving visual parity between the desktop and mobile interfaces. The rationale behind these changes, particularly the reduction in available screen space, remains unclear. The timing, coinciding with the anticipated IPO, has raised concerns among some users regarding the potential future of the original ("old") Reddit UI.

Further observations and official announcements from Reddit are necessary to fully understand the impact and long-term goals of these UI design refinements.