This really does compound the flaws of the curent home page.
Way to much going on, especially with differing box sizes and formats.
Photos are scattered around in FIVE different places. I really don't know where to look or where the logical place to find what I'm after is located. Do we really need THREE different search bars PLUS the ugly green "Search Now!" button on the home page? That's the beauty of tabs. They organize everything the site has to offer prominently at the top. The fact is, this is a large site with diverse features. Don't try to jam everything onto the homepage, because it just can't be done. Pick what is TRULY essential and structure it around that. In my opinion, the hallmark of a modern, professional homepage is one that requires little or no scrolling to view.
Why is the "Put this photo on your homepage/Send this photo as a postcard" box separate from the photo box it links to? And why is it on the homepage to begin with? Very unnecessary feature which only exacerbates the clutter problem.
I agree that the "Top Videos" box, or any other which doesn't even link to part of a.net shouldn't be at the top. The current home page still has "Top Videos" above "Right Now In The Forum". Honestly, who comes here looking for videos? This is another instance of DM
putting revenue (literally) above user preference.
I don't see how giving things a bland, mono-dimensional feel looks more modern. There are no shadows or borders under or around any boxes or buttons. This looks like a junior-high web project in many respects. Blue bar, white box, great.
The only positives I noticed right off hand is the elimination of the poll question (On a loooong flight....), which hasn't changed since the Hoover administration, and many text-only boxes, like "ads by Google" which just look amateurish and tacky. Some of these still remain, though.
I for one would like to see the considerable talents of our dedicated users and photographers put to use in a homepage-design contest. We can all comment on the various positives & negatives of the entrants, have a few tweaks made to incorporate the better features from all entrants, and then end up with a design most everyone will enjoy.