The odd thing is people are having difficulties with this appearance. I think the sentence in the introduction article is too simple, you can’t just separate form from functionality. From last years redesign I know it is difficult to radically change a news website. You’re not changing lay-out you’re changing everyone’s personal space and routine.
About the approach. In the new design the focus is fuzzy, it is loaded with apps. My first impression is that it makes it difficult to use what, when and where. USA Today earns some credit as a relative early adopter in combining social media and news on a large – news website – scale, but is this how these two should come together?