There is something to be said about a design of your webpage, a great design will encourage traffic and help maintain loyal followers, but a poor design can have devastating results. Gizmodo recently unveiled a new design which was immediately met with a lot of criticism.
When Digg upgraded their front end to V4, it had devastating results as readers left the site in vast numbers. The Digg example showed what happens when you mess with a proven format, it seems that Gawker did not learn from this mistake.
Gawker's new design is bold and different from anything else on the web. While it can be argued that it could be that users need time to adapt, their stats suggest otherwise. According to Alexa, a well respected web traffic analyzer, Gizmodo's new design has resulted in more than a 36.3% drop in readership over the past month. A clear indication that the bold new style is backfiring on Gawker media.
The big question at this time is will Gizmodo go back to its old formula. It is one thing to have a vision to create a new layout but it takes even greater guts to admit that it didn't work and go back to your old format.