After a long showing – the pin strip tabs are out and the brushed metal – grey gradient is in (just a shade or two darker than the active jappler.com nav). My initial thought: the nav bar is too tall – but as soon as I looked at the way to the right and saw the search box, I realized it had to be that height to accommodate the search box with ample spacing. I looked through the site some more and so far – everything looks pretty good.
I did find a few problem areas with their layout/CSS, but I am sure they will address those soon (PS family member that does not know or understand what I really do – this is the type of thing I get contacted about to fix for companies) – especially since they showed up on Safari at first glance. I am sure their web team worked very hard on the new layout/functionality and it shows. I think for the first time in a few years the site feels very cohesive and not so much “stuck in 10.1 here, and stuck in 10.4 there”.
Even with the layout issues, Apple did a nice job of incorporating just enough Ajax into their site without overdoing it. The sidebars use a nice show/hide content thus reducing clutter and there a number of carrousel-like objects in the site that allow you to flip through items without leaving the same page (see Movie Trailers for an example.
To sum it up, I think Apple really did a nice job of pulling everything together, and like I mentioned before – putting just enough Ajax in without overdoing it. I think something is missing though with the top navigation bar. I really liked having a second level for the navigation below the main navigation bar with such a big site. Time will tell, and after I use the site for awhile, perhaps I will write a followup.
PS – Why post the layout issue screenshots? It is a nice reminder that sometimes the “big” companies make errors or overlook quality assurance issues too.