The website always looked uncool , tired and oldish.
But I'm more about the content. The new look is not bad. mbit suggestions are great.
now that you're overhauling that, I'd like to express a couple of wishes to improve the readability of articles:
put a link to PREVIOUS/NEXT ARTICLE at the end of each article page. I'm reading once every 2 days, so at least a dozen unread articles stack up since the last visit, and I don't like to go back to home page each time.
put a decent/modern image gallery browser. Like those popping up on a semitransparent black, complete with PREVIUOS / NEXT image arrow link. Oh, and choose one of those viewers maximizing/fitting the image size to the browser screen! It's unbelievably annoying to bounce back and forth the main article just to browse the attached figures!!!!!!
Please fix your RSS so that your RSS articles link directly to phoronix.com instead of feedproxy.google.com. Google is mostly blocked here in China so clicking articles in your RSS feeds gives nothing but "connection reset" and it's annoying. Because then I have to open a web browser and go directly to phoronix.com and hunt for the article instead of just being able to open it up from a link in my newsreader.