The Guardian has today unveiled a new look for its homepage, with a more image-heavy approach than the previous version…

New Guardian front page

The area above the fold is now dedicated to breaking news, while the area below provides links to the various Guardian Unlimited sites and blogs.

It looks great, although it is ever so slightly clunky. Try scrolling up or down the page – there is a delay at this end, probably linked to their use of a news scroller at the top of the page. A small thing to iron out.

The front page redesign is the first step in an 18-month project to redesign the entire website. According to Emily Bell via the Guardian’s news blog:

“We aim for a simple and usable design which makes your experience of Guardian Unlimited easier, more intuitive and more enjoyable.”

Here’s a look below the fold:

Guardian below the fold

Now then, who notices a passing resemblance to recently-revamped homepage for The Times?

Both homepages have the ad space above the headers and share a bunch of other features, including a blend of serif and sans-serif fonts for headers and body text, a four-column layout, AJAX/Javascript info-panes, and so on. What else can you spot?

Times frontpage

 Below the fold (The Times):

Below the fold

Both homepages are big improvements on earlier versions, but has somebody released a design template for online newspaper page layouts that we don’t know about…?