The Allspark Gets a Facelift
It’s been close to 5 months since the new front page was rolled out with new features and a completely new layout. Some of it was where we knew we needed to be and some of it was experimental and some of it was just plain temporary. One thing I’ve been doing over the past few months has been taking careful note of the feedback and opinions of people who view the site. I know people miss the purple and it MAY come back at some point in the future, but of a bigger concern was that the layout was clumsy and cluttered and the fonts were stupid. What seemed like a good idea at the time (making a media style site similar to CNN) turned out to be something that didn’t really appeal to the userbase. Many comments were directed at the fact they missed the old layout with a single line of posts that could easily be scrolled down to view.
So with that, I’ve come up with a cleaner interface that is more logical. All the articles will scroll down the page and you can click the “Older posts” button to see what came before. The sidebars have been condensed into a more logical layout on the right hand side and we may be adding and replacing certain things in the future. I know getting the “Art of the Month” back on the front page is one of our short term goals.
At the top of the page you’ll find a rotating banner that celebrates all aspects of Transformers throughout the years, putting a random image up every time you visit a link or refresh. Below that you’ll see the newest articles. One thing that has gotten a mixed reaction is our use of updates for things other than Transformers — this has been addressed as well. We are first and foremost a Transformers fansite and the news for Transformers in 2014 hasn’t let up. There’s plenty to talk about. But we’re also fans of other things and while we have toned down the scope of what we’ve been posting on the main page and tried to make it related to Transformers by 1 or 2 degrees of separation, I agree that Transformers should always get top billing.
Any non Transformers related posts will fall below the top five featured articles at the top of the page. Examples of that type of post would be the Michael Bay directs Evangelion rumor or the upcoming feature on the new GI Joe 50th anniversary toys. This gives you a quick glance at what’s new in the world of Transformers but if you want to see what else is going on you can always scroll down and take a look. We’ll also try to make sure we tag or Facebook, Twitter and Google+ feeds with “Non-TF” when we post that stuff (but it has to be done manually so please forgive us if we slip up).
And this isn’t the end of the development of the front page. I’m always looking at feedback and work never stops. Like the Transformers themselves, we too ar ever changing. Some things to look forward to are comment/user account integration between the front page and the forums as well as a more refined category tree that relies on tags for specifics instead of having bunches of random categories.
And of course if you have any additional feedback you’d like to offer, feel free to hop over to the and drop me a line.
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