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NEW HOMEPAGE DESIGN DISCUSSION - Page 3

post #101 of 427
Thread Starter 

CHUD 2-5.jpg

 

Pretty close to finalizing the homepage. Does anyone have suggestions on how we can make this tighter and waste less space?

post #102 of 427

Something I'd like to see in the future is more emphasis on personalities. Each writer should have a profile, like any columnist in the New York Times or anything like it, that describes them. If I click on Eileen Bolender's name I should be taken to a page that describes their background in film, writing, maybe even education or interests. 

post #103 of 427
I'd say, put the "Latest" column on the left; limit the amount of links displayed on "columns", "blogs", and "posts" to 5 each; and make the navigation pop out more.
post #104 of 427
Quote:
Originally Posted by natalia View Post

I'd say, put the "Latest" column on the left; limit the amount of links displayed on "columns", "blogs", and "posts" to 5 each; and make the navigation pop out more.


I agree.  The eye naturally moves from left to right across a page.  The new stuff should be the first thing someone sees.

post #105 of 427

Still needs to be flipped content wise back to your original image like everyone is saying.

post #106 of 427

I know this is biased, but I'd like to see a section for movie reviews on that left side. A lot.

post #107 of 427

Just another vote for flipping the design so the story pix and summaries are on the left.

 

Very much like the redesign. Still feels like CHUD but also feels a lot easier to scan and navigate. Thanks for all the hard work, Joshua, as well as dealing patiently with all of us.

post #108 of 427

I think MichaelM makes a good point. But I will say, one benefit of the nav being on the left side is that big square advertisement will be more prominently featured. Not a bad thing if we're trying to entice people to click the ads.

post #109 of 427
Quote:
Originally Posted by roboTimKelly View Post

one benefit of the nav being on the left side is that big square advertisement will be more prominently featured. Not a bad thing if we're trying to entice people to click the ads.


Good point. But the square advert shouldn't take the attention away from the content. Puting it on top of the side bar on the right side of the page gives it enough prominence because it's placed at the end of the first line of the body. The reader's eyes will inevitably end up there.
post #110 of 427

Look at the image Josh provided.

post #111 of 427

Not sure what you mean, Nick.

 

The big green ad block and the smaller site nav needs to be on the right hand side.  Yes, it harkens back to CHUD of old but if you insist on going blog format then it upsets the user from what every other site is doing.  You'll turn people off by being mirror imaged to what is muscle memory for everyone when it comes to browsing.

 

*EDIT*  The image he listed above in post 101 is identical to the second image he posted a few days ago.  Are those of us voting for a flip-flop of the two main columns having some sort of cache issues?


Edited by TzuDohNihm - 11/30/11 at 2:12pm
post #112 of 427

yeah, liking that new design - a lot.

post #113 of 427
Take the youtube, facebook etc mini images and throw them next to the community section. Then shorten and straighten the Cinematic Happenngs Under Development. A full row of space clears up!
post #114 of 427

too bad you couldn't half the size of that column on the left. otherwise, I like.

post #115 of 427

I'm not sure I'm seeing any difference in that above pic to the one that was posted on the previous page? In regards to space saving, it's quicker to knock this up in 5 minutes than try and explain in words.

 

CHUD.jpg

Obviously I could have done a better job with the actual graphics to hand, but I think you can see what I mean. Don't really need 'latest' above the latest, its pretty self explanatory, same goes for 'search' I think everyone can figure out what that is. I've also added a few bits people above have suggested.

 

Logo wise though, that's a bugger, as its designed to widescreen and being large, so the current one, even in what has been posted here, looks too small, so I've left that blank. I think some talented chewer needs to design a new one, for free, or to modify the sewer design, which is better placed on a 'taller' site. 

 

 


Edited by SeanCE - 12/1/11 at 4:22am
post #116 of 427
Still not a fan of the multiple styles of graphics. You still have that solid green bar, and then the stitch setup

Also the top ad could be moved to the articles listings and you get away with putting one on the top and the bottom, as well as a side ad. The overall width of the page might need to be expanded, but it's possibly.

I know you guys are using wordpress, but it feels like things are just being shrunk, and not technically redesigned. Graphics are the same, just some are gone now. Oh well...cool.gif
post #117 of 427

I don't actually have access to the images. I had to quickly chop and paste to illustrate an idea to Joshua. So, yeah, I'd like it more uniform, but as has been said before, this isn't a big redesign, more a fiddle of the front page to get hits up and make things clearer.

post #118 of 427

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by SeanCE View Post

...this isn't a big redesign, more a fiddle of the front page to get hits up and make things clearer.

 

We need to keep this in mind. CHUD has some volunteers assisting out of their goodwill, for free, in the easily-accomplished neatening of the home page. 
 

That said, I really like SeanCE's latest mock up. Much cleaner and easier to navigate than the current design.

post #119 of 427

I don't know about space saving and logo re-jigs but I do know that I prefer the Latest down the left. Looking good.

post #120 of 427
Quote:
Originally Posted by SeanCE View Post

 

CHUD.jpg

 

 


Oh wow. Yeah, that's hitting the sweet spot I'd say.

 

post #121 of 427

I think the CHUD blogs should still have a spot on that right(or left) panel, even if it is just a link that sends you to a list of most recent ones.

post #122 of 427
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nexus-7 View Post

I think the CHUD blogs should still have a spot on that right(or left) panel, even if it is just a link that sends you to a list of most recent ones.


Yes, please!
post #123 of 427
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nexus-7 View Post

I think the CHUD blogs should still have a spot on that right(or left) panel, even if it is just a link that sends you to a list of most recent ones.



Once I have a working version of it, I'm going to play around with different items on the sidebar and see what works best. I like having the blogs on the sidebar since it gives them more prominence. Most people who visit the site probably don't even know we have a blogs section.

post #124 of 427

As both a contributor AND a blogger for the site, the Blog section definitely needs highlighted.  I have a feeling a BIG chunk of the readers and board members are not even aware of the Blog content and how much of it there actually is...........hence the lack of chatter in the blogs section.  At this point it seems that the only people who bother to read the blogs, post comments, and discuss them in the forums are the bloggers themselves.  There is A LOT of great material going up in that section on a weekly basis that deserves everyone's attention.

post #125 of 427

But that's the result when the blogs have been on the front page for months. As I said up-thread, the blog titles are often too oblique for casual readers to know what they're about. The list of latest blogs is just clutter without some kind of context or familiarity. A single tab to take you to the blog section, maybe?

post #126 of 427

Heh...

 

image6714.jpg

post #127 of 427
Quote:
Originally Posted by Phil View Post

But that's the result when the blogs have been on the front page for months. As I said up-thread, the blog titles are often too oblique for casual readers to know what they're about. The list of latest blogs is just clutter without some kind of context or familiarity. A single tab to take you to the blog section, maybe?


I think the problem is that they are below the "Latest Posts" spotlight of the forums, which places them so far down the main page that there is no content to the left of them.  Basically, there isn't much reason to scroll down that far unless you are truly interested in how many people have recently posted in the T2 thread..................in which case you are probably surfing the forum anyway.  To be honest, I only truly became aware of the blogs mere months ago and I've been coming to this site for years.  Granted part of that has to do with me actually paying attention, but they certainly aren't highlighted in any real way.  Don't get me wrong, they absolutely DO NOT need to overshadow any of the actual core site content.........but it would be nice if people like Baker, Abrams, and Berk (who post at least one, if not multiple, entries every week) were able to get at least a little bit of attention for what they are producing.

post #128 of 427

I don't write a blog but I do enjoy regularly reading many of the Chewer blogs. I still think Phil's right though. The body of the front page should be about what draws people to the site and that's not blogs, it's news and reviews. The blogs would be best as a title link in the menu strip because they're most likely to be read by people who've been Chewers for a while and gotten to know the authors of those blogs through the boards.

 

And for that a weekly front page roundup like Eileen used to do is the best way to let folks know what's up in blogville, although I can understand why she might have stopped feeling like it was worth her time to put those together.

post #129 of 427
Quote:
Originally Posted by S.D. Bob Plissken View Post

......but it would be nice if people like Baker, Abrams, and Berk (who post at least one, if not multiple, entries every week) were able to get at least a little bit of attention for what they are producing.


 

I feel.....ignored :(

post #130 of 427

Skeletor will never be ignored.

post #131 of 427

So, any updates Joshua? Is it possible to make the rest of the site design match the green tabs? So the bits down the site rather than stitching or metal and the menu match the top of the page? 

 

Edit: Screw it, is this at all possible? I know its a little busier from what was posted before, but it seems the problem is that right now, things are too busy and need streamlining. However people seem to want more content on the front page than that last design, so I'm going to be a bit bold and suggest something like this. Everything is on the front page, but its much clearer for anyone stumbling on the site to see and the graphics design is cohesive. I've also tried to keep some of the sites personality with the quotes and the graboid back.

 

CHUDdotcomedesign.jpg

 

Film strip: Interviews, giveaways, special content

Below that: 3/4 most recent reviews, highlighted on rollover.

Left hand side: Permanent features link, click on the image and get taken to the main page with all the "Franchise Me" articles etc. plus social networking things.

Center: Main latest content.

Right hand side: Most popular articles/recent articles by content + ads.

 

You could also swap the left hand side to include reviews and posters and put the features below the film strip. Depends which people prefer.

 

 


Edited by SeanCE - 12/2/11 at 11:47pm
post #132 of 427

Right, I was also thinking about how the article pages should be laid out. I reckon the latest news on the right hand side next to it, because at the moment, its a pain to have to go back from the article to get to other stuff. Sort of how it used to be in the old days with the left hand news column. 

 

Someone also mentioned about the writers getting more prominence for readers to get to know the voice? We need a small bio below the article and a photo. Loads of sites do this now, its a great way to interact with the readership, especially if you have a link to the writer's twitter or something.

 

 


Edited by SeanCE - 12/3/11 at 11:55am
post #133 of 427

I love the redesign ideas but I have to say, if you want more casual readers visiting, you better put "reviews" in the side bar and leave off "blogs". CHUD fans check out the deep cuts, general public is looking for the stuff all movie sites have and highlight. I really think it is important to give people what they expect from a movie site in order to get them to stick around. Once they stick around they'll start to get deeper and deeper into the other content. Reviews, Columns and Forums should be very prevalent in the side bar. Hell, even "deals" that connect to amazon (a la bluray.com) would be really amazing and probably generate some revenue through clicks, wouldn't it? 

 

My last plea is that the content of whatever is on the front page should NOT be a mystery. People have to know what a column is about instantly. They have to know why a photo is up. Same goes for the side bar, they should know what the hell it's about, otherwise why will they look? Relying on "curiosity" is a huge gamble that I think CHUD has taken way too often with front page content. I love the snark and the funny titles but it's not about ME or any other regulars. It's about BOOSTING your fanbase and becoming more accessible. Don't get too clever for your own good. Save it for other areas and let the front page shine brightly. 

 

Last thing... I don't know if it's possible or not, but is there a way to create a toggle that changes the background and type to standard black and white? If I read too long and look up from the computer my rods and cones are branded with horizontal lines. I'm probably the only one, but it has certainly cut my sessions short pretty often lately. Maybe I'm getting old. (Well... yes, I am but whatever.)

 

Looking forward to spreading the word about CHUD once the update takes effect. I suspect you will retain many more new visitors than in the past.

 

Thanks for all of the hard work and very free webertainment, CHUD. 

 

PS: MORE FUCKING PODCASTS. It's your absolute 100% best content and easily the best podcast out there. Not the best MOVIE podcast... THE BEST PODCAST.

post #134 of 427

But what about the design?!

 

Also: I second more podcasts.

post #135 of 427


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by SeanCE View Post

But what about the design?!

 

Also: I second more podcasts.


I actually really like your article idea with the "latest" on the right side so we don't have to go back and forth. I also like the "Latest" on the homepage better on the left side rather than the right but I'm not a fan of your busier version of the homepage. I firmly believe casual visitors will respond more positively to a simpler design because it is very easy to be overwhelmed on this site. It already has hard to pin down headlines, strange photos and an odd color scheme... less is more. 

 

post #136 of 427
Quote:
Originally Posted by SeanCE View Post

But what about the design?!

 

Also: I second more podcasts.

The homepage looks too cluttered. Joshua's design and your previous design look much better.
post #137 of 427
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by SeanCE View Post

Someone also mentioned about the writers getting more prominence for readers to get to know the voice? We need a small bio below the article and a photo. Loads of sites do this now, its a great way to interact with the readership, especially if you have a link to the writer's twitter or something.


When we first did the redesign, a box on each author's page had a picture, a bio and some factoids about them but it got scrapped along the way. Maybe once we get the homepage squared away, we can add that. It shouldn't be too hard.

post #138 of 427

That'd be great, I think it'll help to define the site better. A lot of the comments recently have been around lack of voice anymore, but I don't think that's true, its just people haven't gotten to know the writers like they did before.

 

CHUD10 copy.jpg   

 

 

People saying the design I put up earlier is too busy are not taking into consideration readability for new people and also the sheer amount of content knocking around on this site. If we have the latest reviews in the film strip, that gets the content out quicker, its probably one of the things clicked on the most and its bang next to the ads.

 

Adding a slimmer, left column allows to show the featured content, the stuff that people might miss in a text based format, it shows the humor of the site and you can visually get the tone of the article, which is really important. Also, remember, I don't have the proper graphics to hand and I'm doing this on the fly at work, so its not the best quality and I'm certain Joshua could neaten it all up.

 

Right now, what Joshua has done is maybe a touch too blog like, its very text heavy and if you look at other movie sites, there's a lot more in the way of images, the reason for that is pictures attract attention and get more clicks. If the site re-launches the home page with something neater, but still text heavy, I don't think there will be a huge spike in readers, which we need. So I'd say something closer to the above. It would be also great, but I've not quite figured it out yet, but to include some more of the sites personality. Calling it the 'Sewer' and maybe uncle Mitch or CHUD man, possibly with the podcast image link swapping to the graboid when there isn't a new podcast? Right now the home page is in danger of looking too slight, too basic and I don't think we'll get people in. CHUD really can only go fully "blog" if the black goes, or it just looks a bit too cheap.

 

 


Edited by SeanCE - 12/3/11 at 11:52am
post #139 of 427

Oooooo, I dare say I like the look of that.

post #140 of 427

CHUD13 copy.jpg    

 

Better? Might be easier to achieve as its just re-positioning code that's already being used. Features, lists, podcasts, graboids, giveaways down the left film strip. 


Edited by SeanCE - 12/3/11 at 1:59pm
post #141 of 427
Quote:
Originally Posted by SeanCE View Post

CHUD13 copy.jpg    

 

Better? Might be easier to achieve as its just re-positioning code that's already being used. Features, lists, podcasts, graboids, giveaways down the left film strip. 


I think it looks great like THAT but once every one of those boxes has a different photo in it, I feel like it will become way too busy. I'm not even positive about it but I feel like that would be the case. It does make sense though and I can see those photos on the right being great for leading to a specific lists and streaming podcasts... maybe I'm starting to believe.

 

post #142 of 427
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ken Savage View Post


 

I feel.....ignored :(


SHIT!  I'm sorry Ken!  Do you forgive me?

 

post #143 of 427

Does this whole redesign process have anything to do with the site not being updated for the past 4 days?

post #144 of 427
Quote:
Originally Posted by SeanCE View Post

 

CHUD10 copy.jpg   

 

 

 



Purely based on my own interactions with other sites, I do think a structure that permanently singles out and showcased columns is a good thing.

post #145 of 427
Quote:
Originally Posted by SeanCE View Post

CHUD13 copy.jpg    

 

Better? Might be easier to achieve as its just re-positioning code that's already being used. Features, lists, podcasts, graboids, giveaways down the left film strip. 


Much better.

Edit: Just something I've been thinking about... What is the goal of the homepage redesign, improve homepage readability or increase content accessibility? If the first, Joshua's design is the way to go, even if it looks bloggie. If the second, SeanCE's latest design could do the trick.
Edited by natalia - 12/4/11 at 8:16am
post #146 of 427
Quote:
Originally Posted by SeanCE View Post

CHUD13 copy.jpg    

 

Better? Might be easier to achieve as its just re-positioning code that's already being used. Features, lists, podcasts, graboids, giveaways down the left film strip. 



I think it's good Sean, but I agree with Timothy that filling those green boxes with separate images will busy things up a fair bit. This layout would work best if the ads on the left weren't squares but tall rectangles, a la Latino Review's front page (which, front page layout-wise, is probably the best around when it comes to movies sites).

post #147 of 427

I'm going to tweak it slightly, I think its because they're boxes. If the right hand side film strip was in "9:16" then it might be easier on the eye for some people. I however think its a lot less busy than what we currently have, certainly its easier to access too. Its a lot cleaner than AICN or Collider and /Film to read. 

post #148 of 427

CHUD15.jpg    CHUD16.jpg

 

Personally I hate vertical banner ads. I doubt I'm alone on that. I think the right hand features links look fine. 

post #149 of 427
Quote:
Originally Posted by SeanCE View Post

CHUD15.jpg    CHUD16.jpg

 

Personally I hate vertical banner ads. I doubt I'm alone on that. I think the right hand features links look fine. 


Definitely NOT the one on the right. The lists of "reviews", "forums" etc need to be near the top with everything else. I like the one on the left quite a bit. I would say remove the big middle photo, slide the features up, make the top left photo box the prominent "feature" you don't want to get lost in the shuffle and the ones below it can remain as popular columns. I think THAT is the perfect hybrid of everything everyone is looking to do here. content is front and center, easy access, readability, not repellent to a newcomer.

 

I really don't like that big photo in the middle sliding the features down. That's the problem with the current home page... you have to scroll down to get to clear content.  

 

post #150 of 427
Quote:
Originally Posted by SeanCE View Post

I'm going to tweak it slightly, I think its because they're boxes. If the right hand side film strip was in "9:16" then it might be easier on the eye for some people. I however think its a lot less busy than what we currently have, certainly its easier to access too. Its a lot cleaner than AICN or Collider and /Film to read. 


 

Your layout isn't just better than AICN and Slashfilm, it's better than First Showing, Badass Digest, io9, Film.com and AV Club. I think right now the Collider layout is second best to Latino Review's but this new one of yours with the 9:16 boxes could be even better. Avoiding separate vertical columns of squares is a good thing unless they're significantly different in size. Having one column be rectangles is even better.

 

I could also go with Timothy's idea of removing the big middle "photo" (which I assume is actually a slideshow) to slide the LATEST (the most important feature) up. That would differentiate it from Latino Review at least, although I'm not sure how important such a differentiation would be.

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