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Commentary on "Small Site Changes" Answered

In the Site Updates forum, the goddess of code Rachel reported on last night's minor roll-out:

I've just released a small set of changes:
  • new footer
  • featured and popular items are now split out by channel
  • home page shows both featured and popular items in the same list
  • searching on an exact channel name gets you to the main page for that channel
  • various small formatting fixes

I wanted to make some comments on two of these changes, both pro and con.

The new footer is different, to be sure, but I don't think it's too bad. All the information is there, and relatively straightforward. Having the search box at the top and the bottom is a great idea! The extremely dark background is not very accessible, though. I think a pale grey (the same grey used in the header) with normal black text would be a better choice for our low-vision users.

I'm not particularly happy with having the Featured and Popular stuff jumbled up together, and indistinguishable. Those two states are really different, and the have different implications for the Instructables involved. If you're going to jumble them up, could you at least put the nice Featured banner onto the thumbnails?  UPDATE 23 Apr 2010:  They've added the banner to the home-page giant thumbnails, and have created a new Popular banner as well.

Also, many thanks to Rachel for fixing my very own bug! Now the masthead (and new footer) are properly rendered even when I use the horizontal scroll bar.


It looks like they rolled out another minor tweak over night.  There is a brand new banner, Popular, in parallel to the Featured banner.  Now we can tell the two cases apart on the home page.

Interestingly, the Popular banner supersedes Featured in cases where both apply.  Look at the K'nex piano player, for example.

.  Why not one in one corner and the other in another corner? Could accommodate up to four banners that way.

If only I had any confidence that Staff was reading this...

We don't want to clutter the images with too many banners or a lot of symbols that would be difficult for the casual viewer to decipher.

Popular has historically superseded the featured status, it just wasn't as evident as the two statuses were broken out from one another.

I believe these are things that are currently being reconsidered. Although, I can't say for certain how, or if, this will change.

Heh, thanks, Randy!  I agree with keeping it clean -- remember how a few people complained about the Featured banner covering up their picture?

I like having the banner showing the state (featured, popular, finalist, winner), and I also think having just one (whichever is most "important") keeps the presentation tidy.

.  This would be very subtle, not at all obvious, and probably not worth the effort to program, but the color band on the edges of the banner could indicate presence of any lower-priority banners. (just thinking out loud)

fungus amungus has visited this a few times, so I'm pretty sure you're being watched. :D

*clap for Rachel!*


I don't know when I've laughed so hard!

I agree. Those should have banners. I'll go poke someone about that.

Aww, I feel really bad because I know every one over at HQ has been trying their hardest, but I feel that I liked the two columns better.

Would posting pictures of possible front page designs be ok?

Should I just be quiet?


8 years ago

The front page doesn't have the old page view information. It's not possible to easily track which recent instructables are moving from the featured category to the popular. With the featured and popular instructables mixed together, the very first instructable on the page could be brand new or from four years ago.

I admit that I like the new footer, but I miss the related Instructables that used to be there :(

They took a perfectly accessable, useful site and ruined it. They made it like the other how to sites, where you spend more time trying to figure where you want to be! Before the changes you were able to log on, ask your question or enter your seach and there you were. Now you see it is so messed up you cant even find a seach bar!  When I come to a site like this, my time is already limited and I am looking for answers not more work without results. I, like most of the people I talk to, don't mind change, when it is for the better!Somebody wake up and fix it. Next week if this is not corrected I will be looking for a better site. Too those of you that helped me and that I was able to help good luck . And I will be looking for you in the cyber world of how to. I real miss the reads and interesting inputs of this site from before it has saved me lots of time and money as well as helped me to help my family. 

Sorry you feel that way. As for the search bar, it's now about 3 times as big as before to make it easier to find.

I love the site changes!!!!!!!!!

Because of them I can comment again!!!!!!!

I should think it will result in less view for new instructables that get featured since they'll spend less time on the front page :(

A bit more on the new footer...I am curious to see whether the "Explore Channels" section at the right is fixed or rotates through selections from the hundreds of channels that have been defined.