A new menu and more - thoughts welcome...
By Jon Sandys
Sat 16th Sep 2017
I know, hardly the most exciting of things, but the new menu is probably the most significant design change made to the site since it was rebuilt from the ground up about 4 years ago. It's now properly responsive, with links appearing if there's room and disappearing into the side menu if there isn't. As opposed to the old one, which if you're a regular visitor you'll know consisted of a series of dropdown menus, which on mobile was especially unpleasant to use!
So the menu is now hopefully better, with the most popular pages more easily accessible, and others still available via dropdown menus in the sidebar. Search is now available on every page via the navigation bar, and the navbar also stays visible as you scroll down the page - something that's not always to everyone's taste, but it's only small, so hopefully will be more convenient than annoying. On mobile devices you can also swipe right to pull out the menu.
This is the start of what will hopefully be an ongoing series of updates & improvements to the site - it's been a bit static for far too long, and frankly it's starting to fall behind a bit in both technology, design and audience. Aside from hundreds of minor tweaks I've been making notes of to work on, one of the bigger things will be better member engagement/community building, eg. a more prominent league table crediting the valued submitters for their hard work.
I've also got various thoughts along the lines of somehow rewarding people for submitting things, be it mistakes, endings, corrections, whatever, because this site wouldn't exist without its contributors! Off the top of my head maybe removing some/all ads for people who submit content. I'm also thinking of adding user reviews and movie ratings, just so people can make themselves heard when they've got opinions on their favourite titles.
I'm also starting to think of a different way of handling submissions, corrections, etc. While I don't want things to descend into a free-for-all in terms of things people write immediately appearing front and centre (trolls are a perpetual pain in the internet's collective neck), there's certainly room for some tweaks, and places where people can comment on entries or discuss them in a more open way. There's also a balance to be struck between my desire to proof-read what goes online, contributors' desire to get things online in a timely fashion, and the fact that I'm just one man. Sadly I don't have enough time to do all the development stuff and check submissions at a reasonable pace - if I'm getting one thing done, 3 other jobs are building up!
Anyway, enough rambling, not least as this will be read by very few people. :-) But if you've made it this far, thank you, and also please let me know your thoughts! Please contact me here and feel free to say what currently works, what doesn't work, what you'd change, what you'd keep the same, etc. Anything from features to design - visually especially, I need all the help I can get in terms of moving things beyond "functional". Can't guarantee what will stick and what won't, but I'd appreciate any and all input. Thanks in advance!
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