F1Fanatic’s third birthday redesign

I’m delighted to mark F1Fanatic’s third birthday by revealing a brand new design and lots of new features.

Continue reading for more on the redesign and new stuff on the site this year.

The new look

The F1Fanatic redesign was created by Dreamfly.

Thanks to all of you who completed the survey last year on the site design and contributed ideas on how to make the site better. I hope you agree the new look is more attractive and also easier to understand. Here are some of the changes in detail:

Logo

The old font used for every F1Fanatic logo since the site began in 2005 has been dropped – I think the new one is slicker, more distinctive and recognisable.

Menus

Many of you said you wanted to be able to follow discussions more easily. The two new menus on the right are part of the attempt to improve that. At a click you can see the most popular posts and where the biggest discussions are taking place.

Footer

Instant links to information about drivers, races and teams. I’ve spent quite a bit of time revising and expanding the driver biographies, and the team and circuit pages are brand-new.

Some recent posts have been designed to look best in the new layout: here’s one example.

I’ll write more about the deeper changes to the site later.

Spotted a problem?

There are bound to be technical glitches with a brand new design and I’m going to be working hard over the next few days to get everything working properly.

If you do spot a technical glitch please send me an email or leave a comment below. And if any of you can suggest solutions to those problems that would be magnificent!

Please do give me any feedback on the new site as well – what you like, what you don’t like, stuff that’s gone missing, anything…

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63 comments on F1Fanatic’s third birthday redesign

  1. Nico Savidge said on 5th March 2008, 6:24

    i love the new design, great color scheme – happy birthday, f1fanatic!
    i really like the "reviews" section – it was hard to find that info in the old site, and now its very easy. thanks

  2. John Beamer said on 5th March 2008, 6:57

    Keith

    Looks fantastic — well done and I look forward to the next three years

    John

  3. Happy Birthday!  Looking really good *thumbs up*

  4. happy 3rd !

  5. @ Clive – blogs rule, you know that :-)

  6. Rohan said on 5th March 2008, 8:44

    It’s rather good. I actually thought I’d gone to the wrong website when I came here and saw that things had changed.

    I’m actually quite impressed :thup:

  7. oliver said on 5th March 2008, 8:49

    Happy Birthday F1fanatic.
    A nice concept, will take some getting used to though but overall a nice layout.

  8. very nice! like it a lot

  9. DanielPT said on 5th March 2008, 9:12

    Happy birthday! I must say it looks really nice! A beautiful, well designed blog like all of them should be ;). I like the new logo a lot!

    Yet, i have a sugestion: We can barely notice the search option lost in the middle of those ads. Could you move it to more relevant place? On top of the page, next to the subscribe button would be my bet…

  10. Magnus said on 5th March 2008, 9:33

    Nice look. The comments section lacks visual cues about which comment is made by which author though. As it is now it’s hard to know if a comment belongs to the name above the comment or below it. Perhaps increase the spacing between the comments or put some colored background or frame around it to better separate them.

  11. Loki said on 5th March 2008, 10:03

    Excellent update Keith!

    I agree with others that using a centre alignment for a fixed width main container is perhaps better – my main monitor is 2048 pixels wide…I could fit 2 F1 Fanatics side by side :)  I think the CSS for this is to set your margin-left and margin-right to auto.  However, you have a drop shadow on either side and I’m not sure how that will affect it.

    Currently, including the drop shadows, it takes up about 1000pixels, which I guess caters for the minimum commodity resolution of 1024 x 768, so I wouldn’t expand the fixed width container.

    I, too, would like more space for the actual content.  The Top Posts and Special Features seem to be disproportionately large relative to the old site because of the space available, although slimming that down would make the text either too small or insufferable to read with multiple lines.  A bit of toughie that one, but someone suggested that to optionally hide the side menus.  That wouldn’t be hard to do with a simple JavaScript link/button to toggle the display of them (CSS div display to none, inline, block etc.  depending on the structure), however it would require a bit of testing to make sure it works OK across the site.

    I really like the footer quick links, however I can imagine that in epic discussions, it would be a pain to scroll down to – not to mention I wouldn’t have noticed it if I didn’t read it was there…I usually scroll down to "submit comment" at the very most. Although I can easily get to top and bottom by pressing the "home" and "end" key, this is not known by everyone.  Maybe a small link at the top to link to the bottom, and vice versa?

    Sorry, this isn’t meant to be a bashing post :)  I do like the modernisation of the site, and the neutrality has been enhanced without the Ferrari in the header.  I like the use of blue and green to indicate the Top Posts and Special Features – small things like that add up!

    Great update for the sites 3rd Birthday, this is the best blog on the net without a doubt, keep it up!  Happy Birthday F1Fanatic!

  12. Milos:  Naturally I know that blogs rule – it’s just that some don’t!  ;)

  13. As a sometimes graphic designer I applaud the new look. Of course, it will take some tweaking as users respond, but the basics are there. As a reconverted fan of F-1, after a two decade lapse, I found the old look to have an "edgy" quality that gave the site a certain degree of freshness and non-corporate credibility. The new toned-down look should be followed by a toned-down name: "FormulaOneFancier" or some such.

  14. Zindon said on 5th March 2008, 12:49

    I’m having problems with the new design, such that I’m finding it difficult to read the site at all. When I open any of the articles, as the page loads the content appears, once it’s finished the "Top Posts" box expands downwards and I can no longer read the article text. The first thing I see is the comments. Very occasionally this doesnt happen and the article text remains, however I can’t work out the pattern to it.

    I’m using IE 6.0.2900 (I know, work PC). I’ll try it at home on Firefox and seee if it’s any better.

  15. Happy 3rd birthday, F1 Fanatic!

    The new site design looks really good, but I’ve just got one question – what happened to the "Top Commenters" section? Has it gone or am I just looking in the wrong place?

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