Update on improvements to F1 Fanatic

A few weeks ago I asked for your suggestions for how to improve F1 Fanatic. The response was great, with plenty of useful ideas and – just as important – lots of poeple telling me which bits to keep because they like them.

I have compiled your suggestions along with the many improvements I want to make and created a schedule for publishing these new versions of the site. Here’s what’s coming up first and next:

Changes coming soon

Here’s what we’re planning for the first version, which we hope to have live early next year:

Speed and reliability

Changes to the home page should reduce the time it takes to load the site and cure (or at least reduce) the intermittent ‘Error 500′ problem.

As part of the work to fix this the Avatars on blog articles have been taken down temporarily. They will be restored in the new version.

Navigation

The home page is being reorganised to make it quicker and easier to find the newest, most relevant and most popular content on the site. A preview of the design will be posted here later.

Design

Some elements of the site design will change, partly to make it load quicker and also to update the look. It will allow for better promotion of popular content, and a general cleaning up and de-cluttering of the site.

Changes coming next

The first batch of changes are largely cosmetic. The next set of changes are aimed at improving how the site works.

As this will involve some site development there are opportunities for people with web design experience to get involved in building the new areas:

New F1 Fanatic live blogs

I’d like to find a new soution for the live blog which allows us to retain the benefits of the CoverItLive system (such as live polls, Twitter feed integration and comments appearing without a page refresh) while integrating it into F1 Fanatic.

This is one of the more ambitious aims of the site changes, so if you have any experience of developing this sort of functinality and would like to help out, please join the discussion here: F1 Fanatic Live Blogs: The next generation

Twitter and Facebook integration

Allow users to post comments using their Twitter and Facebook logins. If you have any experience of developing this sort of functinality and would like to help out, please join the discussion here: Integrating Twitter and Facebook support on F1 Fanatic

Forum

Re-style the forum in line with the F1 Fanatic design updates.

Mobile site

Re-style the F1 Fanatic mobile site in line with the main site design updates and improve how comments are displayed.

Search

Improve the search engine on the site.

Championship standings

Quite a few people asked for the drivers’ and teams’ points standings to be included on the home page. This will be introduced on the next version.

More changes to come

This list represents just a small fraction of the changes under consideration. Your input is welcome at all stages of the process so if you have any ideas for how we could improve the site, or you would like to offer to help develop parts of the site, please let us know in the comments.

Thanks again for your feedback and support.

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21 comments on Update on improvements to F1 Fanatic

  1. Ciaran said on 8th December 2009, 14:15

    Looking forward to seeing the changes! Thanks Keith!

  2. Keith, you cant perfect perfection, the site is great already, but I am looking forward to the changes!!!

  3. steph said on 8th December 2009, 14:43

    I have no idea if this exists or if I’m just plain blind but on the forums how do I search for threads?
    Looking forward to the revamp especially seeing less of the dreaded ‘Error 500′ :p

  4. Ned Flanders said on 8th December 2009, 15:27

    I miss my gravatar already, so I hope the revamp doesn’t take too long!

    • vettelfan said on 8th December 2009, 16:35

      I miss mine too :( Before I saw this article I just thought the site was being very slow in uploading them, lol.

      • Steph90 said on 8th December 2009, 17:55

        Me too Rachel or that my computer had gone mental…
        It’ll be worth it though to see what the site is like after :)

        • Guilherme Teixeira (aka Gilly) said on 10th December 2009, 16:10

          I just hope no one is foul-minded enough to steal a known name and start posting swears and strange things… Although we can recognize each other by writing style, the avatar helped to spot such people.

          I can just picture lots of people taking names like “steph90″, “mp4-19b” and “Ned Flanders”.

  5. Great stuff, looking forward to it…

  6. Texas Tony said on 8th December 2009, 17:37

    A great site that will only be better with the planned improvements….well done Keith.

  7. sato113 said on 8th December 2009, 18:41

    as long as the colour scheme and font remains the same, i’m sure all will be ok.

  8. Saravanan E said on 8th December 2009, 20:57

    Keith,

    I would like a black background and white letters jusk like ITV.COM/F1.Can we make that change.I will look lovely.

  9. Harvs said on 8th December 2009, 22:00

    also keith can you alow us to change our passwords, so they are not just alot of numbers and symbols

  10. Stacy said on 8th December 2009, 22:38

    Can’t wait to see the new changes!

  11. Nick Caulfield said on 8th December 2009, 23:11

    Missed the request for comments before but can I suggest that you keep the RSS working the way it does because I use the live bookmarks in Firefox along with Xmarks and that works really well for me

  12. Keith, I am not sure if suggestions at this point are taken in or not. But then Better Late than Never.

    I feel that the website can be made Mobile/Smartphone compatible. I personally browse the website from my Smartphone many a times esp during my travels and I am guessing that a lot of other users of this blog would be doing the same. The Mobile customized version (like m.google.com) is something I miss.

    There are some websites which does this conversion too. Pls let me know if you need some info on it. I will be happy tohelp out.

  13. wasiF1 said on 9th December 2009, 1:11

    Looking forward for the changes.

  14. Marc S. said on 10th December 2009, 16:57

    I have HTML as well as PHP experience if you are recruiting volunteers please let me know. Beyond that, love the site!

  15. Feel free to ask any PHP related questions to me. As the senior PHP developer in one of the major online companies I will be glad to help. You know my email address.

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