December 12, 2011

Open Space Face Lift!

Hey, what do you think of our new look? We’re in a beta frame of mind about this, so I hope some of you will give us feedback on the new look and the new functionality. Our main goals were to make it easier to access the  exceptional content our writers have been producing over the last four years, and to better highlight those writers and other contributors. We also wanted a cleaner, lighter, more, uh, “open” look. Details on some of the new features:

Recent Contributors: We’ll still have our rotating cohort of columnists each season. Rather than a static display of current columnists, however, our Contributors widget will now float the most recent contributor to the top of the list, so when alumni post in, you’ll know this at a glance.

Excerpts rather than full posts on landing pages and in search results: The biggest complaint we received about the old site were the long posts on landing pages, which made it difficult to see what was new or to scan  search results. We worked to design the excerpts as formatting-friendly and flexible for our columnists, but regularized enough to give readers an easier time finding what they want to read.

A more prominent Search Box! (up there, top right)

We cleaned up our sidebar. What was a big mess of categories and links has been consolidated into seven click-throughs in a table of contents, and two tidy drop-down lists for our extensive local and extra-local link lists.

Archive Widget: Randomly featureing a post from the archive whenever you refresh the page.

Contributors Page: We finally built one. An easy to read and search list of everyone who’s ever written or produced something for Open Space, with links to their work. Ever-growing.

Thanks so much to everyone who has worked so hard getting this together! Bosco Hernandez, Daniel Amara, and Jennifer Sonderby for design; Matt Glaser/Squonk Studios for the tech; and all of my SFMOMA colleagues for their genius (and patience) in thinking through the details with me. Special thanks to Chad Coerver, Dana Mitroff-Silvers, Andrew Delaney, Stella Lochman, Megan Brian, and Georgie Devereaux; and especially Dana Cohen, whose attention, inventiveness, and hard labor in the digital trenches have been invaluable. Let us know what you think! Form, function, plus content — is there anything you’d like to be seeing more, or less, of during the coming year?


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