Our redesign: a work in progress

Our redesign: a work in progress

Hello A.V. Club nation. Here's a little update on this week's redesign. I had hoped to send it sooner, but I wanted to make sure we had some solid information about our progress. But first—and speaking of progress—this redesign is a work in progress, as most redesigns are. We appreciate all the feedback, from "It looks great!" to "You're worse than Hitler!"—especially when it's accompanied by specific issues. There's obviously a ton of passion in your responses, even the mad ones, so thanks all around. I'm going to try and address specific issues/concerns below.

"I can't find specific TV show reviews unless they're brand new!"

Yes you couldn’t, but now you can. The “all shows” drop-down is back, and you can find it on the homepage (in the TV Club widget), as well as all other TV-related pages. These will take you to the show's landing page, where episodes are sorted by season, in reverse-chronological order, and are super easy to navigate. Those pages have existed since the redesign launched, but finding them was not at all intuitive. And you don't have to scroll through all the shows—just start typing and it will auto-fill.

"Where's the list of TV shows I'm following?"

It's gone for now. This redesign was accompanied by a full-scale new build of the site's backend and CMS, and we decided that we wanted to get the site launched earlier rather than waiting to rebuild that function. We are reimagining what following functions will do, and how they can apply to more than just TV. When we’re ready to scope it, we’ll be sending out a reader survey to determine what functions you’d like to have. (The old site, though fondly remembered, did have some serious problems. Did y'all notice how fast the load time is now?) The response to this feature disappearing was louder and stronger than we thought it'd be, considering the relatively small number of users who actually utilized it. But clearly you want it and you love it, and we're going to make it happen again, but it’ll be a while. In the meantime, as I said above: The "all shows" thing should help, and you can always bookmark those handy show landing pages.

"I'm no longer getting comment notifications."

Well, you're still getting Disqus notifications, they're at the top of every comment thread. You're no longer getting A.V. Club notifications, because those are also gone for now. They were never quite what we wanted them to be ("I'm getting a redesign notification for this?!") and we want to take the time to build them again—along with user profile pages—so that they'll be better in the long run. Again, it’ll be a while.

"Where are the community grades?"

Also gone, but to return, hopefully before the end of 2013.

"Why can't I get more Newswires on the home page without clicking through to the Newswire landing page?"

You will soon be able to page through four pages of Newswires on the home page, hopefully by the end of today.

"Is everything random on the home page? Why are pictures/articles repeated?"

The top slots, above the Newswire, are promoted stories—the biggest/best of the day, frequently rotating, not dissimilar to the old site's top slots. When a story appears in that area, it's supposed to disappear from the reverse-chronological roll below, but it didn’t at first. There will be much less repetition on the home page now.

"There are too many pictures! I hate pictures!"

We like pictures, and we've had lots of compliments on the actual design. (Truly!) We intended to have about a day and a half worth of features on the home page, and that appears in reverse-chronological order starting below the newswire, interrupted by a "current reviews" widget, a separate TV Club widget (now with its own search bar), and the occasional promotion. This will become more clear once we add time stamps to articles, likely today. We left them off because they looked cluttered, but they'll be back due to popular demand (and because they actually look better). If you just want to see a simple list of everything we publish, in reverse chronological order and without any separation or design bells and whistles, just go here: www.avclub.com/search/ (or click “all recent” at the bottom of the home page as soon as that shows up).

"How do I find X feature?"

The feature jump will be back soon, if not today then next week. Or if you stumble on a feature you're enjoying, you can click the name of the feature in the article, and you'll be taken to all of the articles of that type. We’ll be continuing to improve the search function to make all of this easier soon. We're aware that it's not great at the moment.

"Everything looks crazy!"

If you’re seeing specific glitches, please continue to send us screenshots and your browser specs, and we’ll address them. Bugs+avclub@theonion.com

“Where’s my What’s On Tonight email?”

It’ll be back today.

"Can you please go back to the old design?"

Sorry, but no. We really like this new look, and we tried—and will continue to try—to make sure that all of the stories you're looking for will be accessible. Clearly we weren't 100% successful in porting over all of the functionality that we had, but in time we're going to build it and hopefully make things even better overall. This thing has been live for just a few days, so of course it'll have hiccups. We appreciate you bearing with us while we get everything sorted out.

"I hate the progress-scrollbar thing!" "The progress-scrollbar thing is the coolest thing I've ever seen!"

You two should talk.

Again, thanks for your patience. We've sorted through hundreds of e-mails and thousands of comments trying to figure out what to tweak, what to prioritize, and what people are liking. The intensity of your reactions, both positive and negative, only affirms that you're as passionately invested in this place as we are, and we really appreciate it.