New Look for The Editing Room!

Those of you who visit the site regularly may have noticed that the design/look has been changed yet again.

As with last time I did this, I’ve created this post basically as a place to gather feedback about the new look of the site and allow folks to voice their complaints (or, fat chance, say they like it) so that whichever poor schmuck author has the next script that posts on the site doesn’t have their comments section overrun with comments about the new look.

I also figured I’d explain why I’ve changed the look of the site, since the look is, I think, pretty substantially different in a lot of ways. So, here are the goals of the redesign:

  1. Better at different resolutions - The previous version of the site was designed for an 800x600 monitor display. Once I started seeing that a lot of people were reading the site on their phones (aka, on the toilet), I added a few tweaks to make the site also display on the most common iPhone resolution. So basically the site looked good on tiny devices and desktops, but nothing else. Over time, more and more people have started coming to the site on tablet devices and retina-display phones. Additionally, checking analytics data indicated almost nobody is running an 800x600 display anymore, meaning folks on desktops were getting a super narrow site with a ton of blank space on the sides. The point is, as the device landscape has changed over the past few years, it became clear that the site basically wasn't displaying nicely for anyone. The new design attempts to counteract this by expanding the size of the size for desktops, but also trying to look good at various different display breakpoints.
  2. Direct visitors to more scripts - One of the things that makes this site unique is just how long it's been around. Running since 1998, the site is technically older than Google and now features over 800 abridged scripts. I love that the site has so much content to offer, but I also know that people aren't going to click 'Archives' at the top and just start searching for movies off the top of their head. So I really wanted to make each page do a better job of directing users to other scripts that they might find interesting. Rather than just dump 'related scripts' at the bottom of a script like it used to, the sidebar is now devoted almost entirely to suggesting other scripts by the author, top scripts, new scripts, and related scripts (might add even more someday).
  3. Widen discussion area - I moved the discussion/comments section out of the main post so that it could be much wider, which will work better with the threading for comments, preventing them from collapsing horizontally as early so it's easier to track conversations. In fact, aside from the 'share' buttons I've actually moved everything out of the main script area, either into the sidebar, the discussion area, or into the footer. The idea here is to make it easier to focus on the script itself (which has a slightly larger font size and are a tad easier to read now).
  4. Better author/rating placement - People have given a lot of feedback that they like seeing the author's rating of a movie BEFORE they read the script, so I really wanted a non-intrusive way to display information about the author and his or her rating of the movie, without pushing the actual script further down at all. That's why there's a newer, wider sidebar and why the author is the top thing in it

There’s still plenty to do but for the most part it’s small visual tweaks I’d like to make, like I’m not 100% satisfied with the location/look of the share buttons, the author info sidebar element, the login box for patrons, and a bunch of other shit. But for the most part I like it, and I’m especially glad that all of the different phone and tablet users can finally view the site without having to scroll horizontally back and forth just to read a script.

In any case, if you hate it or have suggestions or complaints, please leave a comment here and tell me what a stupid fuckup I am.

-Rod

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