Saturday, August 20, 2005

The New Look

We hope you like the new look of FictionDB. We are always looking for ways to improve our visitors' experience with our site and we believe the new site offers significant improvements over the old design. The new design is also more simplistic. The old site incorporated many graphics that took quite a while to download. For our users without high speed access, you should notice a significant improvement in page speed.

Why was the redesign necessary?

I am probably FictionDB’s most active user. I have over 4000 books catalogued and use the site as a daily reference tool. Every time I have a “If only FictionDB could do this….” moment, I write it down. Many of these were not possible with the old site design. The biggest limiting factor was the left hand navigation bar. The bar took up almost 2 inches of prime data real estate. I would look at that bar and covet that space. FictionDB is a data driven site and the more data we can make available, the better. Unfortunately, under the old design, the data was getting smashed together and wrapping onto multiple lines making it really hard to read. So I wanted to consolidate all the navigation at the top of the page. A left nav bar is not any more accessible after you scroll down from the first page.

Give us your comments on the new design.

Like anything new, it always seems strange at first, but then you get used to it and can’t remember what the old way was like. I have been living with the new design for several weeks now and have found it easy to use. If you have a different experience, we’d love to hear from you. Obviously we can’t make every change that is requested, but when many people have the same suggestion, the item is often quickly implemented if possible. We are currently looking for ways to allow visitors to change the font size they see. The new font on the data pages is not any smaller than the old font, but there is a perception that it is.

New Features

So what are some of the new features? Well, the biggest addition is the sorting you’ll now find on many of the pages. You can sort by date published, title, and author. We’ve also added several new search items like a search for continuing characters. Other additions are on the book detail page: Paperback release date and mulitauthor series.

A big thanks to our redesign team!

The site was designed by Vivian Lund of and we think she did a fabulous job. My neighbor, Alix Morehouse, drew all the great characters you see sprinkled throughout the site. Without the creative expertise of these two women, FictionDB would be a purely text site!

As always, we are looking to make the site more useful, so if you have suggestions or comments, please let us know at


Anonymous said...

The site looks awesome. It's so much easier to use and navigate! Great work.
Linda R.

Anonymous said...

I love the new site. Very pretty to look at & easy to use. Now pardon me while I go look around some more!

Terescia said...

I've never seen the old design because I just ran across this site today, but I love the design. Very streamlined and easy to navigate. The designers did a great job. :-)