Just over 2 weeks ago, we launched our brand new look. We spent a long time experimenting, gathering information, designing and building a brand new website to match our quality content and enable a smoother user experience. We also wanted to show the community that we’re more than just a news outlet with plenty of reviews, previews, exclusive interviews and that we also host a wealth of competitions for the community. With this in mind, we designed a website that showcased a lot of content. Some of you really enjoyed seeing the amount of content, whilst others were overwhelmed.
Of course, we wanted to give everyone a chance to share feedback, so hundreds of you submitted your feedback the past week. It was incredible to see so many motivational comments and also areas to develop. There was also a clear indication that the vast majority of you preferred the more ‘blog-like’ style akin to the older version of FSElite. As a result, we’ve listened. Allow me to introduce version 2.1, which I hope will cater to both audiences.
What is new?
Combination of Old and New
Our home page has been reformatted to show you the most recent content in full view. This was key to many of you who like to scroll through the news feed to get to content you want to see. Furthermore, scrolling down will now show you the latest content in order in which it was posted. Some of the posts are considered ‘large’ view as we wanted to break up the repetitive nature, decrease page load times and still show you the range of content we have.
Increased Visibility of Original Content
We are really proud of our reviews and original content. As a result, we want it to be more visual for you. So to help break up some of the ‘latest posts’, we’ve inserted reviews, deals and offers and other content to engage with the community. It integrates quite nicely and doesn’t distract from other content on the page.
New and Improved Ajax Search Bar
Many of you wanted an Ajax search bar both on the header and in the side column – so we’ve delivered. Start typing and it will magically search our database for the most relevant content. Once you start typing, it will try and autocomplete what you could be search for before then showing you related content. If you can’t find what you’re looking for, simply going to ‘More results’ will take you to our search page.
Cleaner Looking Content Pages
We’ve toned down ‘trending articles’ and replaced it with a snippet of the latest posts – again to try and make the viewing experience as easy as possible. We’ve removed a lot of clutter to make it a quicker experience for the user.
More Mobile Friendly
Version 2.0 brought a wealth of mobile friendly features with it and version 2.1 expands on that further. We’ve swapped the menu button and the logo so the menu slides into view more naturally and we’ve worked hard at optimizing images so the pages load much faster.
What has been fixed?
We found a few bugs since the release and we’ve fixed most of them. Things such as styling in text, large gaps and a few animation issues have all been fixed. We also removed the top ‘black bar’ as it took up real estate space and generally refined a few links to content so you can find things much easier.
There’s a few ‘nice’ things we can fix such as the big navigation menu animation and the cropping of the images, but overall, it’s now in a solid state. As always, please report bugs or broken pages to us via our Fix a Page form.
Again, it’s thanks to your feedback that enables us to find these problems and get them fixed as soon as possible.
We’re going to go back and fix up some older content so it fits the new format and fix as many broken links / featured images as possible. We’re going to keep the ‘beta’ banner up until next weekend just to be on the safe side, but we’re confident that 2.1 is pretty stable.
After that, we’re going to be introducing some new flexibility in how you get your content. More details on that to come soon.
For now, please get in touch if you have any further feedback. From the whole team, thank you again and we can’t wait to continue to grow as your favourite flight simulation media site.