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Architosh Design Revamp Explained—Granular and Visual Update

Longstanding site development goals have been put into place to make the site more visually pleasing, more graphically focused and easier for readers to find topics they care about.

In May 2015 Architosh updated its website, adding substantial changes to site area layouts as well as site-wide dimensional changes. In this article we cover the details, why the changes took place, what benefits befall the reader, and how to get the best out of your reader enjoyment on Architosh.

The Skinny: Getting to the Point

In a nutshell, we did two primary things: Firstly, we provided entirely new “graphic” master pages for the News, Features and Reviews index pages (the pages you arrive at from those items in the main navigation bar). Secondly, we widened the entire site design (aired it out…) and prepared it for the future, particularly optimal mobile viewing.

Reader Value Explained

We worked with our web development consultant to create a more airy and cleaner experience, improving visual clarity, providing more space for multi-touch navigation and adding in a lot of new site features. In all, there are over 24 added features and site wide improvements.

The primary new improvements include:

  • All new Features home page — All new “visual-based” design helps readers quickly see, scan and find feature content across all new child-category areas. [1]  (e.g.: Special, Interviews, In-Depths, etc.) [1]
  • All new Reviews home page — All new “visual-based” design helps readers scan the five latest Reviews articles with the new carousel at the top [10] while allowing readers to discover interesting reviews on sites elsewhere [12] 
  • All new News home page — All new “visual-based” design helps readers quickly see, scan and find news content across all new child-category areas. [14] (e.g.: AECO, MCAD, CAID, Apple, etc) [14]
  • All new Pull Quotes Zones — New zones highlight key quotes from important articles, allowing readers be drawn into stories via a quote that pulls in their interests. [2]
  • New Curated News and Reviews — All new zones on the three pages above are dedicated to “curating” important key articles elsewhere on the net. [12] [3] and [15]
  • Renovated List View Pages — List view pages with “filter tabs” for searching across child categories have been renovated and given much more space and new vertical alignment so its graphically possible to scan for stories with most comments. [4] [13] and [16]
  • Wider Overall Site — The whole site has been laid out anew against a new modular grid and given more white space

We have an array of graphics (below) that tie the orange numbers to areas in the site so readers can see exactly what has changed or is new. While the Home page was only changed insofar as it responded to the wider site grid, what remains unique about the home page is its master list view of all the latest news. In contrast to the existing home page, the new Features page (shown below) granularizes “feature” content by child-categories, providing a better way to see the six (6) latest posts by that child category type.

Starting on the upper right, [1] the very latest post by that child-category type is displayed; going anti-clockwise to the left to the 2nd and 3rd latest posts, then in text list fashion to the 4th, 5th and 6th latest posts by that child-category. Finally, a “More” link takes you to all posts by that child category. Interspersed between “child-category” zones are a new Pull Quotes zone [2] providing the reader with more “discovery” options for the site’s most important content. [2]

01 - Zoomed in...the new Features page breaks down features by "child categories" Architosh has had from 2008.

01 – Zoomed in…the new Features page breaks down features by “child categories” Architosh has had from 2008.

“Many readers want to quickly see what is new content on the site in an almost daily fashion,” said Anthony Frausto-Robledo, AIA, LEED AP, editor-in-chief, “that remains the case for now on the home page. However, newcomers to the site need a more visually engaging lead in and can now find that across our navigation-based key topics in Features, Reviews and News. The old versions of those pages were dry, boring list views and too tightly space at that. Now we have graphically rich pages that are easy to explore even on smaller devices.”

Uniqueness on Each New Page

The new updated Features, Reviews and News pages all feature something unique to just those pages, while we already explained what is unique about the Home page. A quick summary on what is unique for:

Features Page

  • List view of All Features, with “child-category” filter tabs [4]
  • Visual “child-category” zones for discovery of topical features readers are interested in [1]
  • Curated news and features on CAD and 3D posts on external websites [3]
  • Hero image carousel up top only shows “Features” and leaves out “Reviews” [6]

News Page

  • List view of All News, with “child-category” filter tabs [16]
  • Visual “child-category” zones for discovery of news across industry breakdowns (e.g.: AEC, MCAD, CAID, Game Design, etc) [14]
  • Curated news and features on “Technology and Design” news on external websites (we post really good Apple stories here) [15]

Reviews Page

  • List view of All Reviews [13]
  • Curated 3D and CAD reviews articles from external sites [12]
  • Hero image carousel up top only shows “Reviews” and leaves out “Features” [10]

You can link the numbers in orange to the graphic images shown below. Or you can simply go explore these new site areas now. Importantly, we cover the full gamut of how to “search” for content on Architosh below, so stay here for a few more minutes if you would like to learn all about that, or skip over the images below.

02 - The new Features page.

02 – The new Features page. Click on the image to explore larger.

03 - The new News page.

03 – The new News page. Click on the image to explore larger.

04 - The new Reviews page.

04 – The new Reviews page. Click on the image to explore larger.

By clicking on the images directly above you can explore the highlighted numbers. They are indexed directly below:

  1. Child-categories on new Features page — Features
  2. New Pull Quotes zone for content discovery — Features, News, Reviews and even Blog and List Pages
  3. Curated 3D and CAD news on external sites — Features
  4. List View with filters — Features
  5. not used
  6. Features only image carousel — Features
  7. Editor’s choice Feature — Features, News, and Reviews
  8. Most Popular — Site wide
  9. Tag Cloud — Site wide
  10. Reviews only image carousel — Reviews
  11. Reviews zone — Reviews
  12. Curated product reviews on external sites — Reviews
  13. List View of all Reviews — Reviews
  14. Child-categories on new News page — News
  15. Curated articles on Technology and Design — News
  16. List View of all News (filter tabs) — News

Now getting into Search on Architosh.

Searching and Finding Content on Architosh

Unlike the pre-2008 Architosh site (which still exists on the Net) Architosh has its own search engine function since it is a database driven (CMS) powered website. Readers can search for content into the Search box on the upper left of every page. [D] We may add this search box to other areas of the site, so do provide us feedback if you have feelings about that. [D]

05 - Architosh has built-in search functionality but also provides filter search and tag and category search functionalities.

05 – Architosh has built-in search functionality but also provides filter search and tag and category search functionalities.

While searching through a massive database may provide many results, those looking for simply the most popular stories can find that in the same spot on every page. [A] Editor’s choices are also available there as well as most discussed.

Within the new “child-categorization” layout schemes on the News and Features pages, at the last text link the reader can find a More link. [B] This will take you to find more of that child-category. Once on that list-view of that child-category, you can review “all” of every child-category through the site’s filter tabs.

List views work two ways. Such filter-powered lists exist at the bottom of every Features, News and Reviews and Blog page, as well as on 2nd level pages that you get to through the More links. [B] (see image 06 below, refer to [16] )

Another new way to find and discover topic is by our new Quote zones. [C] These new pull-out quotes can be used to discover interesting stories. [C]

07 - Filtered list views provide readers power to truncate by child-categorization.

06 – Filtered list views provide readers power to truncate by child-categorization. [16] is an example of List View with filter tabs.

Back to image 05 above, our powerful tag system is another way to explore finding stories and content based on tags. We tag product names, company names, famous and influential industry people, industries, segments, technologies, file format types, open source standards, and more.

Closing Comments

With over two dozen new features and site wide improvements on Architosh, we hope that readers find the site more enjoyable to read on both desktop, mobiles and smartphones. And usual, we’d love to hear your feedback. We have been running a Reader Feedback Survey that is closing up soon (you are welcome to still take it…) but you can simply email us as well.

Please remember the next time you stop by Architosh, to explore our News page in particular for the latest news across a wide variety of industry areas, plus curated links to the best news stories out on the Web.

Reader Comments

  1. http://t.co/Vx3VeM5zNP — we explain Architosh’s new site updates…24+ new features, improvements… http://t.co/n9n2TTO7ve

  2. RT @architosh: http://t.co/Vx3VeM5zNP — we explain Architosh’s new site updates…24+ new features, improvements… http://t.co/n9n2TTO7ve

  3. #CAD Architosh Design Revamp Explained—Granular and Visual Update http://t.co/thJQqvISit

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