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film criticism by maryann johanson | since 1997

a guide to the design and organizational makeovers here

As you will likely have noticed, things look a little different around here all of a sudden. Here’s what happened:

1) Most of the type sizes across the site have been bumped up, per the discussion we had here a few weeks ago. The main body text is now 16pt, a size that appears to be growing as a consensus as the ideal one for reading online. If you’ve had your browser zoomed in for this site, you might want to zoom back out. (Oh, and in case you’re wondering, the size of the text in Disqus threads cannot be changed, so that remains as it was.)

2) The logo area at the top of each page has shrunk in size. The logo image remains the same size, but I grabbed back some screen real estate by placing the logo and the tagline on the same line.

3) The homepage is significantly different. The big problem with the homepage before was that it was not accessible on mobile devices: it showed up as blank because, for complicated reasons not worth going into, every element on the page was a sidebar, from a design perspective, and sidebars are the first thing to get dropped on mobile devices.

This was a particularly bad state of affairs because it meant that all those useful lists of traffic-lit movies (what’s in cinemas and what’s available to watch at home, on both sides of the Atlantic) were not accessible at all when you guys might want them most, like when, say, you’re standing in a multiplex trying to decide what to see. All the info that was formerly crammed onto the homepage is now broken out into four separate pages… and all of them will look great on your phone:

in cinemas US and Canada
dvd + vod US and Canada
in cinemas UK and Ireland
dvd + vod UK and Ireland

Those pages also get prominent links on the homepage. (These new pages are not behind the paywall and do not count toward your weekly pageviews, and the homepage remains free to view as much as you like.)

4) The nav bar at the top of each page has been pared down to essentials.

5) The all recent posts page (also still not behind the paywall), which is just a simple bloglike listing of posts in reverse order by date (newest at the top, that is) remains unchanged. I can tell from Google Analytics how much you guys like it.

There are a few other tiny tweaks, but those are the major ones. Please feel free to let me know of something isn’t quite sitting right now, or otherwise looks odd.

I know change can be uncomfortable at first, but I hope you enjoy this slightly fresher look to the site. And as always, thank you for reading.

UPDATE 11.19: I’ve just updated my theme to the latest version, and suddenly my lovely new “what’s playing” pages are not working responsively! Argh! I am trying to get this fixed asap.

UPDATE 11.22: The responsiveness issue appears to have been resolved now.

posted in:
maryann buzz

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