New Site Design and Features

January 2, 2009 12:00 am Published by Leave your thoughts

The design of London Progressive Journal has seen a number of changes over the course of its first year, though most of these were minor tweaks to the design. When I created the site I had intended to include (among other things) a full search page and the ability to publish the letters of our readers, but because it was necessary to fit the work on this site around my other commitments the first issue went live with the bare minimum of features.

After much pre-launch discussion the Editorial Team and I settled on a design whereby the whole issue would be displayed on a single page in two columns. We hoped this would make the content easier to read with no need to go clicking back and forth and at the same time make the site stand out from the many other ‘blog’ form sites that carried similar content; personally I felt people with handheld devices might benefit from a single screen that could be uploaded and read without need to be online. This unusual view got enough negative comments from readers that we looked at a new design and halfway through the year we changed to use a single column with a quite different look, but elected to maintain the single page view of all content in the hope that this would be a good compromise.

While the search facility remained absent, I brought in an archive of issues early on and because all content existed on a single page it seemed this would be sufficient for most purposes. The content on London Progressive Journal is primarily current affairs rather than magazine articles so I felt it unlikely there would be as much interest in the content of back issues.

I mention all of this because these are the key areas in which London Progressive Journal has changed. Gone is the single page view and now we get a single page for each article along with links to cycle backward and forward through the current issue’s articles and letters page, if there is one. Within the issue archive is a new grouping by author as well as the old issue and article title groupings and on top of this is a full search facility which will bring back articles, authors and letters based on a search string.

A word about the search functionality: the exact string entered is searched for including any spaces so if searching for articles on Hugo Chavez it is likely that more results will be returned by searching on the word ‘Chavez’ alone. If you do get any errors with these new features please use the Contact Us page to contact me directly as the Webmaster. In time I will be trying to provide more search functionality or possibly just include a site-specific Google search, though such things can be done fairly easily by selecting ‘Advanced Search’ from the Google page.

Some things have not changed: there is still no automatic comments section at the end of any piece, though we still invite you to submit letters to us to consider for publication if you have any remarks to make on individual articles. And the site is still very much fun on the principle of weekly publication, on a Friday.

Feel free to write to the Webmaster if you have any other suggestions or you find any problems with the site and how it runs.

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This post was written by Theo Graham-Brown

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