For the past several months, we've been working on a broad set of new features and updates for Serious Eats. This process began months ago, and involved everything from brainstorming by our team to thinking of new ways to make the site more satisfying to inviting a number of community members to our offices earlier this year to give feedback on aspects of the new design. Today, we've reached the biggest, most important milestone yet in this process: We're asking for your feedback on a near-final version of the new Serious Eats.
This new version of the site isn't fully cooked yet. We need your feedback. We still have some bugs to squash and some tweaks to make, and we wanted to let you know what's coming. To make sure we can put your feedback to use, we've made a list of our goals for this redesign, and then described the features that we've created to meet those goals.
Our Goals for Updating Serious Eats
- Make it easier, faster, and more satisfying to find content on Serious Eats, while modernizing the design to work with the latest technologies.
- Eliminate the biggest frustrations for frequent users of the site, such as glitches in search and in browsing the archives.
- Give a stronger sense of community by showing off what's popular, what a particular author has written, and what stories are related to the article you're reading.
- Set the stage for future improvements by streamlining the systems that run the site behind the scenes.
Based on these goals, we prioritized some key new features for the site. Of course, there are an infinite number of changes we'd like to make, and we can't promise we've fixed everyone's personal pet peeve. But we hope you'll help us judge how well the features that we have created meet the goals we've described above.
Features of the New Serious Eats
- A cohesive new design: We've worked hard to get rid of some of the clutter that's accumulated on the site over the last six years, and to take advantage of the latest technology to make Serious Eats a quick and nimble site that loads as fast as possible. In addition to making it easier to read, navigate, share, and discover what Serious Eats has to offer, this ongoing work will also get us ready to keep making improvements in the future.
- A news feed of everything on the site: The homepage now features a comprehensive stream of everything that's published on the site. In the past, sometimes our editors published stories only in their respective sections, but with the new design, you can now for sure that every article or video or photo we create will now appear on the homepage so you won't miss anything.
- Easily discover related stories: On every story on the site, we're offering smart suggestions of other pieces that might also be of interest to you. [screenshot]
- Better search: All searching on the site is now powered by Google, so whenever you see a search box, you've got the full power of Google to help you find content. And this is another area where we're going to keep making improvements in the months to come.
- We've fixed archives! You can now navigate seamlessly through our archives wherever you see the big "read more" button at the bottom of the page. Clicking on read more will load the next stories, which we know will be especially appreciated for Talk and on the homepage -- no more duplicate archive pages or missing posts.
- Every image and photo is clickable: Whenever you see an image, you can just click on that image to go to its related story, or to navigate forward if the image is in a slideshow.
- Videos are even easier to get to: The latest original videos are featured on the homepage, and included in the news feed as soon as they're published.
- A better view into what other Serious Eaters are reading: Popular widgets show which stories have been most popular with other readers in the last hour.[screenshot]
- Smarter comments: Now, if the original author of a story or Talk thread posts in the comments, they'll be highlighted so you know where they've chimed in on the discussion. [screenshot]
- Author profile pages: You can learn a lot more about your favorite Serious Eats contributors, and discover their latest stories and posts by clicking through to the all-new pages linked to each author's name. [screenshot]
- Less pain for us: We've done a lot of housekeeping on the back-end systems that run the site, which will make it easier for editors to manage the site on a day-to-day basis and simplify our ability to launch new content features for you in the future.
Explore The Preview Site
Since this new site is still a work in progress and we wanted to get your feedback while we're still in development, we've made the new site available as a Preview version of Serious Eats.
THE PREVIEW SITE WILL NOT INCLUDE THE LATEST STORIES FROM SERIOUS EATS AND YOUR COMMENTS ON THE PREVIEW SITE WILL NOT BE SAVED WHEN THE PREVIEW ENDS.
To be clear: This is a testing site, which shows off the functionality that we'll have when the new design is launched, but we're keeping the Preview completely separate from the live site so that we can quickly make changes based on your feedback.
There are some other minor differences in the preview site which won't reflect its final state, such as stories prior to April of this year lacking their photos and images. We'll post a list of known issues on the Preview site as we collect your feedback, so that you'll know whether a bug you've found is one that we're aware of or not.
After you've had a chance to spend some time clicking around the preview site, please use this feedback form to report any issues you come across and to let us know what you think.
Without further ado, the Serious Eats Preview Site »