‘Simplify and add lightness’: A few design changes at F1 Fanatic

F1 Fanatic

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You may have noticed some revisions to the layout of the site today.

The changes are far less radical than the last alteration to the site and are mainly aimed at making it easier to navigate, quicker to load and offer easier navigation.

The most significant changes are on the front page where you’ll notice the ‘grid’ format has been retired and replaced with a more conventional list of stories.

Beneath the top ten stories you’ll find a simple page list which allows you to browse through every article posted on F1 Fanatic.

Underneath that is another new feature – the top top most commented stories over the past 31 days. This is intended to help you keep up with the most popular content on the site. To the right of that is a revised list of latest articles across a range of categories.

There have been a few other changes throughout the site to improvement performance, reliability and fix some minor problems. Among them you should notice that logging in no longer redirects you to the home page – instead you are returned to the page you came from.

There are a few outstanding known problems which still require fixes, including on the mobile site. These will be addressed in future.

In the meantime if you have any feedback on today’s alterations please post details in the comments below. You can make suggestions for the site and report technical problems using the links below:

Author information

Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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78 comments on “‘Simplify and add lightness’: A few design changes at F1 Fanatic”

  1. Looks good to me so far mate. Never really liked the grid in the first place. Articles would get knocked off the front page pretty quickly, especially during GP weekends. Where if you wanted to check an article from the day before. A quick trawl of your history was often required!

    Top commented is a great idea for the same reason. Makes it much easier to check back on all the huge debates going on here from people who know a lot more about F1 then I do!

    1. Miles better now, I agree!

      (never liked the grid layout either to be honest).

  2. First comment for me! Long time reader of the site.

    I liked the grid, however the list is nice too. I don’t mind change – keeps everything fresh.

    Decided to register here as BBC Sports pages (and their bloggers) are so dire and ill informed its become unreadable for me.

    hello all!

      1. Tom Haxley (@)
        8th January 2012, 17:12

        Thanks Keith – great job on the site

    1. I hope you’re not one of those people that spam ‘NO TO SKY’ in the comments of every article, that really started to get on my nerves.

      I find Mark Hughes’ articles very good, and it’s interesting to read Webber’s thoughts, Benson is quite often wide of the mark though.

      1. Tom Haxley (@)
        8th January 2012, 17:39

        No, I wasn’t registered on there. The Sky deal does suck, but as with most things in life, there are a tiny minority which control the majority and unless you have untold riches or someone rich backing you, us mere mortals will never occupy those positions of power.

        Its one of those “1st world problems” that are highly hilarious to read. “Oh I cant watch F1 for free” is a major drama in peoples lives, while children in Africa would be happy with a square meal a day… in context its a non starter of a problem. I’m in no way a crusader for that stuff but I can accept that money talks, crap happens, just get on with life.

        I think this way of posting is a lot better as conversations can spring up and not distract from the main blog or other comments etc. Everyone can reply to each other and get on with it not read through 50 comments and see people still referring to post 23 or post 2.

        I couldn’t deal with the constant factual errors and total ignorance of some of them. Also no mention of any other drivers apart from the top 6 most of the time.

        Webber’s posts were ok, though somewhat scripted I felt. I’m not his biggest fan to be honest.

        phew long post haha

        1. @welshtom ‘Its one of those “1st world problems” that are highly hilarious to read.’
          haha very true.

    2. Quite liked the Grid look – but agree with that the news gets pushed away too quickly during GP weekends

      I’m sure you’ve weighed the up and downsides well, but I think it’s just me that I prefer viewing more stories in the screen-area

  3. The best Formula One site in the world just keeps getting better. I personally never had a problem with the grid format, but it is slightly easier to navigate a straight list of articles.

  4. Nice change, can’t imagine what your like at home re-arranging furniture.

    1. It takes him less time to re-arrange the furniture, trust me haha

    2. I echo your sentiments, F1Fanatic’s getting better and better :)

  5. I liked it when it was like this before, and was sad to see the list layout go for the grid layout, but I think I was finally used to it! :P

    I much prefer this layout, however. I’m especially pleased to see the return of the pages at the bottom, which should make finding articles from a few days back (a problem I often face if I’ve been offline for a few days) a lot easier.

    The only remaining problem I can see is the “commenting on F1 Fanatic” page is still not working.

    Other than that, though, great job! Thanks Keith!

    1. @damonsmedley How exactly is it not working for you? I can’t see any problem here.

      1. @keithcollantine Here’s a screenshot. I just meant that there’s no list of users, as has been the case since the big change.

        1. I don’t think I realised that page was supposed to have a list of users on it.

          @keithcollantine It looks like I have the same issue with that page as @damonsmedley.

        2. For me it also does not show the list of user names putting up most comments in the past 30 days @keithcollantine

          1. Nor me @keithcollantine Since the bigger overhaul last year.

    2. @damonsmedley @xxiinophobia @BasCB @AndrewTanner OK the feature has been removed temporarily but it will be restored.

      1. Ok, thank for the feedback on that @keithcollantine

  6. So much better than the previous look, I always thought that was a step backwards.

  7. Happy to see the login change. Have fallen foul of that one before a few times. Keep up the good work!

  8. Great work Keith. Maybe you should make the “description” longer at the homepage under the main title? to fill the white space.

    It reminds me of the old design :) I liked it.

    1. I disagree I feel a more white space is needed. I like the new look but it is feels a bit squinched. More space under your header[title] would balance things out as well.

      Two possibilities the type under the header could be a lighter version for more contrast giving it that white space I feel it needs. Or header type could be less bold opening up a bit of breathing space.

  9. Mr Chapman would be proud ;)

    1. Yep, it’s Collintime !

    2. @gridlock @hohum Thanks guys :-)

  10. I like it, but I think the latest news should be bigger to the rest of the articles, like what PlanetF1 do, have a bigger image, and a bigger comment and things at the top so you can see whats brand new :) keep it up!!

  11. Congratulations Keith!
    Its really nice, every new layout give us a KERS to keep coming here, the most complete F1 website!

  12. SennaNmbr1 (@)
    8th January 2012, 17:01

    What manner of witchcraft is this? :D

  13. I like how it looks, nicely done :)

    Just one question how do you go to the archive part of the blog?

    1. Use the page numbers underneath the tenth story on the homepage.

      1. Thanks, but used to have it by month and year… that was really useful when you wanted to check info or look for something…

        1. @celeste That went a long time ago. You can edit page URLs to list content by day and month if you want though, e.g. for this month:


  14. @KeithCollantine First and foremost, I love the redesign. Way better usability. Unfortunately the login link in the comments section led me to an error.

    My only recommendation for the site is that your logo ‘brand’ is really lo-res at the top of the pages. I understand that you have ad space up top that is fixed but you should consider getting your graphic design person to take the vector file of your logo and sizing it to your desired size rather than re-sizing an existing jpeg. I like your logo but it looks a bit blocky and crap. It takes away from the crispness of your re-design.

    Minor I know, but still worth a mention.

    1. Tom Haxley (@)
      9th January 2012, 13:10

      I agree, the logo is a bit low res. It would look a lot better if it was crisp :)

  15. There’s a mobile site?

    1. Just viewing it now, homepage is a little bland with no images and the logo doesn’t look particularly nice on the retina display of an iPhone 4, but otherwise the changes are very nice!

      1. I imagine he has to work around the lowest common denominator.

        1. (In terms of what different phones are capable of)

  16. Glad to see you caring about your readers, Kieth. Makes me feel special. :D

  17. All this new layout is a copy cat from sky. com, any one on that!!!!! lol

    1. @west I never use that website and don’t even know what it looks like.

    2. Just plugged sky.com into google. I don’t get it, it doesn’t look remotely similar? O.o

  18. i don’t like change but this looks good. ;)
    however I miss the quick links to older articles above the ‘active f1 fanatics’ box on the right. now i have to scroll down to find these other articles. boo hoo. lol

    1. @keithcollantine ah i’ve just realised that the ‘new on f1 fanatic’ mini-list in the top right only appears when you’re viewing an article. can we not have this on the home screen too?

      1. @sato113 That bit is the same list of articles that appears in the main area of the home page.

      2. @sato113 As @xxiinophobia points out it would only duplicate what’s already there, so what would be the point?

        1. fair enough then. guess i’m just too lazy to scroll down.

  19. For me, it’s better. Although I got used to the new frontpage, sometimes it was ‘too fast’ for me. Especially when I was too busy for a few days to read F1F and then wanted to read up. (Although I have to admit that lately I’m always finding time…)

  20. not sure if this is the right place – but one thing I would love to see is guardian style “recommend” for each comment. i.e. the ability to vote up popular posts but without the silliness of voting down by people of differing opinion.

  21. I like the change, having more content is good. One of the things I love about the old layout was the preview underneath each article title, just a few lines to get a glimpse at the article. Any chance we can see that return?

    1. @leroy Nope I’ve decided to drop it. It just adds another step in publishing new articles which slows things down. And you’ve already got a one-line introduction and an image.

  22. One word – Impressive

  23. it’s now looking like more like a blog which it is.
    nice work i liked the page number so i can go back to whenever i wanted.

  24. To be honest I kind a liked the old grid system. Do you have any place where we could see the list of people who have commented over the past 31 days?

    1. Same, the grid was iconic too.

      1. Having said that, I didn’t like the grid when we first got that either.

        I’m a grumpy bugger aren’t I? :D

        1. I know what you mean @mike, I was not thrilled when i first saw the grid. But now I miss it!

          The changes below that (articles most commented on) and the fact that this way its easier to find a recent article on big news days (upcoming car presentations, testing, race weekends) makes it a defenitive positive for me.

  25. I like it. May I suggest a couple of small CSS changes for the front page though?

    At the moment, the date/comments text is far too bold. Since it’s right aligned, too, it makes your eye jump uncomfortably after reading the headline of the story. I’d suggest either swapping the entry_subtitle and the date/comments. Or, even easier, just change .entry_meta_first from font-weight: bold, to normal. Just did this with firebug and it looks a lot lighter and nicer.

    I also noticed that in this CSS class, the margin-right is set at 5px, while the whole .homepage-intro box has no margin. I’d suggest setting .homepage-intro from 430px to 425 and adding the 5px margin there instead. This way, the text won’t be able to go all the way to the grey line.

    1. I have no idea what any of that means, but yeah, I agree! :P

  26. Jack Flash (Aust)
    9th January 2012, 3:23

    I like it. Front page scroll list makes things a lot easier to find, even older stories.
    Thumbs up from me, Keith. JF

  27. This is great. I had a hard time going back and looking at earlier articles. The new layout definitely helps!

  28. Hey Keith,

    Like the new design change … makes it a hell lot easier to navigate and go through older articles …
    Like the tiles too but it was a little tedious if you ever wanted to go through old articles …

    Big Thumbs Up to the new look and 2012 season …


  29. F1fanatic has almost turned full circle. This is close to the original theme.

    1. It’s closer to a previous theme but not the original one – I’m probably the only person who remembers what it first looked like and I’m not going back to that any time soon. I’ll dig out a picture if I can.

  30. Great job keith keep it up. I’m a daily reader and it keeps better each time.

    I like more the new look.

    Looking forward for the first test as it seems long long time now!!!

  31. Keith, please upgrade your logo too and add countdown timers to the next GP/practice session. Also, I don’t like the “notify me of followup comments” checkbox because I get emails for all new comments for the thread, I would prefer to only get emails for replies to my post. Thanks.

    It’s good that you keep focus on the community/comments because that’s what makes this site stand apart from the hundreds of other fan/news sites.

    1. Thanks for the idea. I’m not using a countdown timer at the moment because it would just add more weight to the page and besides people can always use the F1 Fanatic Google Calendar.

      If you register you can receive notifications when people respond to your posts via @-messages which you might find more useful than using the email comment subscriptions.

  32. Very nice changes, @keithcollantine… much better to navigate and preserves front-page status for a longer time.

    On another note… 930 pages of articles?! Just goes to show you how comitted Keith and the other contributors are to this blog.

    1. @southpawracer – Yep, coming up on the landmark 10,000th article soon…

  33. sid_prasher (@)
    9th January 2012, 19:53

    Looks very neat!

    One suggestion – can we reduce the footer a bit? the driver list takes up too much space…

  34. The one feature that I think still really needs to be re-added is a link to the last page of forum threads from the forum directory.

  35. Both pretty and simple, great update thanks!

  36. Looking good to me. Looking forward to a proper browse.

  37. My two little cents: I find that the right-hand column now takes (or now seems to take) up more space than before, those buxom “create a cartoon you” ads there are a bit overly represented and overall the new layout seems a bit more cluttered somehow; but of course it’s all down to personal taste – it’s not gonna make me check in for my F1 fix any less often.

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