header redesign

Posted by Ken-ichi on February 16, 2011

You may have noticed the site header is looking a little different, and that's because we recently redesigned it. There were a couple things we wanted to achieve:

1) reveal more of the site through dropdowns (and improve navigability a bit)

There are a bunch of drop-down menus with direct links to different parts of the site, including your groups, giveaways, your default shelves, etc.

2) take up less vertical space

Navigation and branding are important, of course, but having a slimmer header puts a little more focus on the content.

3) emphasize search

The search box is now over on the left and somewhat more noticeable. This might take a little getting used to, but we hope it will also make it easier for new users to look up books. Search also includes auto-completion.

4) more prominence to notifications

New messages and friend requests will now show in red boxes in the header. You can also now access your notifications by using the drop down menu next to your name in the upper right.

Redesigns never please everyone, so we hope you don't find this change too jarring. We've tried to incorporate a lot of input from you guys through the Feedback Group, so if you have thoughts or suggestions, you can let us know there. Nothing is set in stone (stone websites having gone out of fashion in the early 90s).

Comments Showing 1-16 of 16 (16 new)

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message 1: by Shafina (new)

Shafina Sheridan this is great! i have just rediscovered goodreads a few days ago, after playing around with a few other similar sites. the clean design won me over immediately! i still have a lot more to discover around here.

keep up the great work!

message 2: by Shafina (new)

Shafina Sheridan oh one little thing, i think you can afford to make the avatar on the right as tall as the 'goodreads' letters, it would make the whole bar more balanced.

message 3: by Harry (new)

Harry How do you view your friends? People you are following?

message 4: by Harry (new)

Harry Wait.....I figured it out...........I judged too quick.

message 5: by Mary (new)

Mary My computer isn't a dinosaur and the new nav is still giving me troubles. Plus it's ugly but that's a minor thing.

message 6: by Fabian (new)

Fabian I don't like it at all. Is there a way to go choose between the old and the new design?

message 7: by Lee (new)

Lee I'm not a big fan of the new click-drop down boxes. They to me seem fat and chunky. Maybe it would be better having a sub-navigation below the header although that might defeat the purpose of why you made the changes. I also think the avatar needs to be bigger, maybe even have it as if it's coming off the header and overlapping.

Also are there any plans to revamp any pages?

message 8: by Dumitru (last edited Feb 17, 2011 05:01PM) (new)

Dumitru It's not a bad change, but those drop down buttons are really bulky. They just seem out of place. And about that search box... It kind of ruins the design... I know it's meant to be more noticeable, but now it's just over noticeable. I loved the way the search box never got too much of my attention, but it was always there when I needed it. Don't think new users can miss that. I found it in the first 30 secs of browsing through the site. It's just too big now. A choose option would be nice.

To trim down a bit what I said above (sorry for those who were forced to read through it) my requests would be:
-change the search box the way it was
-make the drop down arrows a bit slimmer, and maybe make a transparent background for them
-either get rid of that no way to distinguish avatar, or make it bigger.

message 9: by Lee (new)

Lee I also wanted to make a suggestion based on the image below:

As you can see if the window is smaller than the width of the header, the background doesn't expand to the area when you scroll.

What i'm suggesting is basically something like below:

#siteheader {
padding-top: 5px;
background: url(/images/layout/gr_header_bg_wo_books_new.jpg) repeat-x;
height: 45px;
border-bottom: 1px solid #E3DFC9;
width: 965px;
margin: 0 auto;



.content {
background: url(/images/layout/gr_header_bg_wo_books_new.jpg) repeat-x;

The image for content may have to be cropped to get your desired effect.

message 10: by *Suzy (ereaderuser)* (last edited Feb 19, 2011 12:02PM) (new)

*Suzy (ereaderuser)* I HATE that our reading challenges have been moved from our home page! I know I can find it under the profile section, but enjoyed seeing it without having to specifically go into the profile section. I'm hoping it will get moved back!

message 11: by ❂ Endless (new)

❂ Endless Well...here's another goodreads member coming in late to suggest certain things about your new header. I've only just joined a week or so ago so it took me some time to get to your feedbacks group and realized that the feedback thread for the header redesign has been closed.

So here goes:
The drop down menus don't open everytime i hover over them - It's GREAT!

3113865 kb wrote: " Placing the search box to the right of 'explore' may help the appearance"

It's a natural instinct to either click in the center of a page for a search or on the extreme right. The slightly left search box is really awkward placing and is just not prominent.

message 12: by Shawn (new)

Shawn I'd prefer to have mouseover menus than click-to-show menus, but that's just a single person's opinion.

message 13: by MARQUETTA (new)

MARQUETTA I HATE that our reading challenges have been moved from our home page! The point of the reading challenge, at least for me, is to easily access the books I've read. Removing it defeats the purpose. Now I have to hunt all over goodreads to find it. And there's no way to bookmark it so that I can access it again with just one click.

And I want to be able to remove reading challenge buttons that I am NOT participating in like the Jane Eyre Challenge. Why do I have to see that button for another 40+ days??? If I haven't decided to participate by now, the odds are I never will!

message 14: by Kylie (new)

Kylie I agree that the search bar should be moved back to the right-hand side. It was prominent enough at the right, where it also logically found on many other websites.

Is there any reason why our user names appear so far to the right? The drop-down arrow appears off the screen on smaller computers. I think it would be much more logically placed after the search bar. I frequently access My Profile and it seems rather difficult to get to.

Could we have an option to customise the right-hand sections on our home page? I agree that it's annoying to see the Jane Eyre Challenge day after day. I would much rather see my own 2011 Reading Challenge in that position, but instead it's right at the bottom.

message 15: by Liza (new)

Liza Ponomareva Redisign is always awfull, all sites must stay as gods created them )

Good luck.

message 16: by Ann Marie (new)

Ann Marie I have been playing with the new design. I can't even find the author listings or whatever you called them when you talked about finding their series. So I will continue to go elsewhere for tht info.

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