Spring Cleaning

over 5 years ago from

Hi Designer News friends! I'm really happy to announce that we just launched a lot of cosmetic, functional, and performance-improving updates. Some things you might notice immediately, whereas others might never be seen. The whole codebase got a bit of spring cleaning, and at the end of the day over 90% of Designer News' frontend has been rewritten. We're eager to hear your feedback.

Improved performance and browsing experience

A large percentage of the community knows a lot about web page performance, and have wasted no time in pointing out areas that could be improved. So we went ahead and started using Imgix (<3) for images across the site, ripped out all non-essential Javascript (reduced to a simple in-house framework and then just jQuery), added a touch of CSSO to our CSS, and even went as far as to minify the HTML before delivering it. This resulted in an enourmous page weight difference. I know, using thumbnails instead of full size images and seeing a reduction in page weight is nothing to write home about, but it was something that I've been meaning to do for a while now.

In addition to lighter pages, various parts of the site have been refactored to be less... janky, such as that annoying scrolling header (the scrolling header was also open-sourced!).

Designing for a design community is hard

We get feedback every day about ways the community could be improved visually. We love it (so please send more), but it's also difficult to try and make everyonehappy (I kid, I kid). Over the last few months we've tried our best to implement as many feature requests as possible, and with today's launch comes a lot more completed requests and general improvements. Here's a quick outline:

  • Page styling and rich text is a lot more consistent throughout the site.
  • Updated user profile pages!
  • The sidebar is gone on mobile. Instead, we shift important content blocks to the main container / story feed.
  • The preview popup when hovering over a user's name is a lot friendlier.
  • Market listing pages have a new header style.
  • Brand new login and register pages.
  • Hundreds of small changes sprinkled throughout.

That’s just the start. If you’re interested in learning about every little change, here's a list of everything I can think of off the top of my head. Enjoy!

About all that spam

Designer News has grown an incredible amount over the last couple years, and as the user base has expanded, so has the need for better spam protection. With this launch comes a variety of new features, both community-facing and under the hood.

  • Reporting a story, comment, or user is much easier with the latest design tweaks; additionally you'll be able to select a reason why you chose to make a report.
  • Internally we are now maintaining a blacklist of domain names that consistently cause us headaches. If a domain goes on the list no one will be able to post a story with that base URL.
  • Moderator tools got a slight update; if you are a moderator you can now sort content reports by type. (Side note: if you’d like to be a moderator, please email Max, our community manager!)

There is more in the pipeline to help us fight against spam, so we'll be sure to let you know when we make changes. We should also give our administrators and moderators a round of applause for fighting as much spam as they do (seriously!).

To recap, there are a lot of changes here today. I sincerely hope you appreciate them, but I know that there will be a bug or two, so please let me know in the comments, or feel free to reach out to me directly and I'll be happy to help. If you run into something down the road, remember you can always click our little feedback friend in the bottom right.

Thanks for supporting Designer News!