A New Look for blogTO
Unless you're reading this through a feed reader you'll notice that blogTO looks a bit different today. (If it looks totally messed up to you, please clear your cache or do a hard refresh). Overnight we introduced a new design for the site, as well as a lot of new functionality. And while we're still working away at resolving many bugs and other fixes there's a lot of new stuff we're excited for you to check out.
Many of the changes we've made are geared toward improving the usability of the site. We've been creating content for more than 5 years now and we wanted a design that made this content more accessible.
We also wanted to give the site a cleaner look. We've always been a fan of lots of white space, easy to read fonts and a layout that makes the photos pop, but we think this latest design really helps us get closer to these ideals.
Starting with the homepage, we've changed things up quite drastically and now feature more than just a sidebar and the six latest posts. Now, you'll find the latest 4 posts (with handy links to recent stories directly to the right) followed by quick access to other popular sections of the site. Now, directly from the homepage you can:
- Check out some of the latest restaurant and store reviews we've posted to the site
- See what movies are now playing in theatres and quickly look up showtimes
- Scan today's events or quickly view future dates to see what's happening in Toronto in the days and weeks to come
- View our most recent Best of Toronto post or select any of the ones we've published to the site
- Get up to speed on where the conversation is happening through our list of recent and active comments
- View our pick for our photo of the day (a new daily feature on the site) and see what else has recently been added to our Flickr Pool
We've re-thought the site wide navigation and replaced the former primary/sub navigation hierarchy and pulldown access with what we think is a cleaner and more logical structure. You'll now find most of our categories like arts, music, film and city under the City and Culture tab. Under the City Guide tab you'll find links to all our reviews and directory-type content like restaurant reviews, bars, fashion stores and more.
Best of Toronto
For more than a year we've been getting requests to re-design our Best of Toronto section. Well, here it is. The big change is we now offer the ability to look up Best of Toronto posts alphabetically. You can also quickly sort between food-related and non-food-related Best of Toronto content. (note: this feature has a bug that should be fixed soon)
In our restaurant and other review/directory sections, we've re-designeded the entry pages to make it easier to scan the latest published reviews as well as look up places by type or neighbourhood. For example, we now have dedicated pages for things like Thai Restaurants in Toronto or restaurants in Leslieville (note: this page has a bug that also should be fixed soon).
When you're reading a review like, say, Sky Blue Sky Sandwich Company, you'll now see links to other restaurants in the area as well as other sandwich places in Toronto.
The functionality hasn't changed much for these sections, but we hope you'll find them easier on the eyes and a much improved layout to lookup locations details, showtimes or watch movie trailers.
Development Still in Progress
There are dozen of bugs we are still working on and hope to have fixed soon. But if you care to share any thoughts about the new design or let us know about any problems please add your comment below.