Leading a redesign is always exciting, especially when there are more quiet news days at this time of the year.
If you’ve surfed through our home page, or if you’re a Lucire Facebook fan who got word of it in one of our statuses last night, you’ll notice we are phasing in a new look. Only a few pages have it at the momentâwe want to iron the bugs out and get feedback before it appears more widelyâbut we thought we had better get a few pages looking “more 2010s” and give you the sort of reading pleasure you had when you first visited the Lucire website in the late 1990s and early 2000s.
The changes are numerous, but here are the highlights:
first of all, we’ve made it easier for you to share to your social networks, and made those sharing buttons bigger if you’re browsing on a smaller screen. We haven’t optimized the feature pages for mobile yet, but the new look will make its way to these news pages, which, as many of you know, are. We’ll go from there;
bigger type. As screen resolutions improve, the sizes we had specified type at in the 1990s and 2000s seem rather small. So we’ve addressed that;
bigger pictures. It’s a recognition of better bandwidth these days. However, we haven’t forgotten that a lot of the planet isn’t on broadband, so we’re glad to note that the basic HTML files for the new pages are actually smaller by 1 to 2 kbyte and we’ve optimized the images for downloading where we can;
fewer ads. We know they can be annoying. With the new look, we’ve largely retired the 160 by 600 skyscraper size. We’re hoping that despite fewer ads, you’ll be encouraged to visit more, so what we make from advertising should balance out;
comment forms. Finally! While you’ve always been able to send your feedback, and comment on news articles, we haven’t built in any forms for individual feature stories. That will change with 2013 stories going forward;
and, on the home page, an animation! This is just us having fun. But we think you might like the top stories in a slideshow. It’s nothing new for a lot of our competitors, and we’re playing catch-up there. Now that we have caught up, we hope you like the first five we’ve chosen.
In addition to the home page, the âVolante’ index page has changed to the new look, as have two articles: Sarah MacKenzie’s 2013 BMW X1 first drive and Elyse Glickman’s 2013 Chicago dining guide.
There are other little changes, such as the disappearance of the callouts, or pull quotes, and much more noticeable ‘continued’ links for multi-page articles. The links to Digg have gone, too.
We’re still considering whether to remove the descriptions of each article from the home page, leaving only a byline, to make the look even more streamlined.
It’s a familiar feeling. At the end of 2002, a similar redesign helped usher in the New Year for Lucire, with the first article on designer Megan Tuffery and her residence at the time, Bruxelles. Until then, there were some lavishly designed stories, and âMegan Tuffery’s Brusselsâ was created to partly standardize the Lucire look and bring in some more lessons from print. Looking at the page now won’t be entirely representative, since it links to a stylesheet that has since been edited. However, if you do, think of much lower resolutions and much narrower browsersâ1,024 by 768 pixels was the normâif you want to re-create the effect.
Interestingly, this latest redesign may be the first where web and cellphone viewing habits have driven the thinking more than old media.
Back in 2002â3, that new look was also considered cleanâbut such is the nature of technology and changes that things get added, cluttering things up. We wonder how long the 2013 look will remain before it, too, needs a serious overhaul. Two years? Less?
For now, please enjoy our latest effortsâand look forward to these news pages eventually following suit!âJack Yan, Publisher
HRH the Prince of Wales will honour Sir Terence Conran, FCSD, Sir Peter Moores, CBE, DL, Mathew Prichard, CBE, DL, Sir Gerald Elliot and Lady Elliot, the Lady Rayne, and Dame Theresa Sackler with medals for arts’ philanthropy today.
Sir Terence’s contribution includes giving ÂŁ50 million to the Design Museum and its predecessor, the Boilerhouse, over the last 31 years, sponsoring the summer graduates’ show, serving as Provost of the Royal College of Art, and nurturing careers, including that of Thomas Heatherwick.
In a release from the Design Museum praising Sir Terence, it is said that ‘Throughout his life, whether he is making it, selling it, teaching it or championing it, Sir Terence has simply been an evangelist for good design.’
The Boilerhouse project in 1981 was initiated by Conran after being inspired by the Triennale in Milano. He was knighted two years later. The Boilerhouse was relaunched in 1989 as the Design Museum. It will have a new home soon at the old Commonwealth Institute building in Kensington, in a space three times larger than its present site. Sir Terence donated ÂŁ7Â·5 million to the new premises, as well as the proceeds from the sale of the lease of the old building, valued at around ÂŁ10 million.
âItâs not just the money,’ says Vicky Richardson, design director at the British Council, in the same release. ‘Itâs the support and encouragement heâs given to people he thinks are doing good things.’
The awards today were determined by the Prince of Wales’ Art Cluster Group, among others. A final panel of artists decided the five recipients. The panel includes Sir Ronald Harwood (writer), Dame Monica Mason (the Royal Ballet director), Christopher Le Brun (artist), and Colin Tweedy (vice-president, Arts & Business).
Full details of the honourees from 2008 to 2012 are available at www.artsandbusiness.org.uk.