PSDFan Extra

PSDFAN Relaunches!

PSDFAN Version 4!

Huge news today PSDFANs! We’re officially launching version 4 of the blog. We’ve been working incredibly hard behind the scenes on this version, which accounts for a slight slow in updates lately.

Rather than rave about how much I personally love the new design, I thought I’d show you exactly what’s new with the new design. We’ve included a lot of great new features, stripped away a lot of unnecessary stuff from the old design, and improved loads of existing features.

A Simpler, Cleaner Design

Well, perhaps most obviously, PSDFAN v4 comes with a super sleek new design. We decided to cut out all unnecessary content with this design, and really improve the user experience. The new simpler design should be far easier to browse, with less distractions, and a greater focus on content.

We decided to include less ad-zones, and scrap in post ads (we had some complaints about these overwhelming RSS feed content). We’ve also scrapped the user-link feed, which had been left unused for months. Also gone are the friend section, popular posts area (which no-one seemed to use!) and random images dotted around the layout.

You can see a comparison below of how much simpler the new design is:

The new design is not only much simpler, but loads far quicker than the old version!

Easier Browsing

We know that the content is why you’re here! That’s why we’ve made this design much easier to browse.

You can now browse easily by category and sub-category, via a clear drop down menu. It was much harder to reach a sub-categories within the old design. We’ve totally re-organized our navigational structure, making it much more suited towards our audience. For example, if you want to find a specific icon tutorial, you can just jump to icon tutorials in one click via the new menu.

We’ve also improved our search option, and categorized each post in more detail, making it easier to jump between related posts.

When viewing a category page you can easily browse posts according to date, and now also popularity! This easily lets you check out our most popular posts, within ANY category!

Threaded Comments

This may seem like a small improvement, but I really hope that threaded comments will help promote our great sense of community. This should encourage discussion among readers, and let me easily respond to each of you individually!

Threaded comments should allow for more discussions within posts.

Easily Jump Between Network Sites

As we’re expanding our network, we wanted it to be very easy to jump between the network blogs, creating a feeling of unison between all parts of the FanExtra network. You’ll notice that if you hover over ‘part of the FanExtra network’ next to our logo, you can easily jump to any site in our network. You’ll notice ‘BlogsFan’ in this list, which we’re very excited about, and is coming soon!

We’ve included a sleek slide down menu to help navigate around our expanding network. Gotta love that J-query! :)

Much Improved Content Styling

Personally when I read a blog one of the main things that makes me enjoy the experience is how well the content is laid out. I was aware of several issues with the old PSDFAN design (for example, we only had one type of heading, meaning that you couldn’t establish any kind of hierarchy whilst scanning posts).

In this new version we’ve used a larger font for the main content, which is far easier to read. We’ve also integrated better link styling, and a variety of heading sizes to help you scan posts easier. We’ll also be integrating various other content styling to help make our posts easier to read.

What Do You Think?

I’d absolutely love to hear what you guys think of the new design!

We’ll be fixing up a few minor final bugs over the next couple of days, so please bear with us. However, hopefully you’ll enjoy the new look as much as we do.


About the Author:

Tom is the founder of PSDFAN. He loves writing tutorials, learning more about design and interacting with the community. On a more interesting note he can also play guitar hero drunk with his teeth.

Leave a comment

20 Comments:

  1. Erik says:

    Hi Tom,

    Nice job!
    I love the new design.

    One small point of critique: The bottom of the button in the Search form is one pixel above the bottom of the search field (Firefix 3.6.13), but otherwise, GREAT!

    • Tom says:

      Thanks a lot Eric! :) It’s a huge improvement I think.

      The button is actually 1px below the form for me in Safari. I’ll try and get this looked at though.

  2. Mike Smith says:

    Nice job Tom, everything looks much improved and cleaner. The only thing I can see that might be an issue is with the images in the post, with a white background in the image, they don’t separate themselves from the content so it’s hard to tell where the content is and the images are (ie: where the “threaded comments” image is).

    Other than that, brilliant work.

    • Tom says:

      Thanks Mike! That’s definitely an issue I’m looking at. I think I’ll probably introduce a border to in-post images. I appreciate the kind words though :) .

  3. Matthew Craig says:

    Looking really nice! I really did enjoy the previous version a tad more however as I thought it was a bit more unique. I drew lots of inspiration from that design and would consider it one of my favs.

    The only issue I have with this new design is with your dropdown menu with your network sites. If you moveover then mouseout a few times you get this continuous motion which can be really confusing and annoying to users. To fix it, go into your scripts.js file, find the // Alakazam section and add in a .stop(true, true) before .slideDown(); and also again before .slideUp()

    • Tom says:

      Thanks Matthew! I agree that the previous design was more arty, but as we’re expanding our network it was simply impractical. This clean design really lets use focus on content and community interaction a lot more.

      Thanks so much for that code snippet btw! That drop down issue was bugging me, so I’ll try and get it fixed soon.

  4. Bruno says:

    Really crisp and nice! Well done!

  5. Trisha Cupra says:

    Love the much cleaner look. Good work!

    The small logo for PSDFan kind of gets lost in the design, though. The large font in the nav bar and the bright ad both compete with the logo (and the logo loses the battle).

    I’d have liked to have seen a slightly darker gray background across the full width of the screen behind the logo and the search form, to make the more prominent.

    • Tom says:

      Thanks Trisha! We’re liking it a lot so far :) .

      I agree that the logo isn’t perhaps as prominent as it could be, but to be honest I was really trying to focus more on content/browsing in this design, and so for me the logo wasn’t as important as these things.

  6. Scott Norris says:

    Sharp! Congratulations on the new design and relaunch.

  7. DinD says:

    Hi Tom,

    the new design is a good improvement!

    One tip: perhaps you can combine the graphic of the number of rss-feed followers/twitter followers with the “Subscription Options”.
    Currently that gets divided by the “FanExtra Membership”.

    Would seem more natural to me.

    For the rest: good luck and keep up!

    • Tom says:

      Thanks DinD! We’re actually going to have a second ad unit dividing those areas, so hopefully that will feel more natural. I just didn’t want the rss/twitter options pushed down the page too much as they’re pretty important.

  8. Giorgos says:

    I love the new design, great job! The white background is far more pleasant to the eye for reading a blog post! ;)

  9. Eric Vasquez says:

    Wow – Great job on this Tom! I remember you mentioned that you were in the process of working to relaunch and the revamped site looks really slick!

    I love the subtle texture in the header, and the way all of the information is organized seems very intuitive.

  10. Narendra Keshkar says:

    Great work Tom, it’s a giant leap towards quality and presentation.

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