IEEE Spectrum's New Web Site

Snack on content all day long or dive deep into your favorite topics

3 min read

An early sketch of an article

An early sketch of an article page

Welcome to the new IEEE Spectrum web site and the age of HTML5 and CSS3.

One of the first things you’ll notice about the site is that it sizes to fit your screen, whether you’re viewing it on a TV, desktop monitor, laptop or tablet. We’ve made it easier to browse all of our latest content on the homepage. You can also sort the stories by what other readers are viewing, and what they’re commenting on by clicking the tabs on the left. If you prefer a more ordered grid of stories, you can also change the layout with the controls to the right.  

There are various ways for you to explore our vast trove of technology news and analysis, like the rich navigation menu that lets you explore engineering topics, special reports, multimedia, our award winning magazine and sponsored content including our popular webinars and whitepapers. If you’re looking for something specific, you can use our improved search, accessible from the navigation bar, to input your own queries and to see what other people are searching for.

You’ll notice that our search results page provides better sorting and filtering controls to help you find exactly what you’re looking for the first time around. Our content pages have been revamped to be easier to read, with bigger, more legible fonts and a wider area for larger pictures. Our videos and podcasts are presented in a big, bold format and our blogs have been spiffed up with new landing pages and logos. The sidebar content is related to the item you’re reading, so a deeper dive is always just a click away. We’ve also added our entire archive of features from the print magazine back to 2001.

A “mood board” from design explorations in early 2012

We’ve spent more than a year designing and coding this latest version and have received lots of guidance from our users along the way, whether from in-person usability tests or from suggestions you’ve sent us on our beta site. In response:

  • We made the masking effect on sidebar content more subtle and robust
  • We changed the font on articles to make it more readable
  • We reduced much of the vertical whitespace and footprint of the header section, so more content appears without scrolling
  • We reduced the size of article headlines
  • We moved ads to the far right of the page when possible.
  • We've added a section for a featured article on the homepage, so readers instantly know what Spectrum’s editors think is most important in addition to what's most recent, most viewed and most commented

Every great web site is in perpetual beta mode and ours is no exception. We have a lot more features that we’ll be rolling out over the course of the next several months. These include new pages that will feature the biography and work of individual contributors, landing pages devoted to our ongoing podcast, video and slideshow series, and some filters to let you drill down to exactly what you want to see on our homepage and topics pages. In addition, we’ll be tackling some of the improvements you’ve already asked for on our beta site, including:

  • Optimizing the article reading experience for large displays 
  • Providing a list view, for users who would prefer to scan a vertical list of stories on the home page
  • Making the sticky navigation bar dismissible by the user
  • Fixing bugs that affect specific browsers and screen sizes 
  • Updating our audio/video player. (We've updated our slideshow/gallery player to use only HTML and javascript. The video/podcast player still uses Flash by default, but falls back to HTML5 on non-Flash devices. We plan to make HTML5 playback the default.)

The improvements won’t stop there. If you see something you don’t like or have an idea about how to improve what we’ve got, please use the feedback widget on the right. And while no web site is perfect, our development team of head developer Ken Liu, programmer analyst Aranya Das, QA analyst Bharath Khambadkone, associate editor Josh Romero and senior art director Mark Montgomery is as close to perfect as there is in the magazine business. We have them, and the great design team at Method, to thank for a site flexible, responsive, and beautiful enough to stand the test of web time: That is, a site that can respond not only to your screen size, but to whatever new social widget, ad type, web font, commenting platform, data visualization tool, analytics engine, or multimedia standard comes to prominence tomorrow or next year. So dive into the new IEEE Spectrum site. We hope you never leave, but if you do, keep coming back. There’s always going to be something new to see.

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