Yesterday, I rolled out a redesigned version of our [photo galleries page]
The old design included a mess of boxes using our CMS’s default templates: one for feature photography, a whole bunch of tiny boxes for user-contributed photos, a bunch more boxes for news, sports and “feature” galleries — the distinction between them being vague, and a lonely slider at the bottom with “historical” photos.
The new design capitalizes on the features brought to the site by our inclusion of Twitter’s Bootstrap framework and greatly reduced the number of elements on the page.
We have a slider at the top showing what we call “Wild Art,” feature photography that does not accompany a story — standalone photos.
Beneath that, an uneven grid of galleries that is more interesting to the eye and doesn’t truncate headlines or item descriptions like the old design did. (The old design made it nearly impossible to actually read what a gallery was about due to the truncation.)
And that’s it. No more indistinct separation of sports and news and “feature” galleries. The user is left to decide which gallery he or she will view by the appeal of its cover photo.
On top of all that, it gave me another opportunity to break out [David DeSandro’s excellent Masonry plugin for jQuery](http://masonry.desandro.com/), which takes items of uneven heights and stacks them in an interlocking way. With Masonry, a box that’s too tall no longer ruins your grid.
Though the layout of the page has been simplified, that doesn’t mean I won’t at some point add user contributed photos back into the mix. However, at this point we’ve found that sharing users’ photos is much easier on the social networks like Facebook, where they are likely to get more attention and more re-shares than on our site.
If you have any questions about the new design — or any complaints, be sure to let me know.