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Under Construction! TORn gets a Facelift

October 17, 2012 at 3:18 pm by admin  - 

Mind the dust! We’re undergoing a bit of a face-lift over the next few days and would greatly appreciate your patience as we finalize all the details. Once it is finally done we’ll make an announcement with an explanation of all the new exciting features! Thank you!

Posted in Headlines, Announcements, Community on October 17, 2012 by
The One Ring

26 responses to “Under Construction! TORn gets a Facelift”

  1. Responsive design!!! One thing it’s missing, though: add @-ms-viewport { width: device-width; } to the CSS so that the viewport will scale correctly in IE10’s snapped mode.

  2. timbutt2 says:

    So far I’m really liking the new design!!!

  3. Tyler says:

    A great improvement! I hope the new design encourages people to reply to posts on the website!

  4. Frenz says:

    I’m digging this already.

  5. Grr says:

    I’d rather have the headlines easily readable like they were before. You are forcing visitors to click on each headline one at a time. Its annoying and a step back, imo.

  6. JWPlatt says:


    it would be nice to see a link to the archival effort the Mathom House wiki represents put in a prominent place that motivates people to use and contribute to it to preserve your history.

    Also, another well known website,, devoted to fan-style news like you, recently upgraded their own website. Please take a serious look at the high-quality job they did that looks a lot like what you are trying to achieve. It actually looks quite similar and is very attractive the way it integrates everything on the page within the margins – like a real paper.

    I feel the way this page currently breaks things out beyond both the left and right edges of the page does not look as good. You have a nice white piece of paper with things hanging off the sides. I recommend widening your white sheet, keep the left side exclusively for article text (no link menu, no graphic links) with accompanying pictures and put all the special graphics, link and menu on the right. That lets us read the news you want to report without distraction in a more attractive format.

    Again, take a look at how does it where everything is integrated like a newspaper and see what you find agreeable to your needs.

  7. HI all, we are still in the process of transitioning to our new design – but for those of you specifically looking for the ‘old style’ of news, we’ve added ‘Blog News’ up top. That will serve the same purpose! Hope that helps – more updates coming soon!

  8. Check out the ‘Blog News’ up top now – that should account for that Grr

  9. Thanks for the tip Theodore!

  10. TechnicallyInsane says:

    Excellent design in all aspects. Love the fonts especially:)

  11. TechnicallyInsane says:

    Noticed a bug: When reading a post, clicking on site logo will lead you to the page that you are currently reading, not the homepage.

  12. Thanks! Got that fixed for you.

  13. Thanks for that…got it implemented now. Let me know if that fixes it.

  14. Drew Avery says:

    From a long-time reader and fan, excellent job. Website looks wonderful.

  15. JWPlatt says:


    mentioned that while your white space looks pretty good, things off to the side
    look like they were put there because there was nowhere else to put them – i.e., not well-integrated.

    given the page a bit more attention and I can’t figure out the purpose of how
    your articles are grouped down the page. The purpose may be clear in your minds,
    but it doesn’t come across to me. Maybe it’s me, so I would like to understand
    it better.

    have some articles under an ad banner, then a Newsletter Signup banner under
    that, but there’s also a Newsletter Signup on the right margin (it’s generally
    confusing in web design to give people two ways to do the same thing so close
    together – the user wonders why or thinks there must be a reason, hence the
    confusion). The Newsletter Signup banner is given a *lot* of space that could
    be used for articles. It’s better off on the right side because folks expect articles there and contact info in the menus or margins.

    the Newsletter Signup banner, there’s another section of articles, this time with tabs.
    That’s what’s confusing me. What’s the difference between the top section and
    this section? I ask this hypothetically because I shouldn’t need an explanation. It should be intuitive. I don’t see any textual or graphical clues that explain it. So why not combine them
    into the same section at the top and have an additional tab? Then you have all those
    options without scrolling down so far and more room for more stuff.

    I’ve carefully looked at everything you’re doing in the left and right margins.
    As I said, I don’t think those margins flatter your new layout, which is very
    nice for the most part. Everything in both margins could be placed on the
    right in larger sections on a wider whitespace without losing functionality,
    content, impact, or expanding the total width of the page as it stands.

    you believe it is worth my while, and you are interested, it wouldn’t be too
    tough for me to spend some time on a mock-up of what I mean. It’s just
    some rearranging of layout and not a change of content.

  16. Grr says:

    Splendid! All is right with the world again!

  17. Grr says:

    Splendid! All is right with the world again!

  18. Well done! I really like the new look.

  19. jbmig51 says:

    Wow! Wow! Wow! One more little tweek to the site ….The leather has got to be red! Or at least a little more red/burgundy. Otherwise it’s perfect!

  20. Big MEH from me says:

    It *looks* nice but I *hate* that I can’t read the stories without clicking on each one individually. Three line summaries are no good to anyone. In summary: All style and no substance.

  21. JWPlatt says:

    I’m a believer in putting your money where your mouth is. I’ve said the new website design is great but lacks integration. I have produced this layout proposal to illustrate what I mean. I have signed my work, but I put this design in the public domain and offer it for your use.

    Please excuse my font and color where it is different. I did this as quickly as possible and did not stop for fonts or color corrections.

    One thing I should note is that I do not understand why there are two blog/article summary sections on the front page – one without tabs and one with tabs (The Hobbit, LOTR, Gaming, Library). It seems to me these two blocks can be combined to save on function, duplication, wasted space and the effort to find information. It’s easier for the user to know there’s just one place they have to look for the info they want. I did not add a tab in this illustration, but if there is actually a difference, a tab should be added instead of the whole block replicated.

    Please see this full size and resolution download:

    I have uploaded a small version as well.

    Improvements with this layout:

    – It looks like it follows real physical rules – items do not float or defy a sense of gravity.
    – More article summaries appear on the front page.
    – All options and information integrated onto the menu and the white space.
    – The menu and other content has not changed from the new design – it’s all there – and more.
    – The most recent article has not lost its position of importance.
    – Advertising is assumed a priority, perhaps contractual, and has not lost is position of importance.
    – Advertising is all the same size as it was.
    – Page width has actually been reduced by integrating margin info into a wider white space.
    – User input for search and newsletter are on same side of page – less mouse, eye and hand movement.
    – No confusing choice between where to enter newsletter info – one place where it is expected instead of two.
    – All marginal information presented on one side to save eye, hand and mouse movement and reduce fatigue.
    – All articles begin their text on the left edge of the whites pace just like people are accustomed to on real paper.
    – Tabbed article categories make all articles available – no duplication of upper and lower article sections that waste space.
    – Mouse distance between all options is reduced.

    I’ll put this in the comment section as well.

    Thanks for taking the time to look and consider.

  22. Scott Estes says:

    More Ad revenue that way and more “optimized” for tablets. As much as it might suck it’s the future of web design.

  23. Bill Thomas says:

    We have provided the “Blog News” link at the top and below the headlines to have a view similar to the old style, with at least a tease for each story before clicking. So we aren’t all about the ad revenue, if we were maybe I wouldn’t have to have so many conversations with other staff that start with “We have no money for”

  24. Si Cousins says:

    Sorry folks, don’t like it, why change what wasn’t broken

  25. JWPlatt says:

    It’s a workaround, but not a solution because now you have to explain about how there’s a button and what it does for people to see all the news. “Blog News” doesn’t really say that, which is why you have to explain it in a post. That means it’s unintuitive. The explanation will get lost while the condition remains. News belongs on the front page unless you prefer to be more of a portal than a news service. The solution is to give people what they want without a workaround. Consolidation of your two redundant news summary blocks into a single block (ask yourselves why are there two of the same thing taking up space) would open up more vertical space for either a fuller lead article or several more longer article summaries. This is what I tried to represent in my previous graphical suggestion, among other things.

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