Development started way back in July this year for a complete overhaul of the site, since then there have been 10 variants of the new design which originally started out as v4.0 as well as changes to our server plan. We've built this from the ground up, rather than modifying old code. Neowin is now running on brand new servers to make things go that little bit quicker.
So without further ado here is an image view of the mockup that we finalized on October 5th (also reffered to as a lockdown). Toxikk is currently coding this off-site in a test area.
As you can see from the preview, we've tried to maintain the basic layout of Neowin. Sidemenu on the right, news to the left. These core features aside, we've changed a lot. Here's a list of the big things.
- Major Changes
- Sections can now be accessed by Tabs, The section you are on remains 'Active'
- Recent news can be viewed across 4 sections, hovering above a title shows 5 posts from that section
- Top story/Review preview area and Menu items can be collapsed/expanded, your preference is saved
- Themes are now entirely controlled by CSS and semantic & valid XHTML - thus allowing us to deliver a more rich experience at the click of a button along with providing cross browser support on all of todays most popular browsers.
- Enhanced image loading techniques are being utilized to greatly reduce page load times and HTTP server requests (Statistic: Current build weighs roughly 50% less than the current main page design)
- The CMS (Content Management System) has been totally rewritten and integrates into IPB 2.1 meaning we can now deliver dynamic content rather than static pages.
- Comments rating, trackbacks and enhanced user options for tracking news stories that interest you (keyword tagging on news & search)
We hope you like it. Neowin 5 will be launched sometime this month, first for load testing. Feel free to leave feedback!
Update The current design (v3.9) will be re-released on our new servers as Neowin 3.9s (Neowin SWIFT) Toxikk has been secretly working away on a validated, lighter version of the current theme. This will give everyone the option to switch from our new design back to 3.9 which we won't be dropping as a user option.
Screenshot: Full Preview Neowin v5.0 (Blue)