Sidepodcast // All for F1 and F1 for all

Grand redesigns // Making Sidepodcast the best it can be on as many devices as possible

Published by Mr. C

A little over a week ago, we revamped the Sidepodcast homepage. After feeling pretty good about the initial look and feel, we turned our attention to the mobile experience.

Today, we are able to introduce a homepage redesign for the small(er) screen.

The new, new homepage as viewed on an iPhone
The new, new homepage as viewed on an iPhone

Everyday I'm shufflin

It would not be an exaggeration to suggest Christine has become extremely attached to her portable devices of late. A tablet travels with her wherever she is in the house and the girl now spends more time talking to her phone than she does to me. Mobile usability on Sidepodcast has therefore become very important to us.

Of course Christine isn't by any means the only person accessing this site on the go. During live races, the number of tablet users following updates has exploded since the start of this year. F1 fans have truly taken to the dual-screen viewing experience.

Until now, browsing the site on anything other than a desktop machine required a significant amount of pinching and panning to squeeze text on screen at a legible size. However from here on in, content can respond to the size of your glass by reflowing text and images to make the most of limited space. The days of shuffling pages around the screen should hopefully be over - at least on our homepage.

With nowt left out

It is important to stress that this is not an alternate mobile version of the site - content remains the same regardless of the device you use. Nothing has been removed in the process, simply repurposed to aid usability. For example, your fingers are naturally larger and less accurate than a traditional mouse pointer, so certain elements such as buttons and links will increase in size to make selection easier.

Vettel's looking just as good on an Android device
Vettel's looking just as good on an Android device

Quite a bit of work has gone into page layout at multiple resolutions. To begin with, we've focussed on portrait and landscape arrangements on both phone and tablet sized screens.

Testing has been carried out on Apple, Android and Opera mobile browsers and we're pretty happy with initial results. If you don't have any mobile device to hand, you can also make your window progressively larger or smaller to see page reflow in action.

There are plenty more improvements and optimisations still to come and we're painfully aware that this is just one page on a site containing thousands. There is an awful lot of work ahead and the challenge of moving a page such as the dashboard to a tiny screen will no doubt cause many a sleepless night. The end goal though, is to transition every aspect of the site to the new design and make it look great on as many screens as possible.

Please do give the new, new homepage a try on whatever screen you have. Let us know if you experience problems and be sure to keep your mobile browser up-to-date for the best experience possible.

All content in the series 2011/12 site redesign