We made hundreds of changes large and small. We also made technical changes behind the scenes that will lay the groundwork for us to introduce many new tools and features for authors and readers alike in 2014.
Among the highlights of the redesign:
- The Smashwords home page – We doubled the number of books listed on the Smashwords home page from ten to 20, added 27 new book category filters to increase discoverability, added live stats for the number of books published and the number of free books, and organized the navigation elements around logical categories.
- Responsive design – We adopted what’s called a “responsive design,” which among web designer circles refers to a design approach that optimizes the user’s experience across different browsers, devices and screen sizes. View the site on your desktop computer and then resize your browser to see how every page’s content resizes and reorients as you make the width narrower or wider.
- Dramatically enhanced mobile support – Our previous mobile version of the site was, to put it kindly, limited. The new mobile experience – whether you’re accessing the site from a smart phone or tablet – is darn near beautiful. Our improved mobile support is enabled by our responsive design. It preserves user access to nearly all the same features you’d expect from a large browser on a desktop computer, making it easy for mobile users to browse and discover books without pining for a larger screen.
- Redesigned book pages – The new book pages make it faster and easier for readers to discover, sample and purchase books. The download links have been moved to the top section of the page to minimize scrolling. New slider bars display book covers of other books in the same series, other books by the author, and other books by the publisher.
- Updated Dashboard – The Dashboard features that once occupied the vertical left navigation column have now been moved into grids at the top of the page, organized under categorizes of Sales Reporting, Metadata Management and Marketing & Distribution Tools.
- Updated Account Page – The Account tab has been reorganized around logical categories to give you quicker access to the controls you want. The categories include About Me, Buying Books, Selling Books, Payments for Authors and Publishers, and Account Status.
- Updated Library – We actually rolled this out a couple weeks ago but didn’t announce it. The library is now faster, prettier and provides better support for power-users with hundreds of books.
Did I write “million+”? Yes. The Smashwords site receives millions of visits and over 10 million page views each month.
Do you know writers who haven’t yet published at Smashwords? If so, please let them know what they’re missing.
Special thanks to Case Talbot (the fine woman who also created Smashwords Interviews) on our engineering team who led this effort, as well as our design consultants Jami and Bryan at 2Wongs Studios, and Smashwords authors, customers and team members who contributed to this redesign.
Our work is not finished. We view today’s refresh as the first of many iterative steps that will make it easier for our authors to publish, distribute and manage their books, and make it easier for readers to discover and enjoy them. We look forward to your comments, suggestions and bug reports.