Our team has been toiling away behind the scenes for months now on making the homepage do two main things: load faster, and work better on mobile phones. We hear those are popular. With that comes a host of other changes. Let's get into them, starting with the top of the page.
First of all, we're saying goodbye to the old SmSh logo.
It has aged better than some of us, but it's looking a little dated. Rest easy, old friend.
Say hello to the new logo (which we've been using everywhere except the top left of the homepage for ages)!
Superlative! To the right of that, we've got something that we've been trialling for a little while already:
The New Search Bar
It's hard creating a search bar that'll output everything we have on the city, but we do our best. The new and improved search bar should be better at showing venues, events and articles if you are looking for something specifically. Results are split up a little more clearly, and we're now better at grouping related things.
Your Favorites Are Now at the Top of the Page
We've added a way to more easily access your favorite Venues, Buy&Sell and Housing listings. It's synced across all your devices, so if you favorite something on the site, it'll be visible when you log onto your tablet or phone with the SmartShanghai app, and vice versa. Cross-platform hearts! We're practically giving our heart away.
All Submissions In One Place
In the past, you had to scroll all the way to the bottom of the page to submit a venue, list an event, post a job, something on the buy & sell, or your apartment for rent. And that handy-dandy footer is still there, but we've now also moved it to the top of the page. For ease of access.
In case you didn't know you could submit pretty much whatever you wanted onto the site, now you know! You can stop WeChatting us at 4am about putting your brunch yoga masterclass on the site! Just use the website! All of our listings are free of charge for the basic versions. Send us your events, your deals, your venues, your apartment rentals and your second-hand electronics for sale.
New Thumb-Friendly Browser Bar!
We have built up a lot of sections over the years, and we haven't been presenting them in the best way. In hindsight, a five column excel sheet with size 10 font may not have been the best way to design the directory dropdown. Here, this is much easier.
Boom. Browser bar. A faster way of browsing our directories for whatever you need.
Events Are Now What's On & Deals
SmartShanghai has had the longest running curated editorial event coverage in Shanghai. All this article stuff we do? Basically grew out of that. In the past, the events box underneath the main articles has been a little clunky, so we put it at the top and all the way down the right side of the page.
Click through and you'll still find the events list through to the end of time if you want to plan past today or tomorrow. You plucky optimist you.
We're also going to be highlighting deals more! It has a whole section to itself, where we'll be putting up ways to save money on food, drink and more that we think are good and worth your precious screen real estate.
Oh, Right, The Articles!
We still do those! Big change, honestly so big we're still wrapping our heads around it: Wires and Articles have been folded into one article feed. In the past, we've kept it so that Articles were bigger, longer, prettier pieces that we spent a lot of time on, while Wires were shorter things we could get out faster. In reality though, having two separate article feeds was just a bit messy, and made it pretty hard to look at the website on a phone. So now they are one.
Don't worry, Wires aren't totally gone! In the interest of feeding you more (not less) information as we get it, we've put up the "News" underneath the article section (just above the new "Topics" bar), where we'll be dropping updates. It's a little further to scroll for you, but it's worth it. Plus, dear reader, sweet reader, it gets your juicy, juicy eyeballs closer to the new Brand Studio box, and let us tell you, those views are a real big help when our sales team meets with advertisers.
Brand Studio Gets Its Own Box
We clearly label our paid Brand Studio content, and now it has its own high-visibility, hazard yellow box. Maybe you want your brand on there? Maybe you want a story that looks as good as this one or this one? Feel free to contact our sales team.
On the Radar Gets Its Own Box
Hey look! A place for all the coverage we have of the latest openings, in one handy-dandy spot. We used to have it in this little box underneath the events page, but we feel it deserved a scrolling carousel, like a F&B merry-go-round.
More Boxes As Collections Gets Its Own Box!
We have like seventeen squillion billion venues in our directory, and frankly, not calling anyone out, they're not always great. Collections is where we put curated selections of venues that we, the editors, have actually visited, actually liked, and actually taken photos of. If the venue directory is a phonebook, then the collections is your carefully selected WeChat group for your slacklining buddies.
Housing Gets An Especially Nice Looking Box!
SmartShanghai is still here to find you a place to live. Even though we've got the most active English-language housing classifieds in Shanghai, we wanted something nicer than a list of entries like "living/5br/duplex/250sqm/Baoshan/25k only," so Housing gets its own super cool box. Presenting your new portal to the housing section.
Those photos in the back? Those are actual housing listings up on the site, right now.
All of the 7,000+ housing listings on the site right now are approved by mods, and we filter out agencies with bad reputations so you don't have to worry about getting scammed (well, not more than usual anyway, which is why we write a lot of articles on the subject).
Buy&Sell Gets A Relatively Okay Box
The Buy & Sell box looks similar, it just has more listings visible!
Jobs, Jobs, Jobs, Jobs In A Box
Need a job? We got jobs. Need someone to fill a job? We got those too. This looks similar to the old way we did it, because frankly, that way didn't seem all that broken. So it just looks a little nicer!
SmartTicket Gets Top Billing at the Bottom
Say hi to the SmartTicket box! Big, colorful links to fabulous shows, theater, music, museums, exhibitions, exclusive deals on hotel stays and spas, so on and so forth.
Now with additional button in case you want to sell tickets to your own event on SmartTicket.
And That's Not All...
There're more little tweaks here and there, and this only describes how the website looks on desktops! Try opening it on a mobile phone and see how those nifty little boxes dance around each other to fit on your handheld. Magic. Technology!
So there you have it. The first homepage redesign in like a decade. Give it a try, kick the wheels, let us know if anything is broken and keep checking SmartShanghai to see what other bits and bobs we have planned.