Thursday, 8 December 2011


An all too telling image of the messy wondrousness of Film Studies For Free?

It is a truth almost certainly universally acknowledged that, in so far as Film Studies For Free is known at all, it is known for its content rather than for its distinctly generic design. But some (long-overdue) design and layout changes are definitely on the horizon in the new year.

This website will almost certainly be adopting what's known in Blogger's jargon as a 'Dynamic Views' format, just as soon as some of the gremlins and limitations of this new system are ironed out. The most pressing issue to resolve first will be to find out how to accommodate the veritable riches of FSFF's standalone pages and sidebar content in the new format.

In the meantime, FSFF would like to offer its readers the chance to express a preference for any of the basic options that it is considering for its makeover. If you click on the links below, you can see how this blog would look in the different dynamic views on offer.

Your own dynamic views on this matter would be most appreciated. So, if you have any preferences, or indeed any other thoughts to express about the future look and functionality of FSFF, please leave them in a comment below or email this blog.

Thank you.
  • Classic: A modern twist on a traditional template, with infinite scrolling and images that load as you go
  • Flipcard - Site photos are tiled across the page and flip to reveal the post title
  • Magazine - A clean, elegant editorial style layout 
  • Mosaic - A mosaic mix of different sized images and text
  • Sidebar - An email inbox-like view with a reading page for quick scrolling and browsing
  • Snapshot - An interactive pinboard of posts 
  • Timeslide  - A horizontal view of posts by time period

Read more on the Dynamic View styles.


Just Another Film Buff said...

Classic! (Runner up: Sidebar!!)

Anonymous said...

Magazine works best. It gives prime attention to the most recent post but then, unlike Classic, previous posts are given equal footing.

If you're going to retain Classic you may as well not opt for Dynamic Views at all.

Sidebar doesn't appear as interactive, or encourage casual browsing, because it truncates post titles.

The others seem too much like Tumblr pages, which might suit other blogs but not something more exhaustive and academic as FSFF.

Anonymous said...


girish said...

Sorry if this completely unhelpful but this old fogey likes Classic best!

Omar Ahmed said...

I'm thinking to switch over too but currently if you do then you end up losing your sidebars. The visual look on blogger is a lot stronger now and catching up to wordpress. I would personally second JAFB and go for the timeless classic look! Oh yes, good chance to say thank you for all the hard work you have done this year! Your posts have been vital for research! Thanks Catherine!

Anonymous said...

Classic. With some of the other more visually oriented layouts, I can't even navigate the page easily to skim the first few lines of the article.

Sarah said...

Classic, with Sidebar as a second choice. I agree, all of the others are too much like Tumblr's archives page or other Tumblr designs to really work with a blog that has a lot of text.

Nick Redfern said...

If FSFF is famous for anything it is making content easily available in as simple a format as possible, and content is what people want. Yes it's nice to have an intersting design, but to be honest I don't think that any of the proposed designs do that as well as the current format. There are too many gimmicks that do not make it clear what the content is in some these designs.

When I chose the first design for Research into Film I picked the simplest and the cleanest; and I did the same when I updated it earlier this year. The best one to pick is one with the least amount of design/gimmicks/features.

LTorchin said...

Another vote for classic. What it seems to lose in dynamism it more than makes up for in functionality and navigability.

FFRF is extraordinary as an information aggregator and resource. The other formats, while pretty, tend to obscure the lovingly and thoughtfully curated content.

Will I still be able to subscribe via RSS?

watch movies said...

While I do agree that many times the simple-is-best approach is the favorable one, in this case I have to argue in favor of mosaic. It combines maximum exposure to content (without having to scroll scroll...) and the ability to obtain some basic information about what captures your eyes…go mosaic!

ECester said...

I prefer Magazine, without a doubt. The posts are very well organized, and you can see old posts more easily. The photos catch the reader's attention and as the posts show a piece of their content, you can see at a glance which one you're interested in.

jonyangorg said...

In case you want to go in another direction, has a lot of templates that are basically one click to install.

Catherine Grant said...

Thanks everyone so much for your thoughts. And thanks very much also to all those who emailed me about the proposed makover at FSFF.

I did, at first, like the simplicity of Classic, but the more I play with these views the more I can see that Magazine will work really well.

So, that's what I'm thinking about at the moment. In the new year, as soon as I can find a way of showcasing the sidebar contents and FSFF's standalone pages, I will press the 'update' button...

One advantage of the new dymnamic formatting is that readers can choose the view that they like best. So, hopefully, win,win!

Catherine Grant said...

And Leshu: RSS feeds should be unaffected. :)