Redesign Update: First Set of Changes Coming on March 22


Howdy, Catsters!

As we noted in our last site update, changes for the better are in the works, and our team is working hard to make Catster the best site it can be. As a heads-up, we thought we’d let you know to expect some differences on March 22nd, next Monday. These changes are an interim phase as we prepare for larger site design changes coming soon.

Next Monday you will not see any change in the design of the pages (colors, graphics, etc.) just yet, but you will see the following:

  1. No more left navigation
  2. Some changes to the top navigation bar
  3. All pages will be wider

In a few months you will see a much bigger set of changes: the overall look of Dogster and Catster will really evolve. We’re talking colors, graphics, some new pages, a new way to navigate the site and so on.

We’d like to make it clear at this stage that there will be no changes to pet page functionality during these two launches. We have a long list of suggestions, requests and great ideas from all of you as to how to improve the pet pages, pmail, and other site features. We just want to clarify that these two upcoming launches concern basic site framing, design and navigation and will not include any changes or additions to the functionality of specific features like pet pages, forums or groups.

We also want you to know that we hear you on how great it would be to have bigger photos on pet pages, for example, and that’s in the works! But changes like that are not launching just yet. We need to do these big changes incrementally. Doing it all at once would be a lot for us to bite off and a lot to ask you to adjust to.

This last week we’ve heard some concerns about the widening of pet pages from those of you who have spent a lot of time and creative energy decorating your pages. The main concerns seem to boil down to a couple of issues, which we’d like to respond to here:

  • Page centering: Page centering will be happening so that your blog backgrounds will continue to look great on your pet pages. You will see this change on Monday!
  • Drop-down menus on nav buttons: We are adding a drop-down menu to one button on the nav bar. This is to accommodate losing the left nav and to provide easier access to My Account features. These will not interfere with pages, as they are only open when you hover over the menu button. We will most likely not be using drop downs in the new navigation coming next.
  • Moving the bios down on pet pages: As noted above, we will not be changing the layout of the pet pages at all except to make them wider. This should work to move some content from the right column further up the page, not down, as there will be more room for content to spread out.

We ask that you hang in there and be patient with us as we make these changes. The design changes are part of our larger plan for improvements to the site. Remember, we haven’t changed the design of the site in many years – we’re long overdue and really excited about getting a facelift! There will be some bumps along the way with pet pages and group pages, where you have all built wonderful, creative designs that work with our current site coding. There will be some growing pains as we update our code and design and we will continue to communicate with you about these changes as specifically as we can.

Thank you for loving Catster, we love you right back!

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