Welcome to the New BimmerFile

Oct 30 • BF Feature, Site News22 Comments

We ‘re changing things at BimmerFile. It ‘s been almost five years since we launched the site and over ten since we launched it ‘s sister site MotoringFile. And during that time we ‘ve seen content change. For instance things have gone from blog-like and personal to more video, review focused on this site and others. In addition, our audience ‘s expectations have changed as well. Sites like Pinterest and the proliferation of apps on smartphones has changed the way people read and interact with content. Finally our audience isn ‘t just sitting at a desk and looking at the site on a computer. More often our readers are catching the site on the couch via an iPad or even at work on their smartphone.

So today we ‘re redesigning BimmerFile with it all in mind. The first things you ‘ll see is a new layout that focuses on featured stories that rotate via large images at the top. Then you ‘ll see a more efficient layout of recent stories which will allow for quicker browsing of content. Also worth nothing are the three content areas on the right site that break-out Reviews, Motorsport and Official news for quick reads.

Beyond theses changes there ‘s one massive one under the hood. With this redesign BimmerFile has gone 100% responsive. This means the site will seamlessly re-organize itself to whatever size screen you ‘re using. Be it laptop, tablet or smartphone the site will deliver relevant layout and content. The key word though is will. There ‘s still work to be done optimizing for both mobile and tablet.

But enough of the details. Instead we ‘d like to invite you in to kick the tires and check it out.

Yes there are likely some issues here and there – especially in mobile and tablet. And in some cases we ‘ve done away with a few small features in a bid to simplify the site and it ‘s content strategy. But that doesn ‘t mean it ‘s 100% right. If you find something broken, weird or just wrong, let us know via the contact link at the top of the page.

Thanks and enjoy,
BimmerFile Staff

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  • http://twitter.com/mattg Matthew Gifford

    This looks great. I can’t believe it’s been over ten years since we launched MotoringFile. Crazy.

  • J

    Innovative. All you guys did was to take a very common template from Themezilla lol Took you probably like an hour to implement a new design in 5 years….

    That image at the top….it’s too large and a waste of space. Just saying.

    • http://bridger.us/ Gabriel Bridger

      The theme was easy. Clearing out five year of back-Ed mess wasn’t.

    • http://www.donburnside.com Don Burnside

      Thanks J. You are correct, it is an off-the-shelf theme from Themezilla.

      What you didn’t notice are the extensive customizations to the original theme and the hours of testing. This project was actually started back in September.

      I’m taking that as a compliment. If you didn’t notice, then the modifications were pretty successful!

      Thanks J!

  • Friend

    Makes me hold my iPad in landscape.

    • http://bridger.us/ Gabriel Bridger

      It won’t always. Still working on that due to last second issues.

  • les

    I think it looks great. As a web designer, I know it’s hard to please everyone, and change is always meet with resistance, but it was a great call making your site responsive. I’m in midst of doing a redesign right now, and I found that Twitter Bootstrap has been the best framework to use. Best of luck with getting everything working right.

  • http://twitter.com/AlexandreSitbon Alexandre

    Congrats! It looks really nice and I’m sure many of us look forward to reading new blog posts on our iOS devices. One thing that won’t change unfortunately is people like @bdb7fa3a95d31d4f8182a9f9e9779a47:disqus trolling…Oh well, congrats again!

  • Adam

    Love the new look! Now we just need yours and Michaels schedules sync’d so we can get more Bimmercasts.

  • lavardera

    Ok, I’m doin it but I’m not lovin it. Hate to say it, but reminds me of Gawker. I ended up using the blog view on their sites, which presents posts in sequence very much like the former Bimmerfile.

    So throw me a bone here – what is chronological order? down one column, up to the top of the other? Or left to right, left to right…? Is this two columns or a grid?

    If you can’t obviously discern the time frame, well, that’s a flaw boys. I also vote for too much area for the rotating picture up top. Nickel for a close box on that one.

    • http://bridger.us/ Gabriel Bridger

      Top left to bottom right. But this isn’t a blog. It’s a news site as it has been since day 1. And because of that the old blog layout doesn’t do the content justice. It’s not about what’s been posted 2 hrs ago versus 5 hrs ago. It’s about a hierarchy in content and features being presented in a way that exhibits their importance to the reader. All this is even more true for MotoringFile which will be seeing a complete design as well.

      • lavardera

        Eehhhhh, its a blog.

        The chronology of the content is not for the sake of 2hrs ago vs 5hrs ago, its so I can easily know what I’ve read and what I’ve missed. Look, I just think the emphasis should be on making it easy for me to find what I want to read, not on what the site wants to show me.

        • http://bridger.us/ Gabriel Bridger

          Well it’s neither a bog or a blog. And thankfully it’s still chronological so you can read it as you always have.

          • lavardera

            I’m not talking about what you fancy yourself to be, journalist or blogger. The platform is a blog. The structure is a chronological list of content. The template can’t change that.

            The difference is as basic as this. When I land here I want be looking at what I want to read, not what you want me to read.

            It is still chronological but two columns makes me scroll all the way to the bottom, and then back to the top to look at new content. Then next time I visit maybe there will be something new in the big images, or maybe what I’ve already read…?

            Its not a magazine. Saying magazines have a big picture on the cover with few words does not make it work for a web site.

            Anyway, just some feedback. You are the interface human factors guy, no?

          • http://bridger.us/ Gabriel Bridger

            You don’t have to scroll to the bottom. It’s left right, left right. As it would logically be.

          • lavardera

            The template does not work well for the progression you are suggesting. Once you are past the first two items, then the headlines in each column don’t line up. They are staggered according to how much text, how long the item above was. Your eye does not move from left to right when that takes you into the middle of the item in the adjacent column.

          • http://bridger.us/ Gabriel Bridger

            You sound like an architect. There’s a reason for what they do and how they are serendipitously arranged.

          • lavardera

            Ha! Maybe that is my problem. Seriously, with it discontinuous from left to right, your eye is getting the message that the sequence is top to bottom, top to bottom..

        • BimmerFile_Michael

          Well, I guess you should know that if it was up to me the images would be even larger- you’d be amazed that many only look at images and the larger the better. I have not looked at it on a iPad yet but every other device to me the size of the image is a good one. When you look at a magazine cover is it all text or image? The front page can also be bypassed- http://www.bimmerfile.com/archives/ Maybe that is something we can consider building into an initial view choice- This is a living and breathing thing we’ve got here and we are trying to make changes to improve the site and utilize content more efficiently. As Gabe stated it is much more than a blog and sometimes valuable content gets lost in a continuous stream; new readers may want to quickly go to things that interest them rather than having to dig for example.

          Thanks for the input and it is being heard!

  • Ben

    Nice job!

  • lavardera

    Keep tweaking the typography. I think the type styles on the old site were much better, and conveyed another level of information in the hierarchy that’s just missing in the new site.

    • http://bridger.us/ Gabriel Bridger

      Honestly the new version is a mixed bag with some notable improvements and a few downgrades. I’ll be addressing some of those soon.

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