Welcome to the New ScienceFriday.com
See what’s changed and why.
Welcome to the new ScienceFriday.com. Just about everything has been redesigned to be faster, better-looking, and easier for you to use.
Why did we go through all of the effort to redo our site, just three-and-a-half years after our last redesign? Well to start, we simply do more than we used to. As we like to say, we’ve become more than a radio show, and now we have a website that showcases all the multimedia that we produce.
Another reason is that our mobile audience is much bigger than it once was. Our old site looked and functioned terribly on mobile devices, and our fans voted with their back buttons, leaving almost as soon as they came. This new site better serves the nearly 50 percent of you who visit us on a smartphone or tablet. But don’t take my word for it. Pull out your phone and see for yourself.
To make these changes, we sought help from Bluecadet, a digital design firm based in Philadelphia. In addition to their web work, Bluecadet designs immersive experiences for museums like the Field Museum and the Franklin Institute. And they’ve imbued our site with that spirit of discovery that great museums cultivate.
We’re thrilled with how it turned out, and we hope you enjoy it. Now, a quick rundown of site highlights:
NEWLY REDESIGNED HOMEPAGE
Our old site could only present information in one way, prominently featuring the first story of the first hour of the radio show—no matter what. That design caused lots of confusion for listeners. If Ira mentioned something on the air, thousands of people would flock to the site and get frustrated when they couldn’t find what they were looking for. Now, we can mix and match what we showcase, giving you a fresher, more dynamic, and better curated experience.
Our new site is also uninhibited by the radio show’s publishing schedule. Come to the site on a Friday afternoon, and you’ll still get a preview of what will be on the show, as well as an unmistakable prompt to “listen live.” But when you visit us on a Wednesday, we’ll share some of the web articles, videos, and educational activities we’ve been working on.
We’ve also streamlined and simplified the homepage, without sacrificing aesthetics or content. Our old homepage was a cluttered collection of boxes, some of which moved, carousel-style, for no strategic reason. Our new homepage uses motion to highlight and engage, not to distract.
BETTER MULTIMEDIA CAPACITY
While radio is core to who we are, and audio will always be at the forefront of what we do, Science Friday produces articles, videos, and activities, too. We’ve been working this way for some time, but now we have a website that supports these efforts. A new feature on the site that we’re particularly excited about, called the Spotlight, investigates a single theme—such as The Hunt for Dark Matter and Hollywood Science—across media types.
Our entire site is also much more visual than it used to be. On the old site, photographs and illustrations rendered poorly, hindered by size restrictions. Now, bigger images will take you deeper into a story, evoking that sense of awe that scientific research so often inspires.
Did you know that Science Friday produces original, standards-aligned educational resources? If you didn’t, you’re not alone. Our new site gives these resources the attention they deserve, clearly displaying the informative and immersive work of our education staff, and better linking to the audio, video, and web media they’re based on.
As noted, nearly half of the traffic to ScienceFriday.com comes from smartphones and tablets. But our old website just didn’t work on mobile. We looked at the number of people who came to our old site through mobile devices—and especially the number who left immediately—and knew that there was a big opportunity there. Our new site is designed to look good and function well on any size screen.
Hopefully it’s obvious at this point how enthusiastic we are about the new ScienceFriday.com. But with any project this big, there are bound to be a few virtual cobwebs that didn’t get swept up. We’d love your help discovering the things that slipped through the cracks.
And please, let us know what you like and what you don’t. We’ll keep an eye on your suggestions and use them to guide future improvements to the site.
At Science Friday, we like to say we’re brain fun for curious people. And that’s exactly what we think this site is. So explore, have fun, and reward your curiosity.