View the latest posts in an easy-to-read list format, with filtering options.
With the launch of the mass site rework that we announced in this blog post, we have revamped a vast majority of the website, incorporating new ways of finding existing content while also suggesting randomized content that you may not have seen before, and implementing several quality-of-life features into the site, along with a brand new search system for the site. So grab a cup of coffee, or tea, or beverage of choice, and let's take a look at what's changed!
Any time we take a look at performing a redesign on GKM, we take several factors into account:
We have to make an effort to keep the website design up to certain standards so that it is intuitive and convenient for new readers, while also maintaining the general flow and ease of use that existing readers are used to. Sometimes this can be a tricky balance to strike, and we end up needing to change or completely rework certain areas based on user feedback.
All of the decisions for these changes were made with these key factors in mind, but we will never know how intuitive they are for the readers until we finally release it, so let's go over these changes.
With this latest rework, we have implemented a new style of header nav called a Mega Menu, which means that when you mouse over specific items, we include a bunch of new options relevant to that section. You can click on any of the main menu items (Home, Start Here, Blog, Studies, Store, Events, About, or Help) to go to that section of the site. Right now we only have a Mega Menu on the Blog and Studies sections, detailed below (you can click on images to enlarge them).
When you hover your mouse over the Blog menu item, you will see links on the left side to the Latest Posts, Blog Series, and Archive pages. In the center, you will see the 3 most recent blog posts, and a list of Blog Categories that you can click on to view all posts within that category. On the right side, you will see the most recent blog series, and below that there is a list of 3 randomly selected Blog Series for the week. Every Monday at 12:00 AM Central time, this list of 3 will be randomly updated automatically.
When you hover over the Studies menu item, you will see a list of the 6 sub sections on the left side. You can hover your mouse over any of these sections and the content in the center will update with pertinent information for that section. You can click on any of the sections on the left to view all items in that section, such as Books. In the center, there is a brief overview of what to expect in that section, along with our 5 most popular items for that section. On the right side, there is a link to an introductory page, and to the Bible School Curriculum.
Book chapters have received a significant revamp, with a new sidebar, and cleaner presentation of content. On the right sidebar, there is a progress bar to see how far you are through a book you are reading, along with a search bar to search all of that book's content. You can collapse the sidebar by clicking the arrow next to the sidebar, allowing a larger area for focused reading. Details on this can be seen in the image below (click to enlarge):
Blog Posts have received a large visual update, with left and right sidebars, and a "reader mode" for enhanced focus while reading.
The left sidebar contains a search bar to search all blog posts, and it will also contain links to jump to any subheadings within the blog post. If the blog is part of a Blog Series, details will be shown in the left sidebar, and at the top of the blog post.
The right sidebar contains a button to subscribe to email notifications of new blog posts, or an RSS feed. It also contains the 3 most recent blog posts, and 3 random blog posts from the same blog category as the current post you are reading.
In the main blog post content, at the top right you will see a book icon. If you click this icon, it will enable "reader mode" - graying out the sidebars and removing any distractions while reading. You can disable Reader Mode by clicking the button again, or by clicking the grayed out sidebars. You can see all of these changes in the image below (click the image to enlarge):
Over the last few months, we have integrated a brand new search engine into GKM. This search engine has fuzzy logic incorporated, allowing it to detect possible typos and find relevant content anyway. It also allows us to add progressive filters, enabling you to further refine your search by a specific section of the site, and even further filtering options depending on the section you filter by.
This search engine is highly customizable, and very extensive, but it also takes time to really "learn" our content, so to speak. Please Note: We will be monitoring feedback from our readers as you all begin using this search engine, because it will most likely require tweaking over time. Please be patient during this time, and play around with it to see what kind of results you can find! You can search from any page on the website by clicking the Magnifying Glass icon on the right side of the header nav, shown in the image below (click the image to enlarge):
Below is an image showing what search results will look like, along with filter options (click the image to enlarge):
Among many other major and minor visual improvements, you can open the table of contents while reading a book by clicking on the icon on the right of the screen. Example can be found below (click image to enlarge):
You can also find a "filter" button on the right side of any relevant pages on mobile, which can be accessed the same way as the table of contents in books. Examples can be found below (click image to enlarge):
There are numerous other changes, updates, and improvements that we have made that would be too much to itemize here, but you will discover them as you use the site. Our hope is that they are intuitive and help to improve the user experience as a whole.
In the future, we will record a video outlining all of these changes much more in-depth, but this will be for another time. We want to make sure these current updates are stable before pushing forward with a new major project, but we still have many many plans for the GKM Website going forward, and this new platform will make it easier for us to push forward with these endeavors.
As always, we will be monitoring feedback closely during this time, so let us know what you think about these updates, and we will make any additional changes that are deemed necessary as we move forward. If you do find a bug, or any missing content, please let us know on the Support Desk.
- GKM Development Team