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Chemical Processing: Scrutinize Site Enhancements

May 28, 2019
Ongoing tweaks aim to improve your visits

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You don’t have to reinvent the wheel to make a better vehicle. Indeed, you just have to make enhancements in the right places. At ChemicalProcessing.com we’re always poking around the site looking for ways to make it better for you.

In fact, late last year I wrote about the site’s new navigation and color scheme (see: “Check Out Site Upgrades, Top Content on Chemical Processing”). And currently I’m working with our development team to bring even more changes to the site — all aimed at helping you access all the tools and resources available on myriad topics.

POWERFUL LINK

Figure 1. Clicking on “eyebrow” (indicated by arrow) takes you to content in that category.

We’re rolling out changes as the design and programming team implements them; so, over the next several months you’ll see a variety of upgrades. Currently, we’ve increased the spacing between lines of text to help you more easily read our award-winning content. And, soon you’ll see a new font style. Trust me when I say that picking new fonts stirs a lot of debate. Serif or sans serif? What font family size works best? What will special characters (mainly the Greek alphabet) look like? How will type render in a mobile version?

In addition to an airier look to the copy, we’re also moving toward a one-column display. Right now, the main content appears in one column, and is flanked by what we call the “right rail” that houses advertisements and related reading among a few other things. All this information will reside in one column in the future. We’ve already repositioned “Related Content” below the article. We reckon that once you’ve finished a story, you well may want to check out similar content aimed at helping you be as efficient, safe, environmentally friendly and economically competent as possible. Be on the lookout for updates to the Related Content and Most Popular sections (which also will reside after articles) — we’re exploring adding images from the stories to these areas.

We’ve already increased the size of headlines and decks (the brief descriptive text directly under the headlines). And we’ve moved the social media tools so they follow the articles. That way, after you’ve read the article and feel compelled to share it with friends and co-workers, you can do so with ease.

From a “why didn’t we think of that sooner” perspective, we’ve also added what we call an “eyebrow” to our article pages. Eyebrows appear above the headline (see Figure 1) and give the relevant categories for the particular piece of content. So, for example, if you’re reading the article “Resolve Reactor Riddles,” simply clicking on the categories in the eyebrow will let you find oodles of other content in “reaction & synthesis” and “reliability & maintenance.”

One thing we’ve eliminated from our site is the ability to comment on articles. Unfortunately, many of the inputs came from phishers, who often provided links to nefarious sites, or from people promoting commercial products or services. We certainly still want to hear from you. Email your comments to either me ([email protected]) or editor Mark Rosenzweig ([email protected]); we’ll consider them for our sporadic Letters section in the magazine and online. In fact, I can add your comments directly to an article as an editor’s note.

These next several months hold many small but mighty changes. I look forward to making the site an even better place to visit. I hope that’s just what you will do.

Traci Purdum is Chemical Processing's Senior Digital Editor. You can email her at [email protected].

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