It's Time for a Year-end Refresh to Your Favorite Zone

By Vijay Anand - on 05 Oct 2012, 11:00am

Did you know that HardwareZone just celebrated its 14-year operation milestone in August? If you recall the amusing backrop with our mascots, my avatar, the purple monster and other lovable characters from the Adventures of the HardwareZoners, yup, that was our celebration period. Time really flies and words cannot explain the effort, excitement and drive behind the HardwareZone team that keep it going strong and ever relevant in this fast changing world.

Speaking of change, today you’ll notice some aesthetic changes to the site, which builds upon the major design overhaul we had a year ago and minor functional improvements in January 2012.

Meet the new Quick Content Filter Bar above the main navigation bar.

As seen in the screenshot above, the most noticeable change is a new row of four buttons just above the main navigation bar. This is the new Quick Content Filter Bar which acts like a filter on the home page to bring you content specific to the topic at hand. So selecting the Tablet filter for example, will present you with a variant of the home page that focuses only on tablet devices and its related content. The content selection filters can change to follow ongoing trends, so do look out for changes in selection in time to come.

To accommodate the new Quick Content Filter Bar, we’ve reversed the color scheme of our search/social media bar and the main navigation bar to give them an appropriate level of focus. Additionally, we’ve slimmed the search/social media bar and added a country selection option to help you hop over to one of our South East Asia portals to bring you country-specific content.

All the way at the bottom, we’ve spruced up our footer section that acts us a mini site map. A similar earlier version has already existed for most of the year, but from today, even the forum pages will carry this new footer. A renewed “Contact Us & Feedback” section is present to easily reach out to us for any concerns, regardless of the page you’re in. This is in addition to the forum feedback section that has been available since the start of HardwareZone.

A new footer section on every page of our site..

Peering into our content pages, we’ve improved two aspects – more visible social sharing functions and fetching a list of related content items to provide you with a continued reading experience. The following screenshot from one of our news articles exemplifies this and these elements are implemented across all of our content sections. Even the forums now carry related articles that are relevant to the respective forum content category.

Improved visibility of social sharing functions and a list of related articles smartly defined by the main content's set of tags. This is an example of a news page.

Here's the same related articles function working in the forum to bring you content relevant to the forum discussions.

Users who often frequent our Price List Downloads section would also appreciate that in the last few months, we’ve improved our variety of price lists available to beyond just PC components and we’re now catering to consumer electronics too. Of course not to forget is our very own Price Guide function to easily compare prices of a product between various vendors to get your fix of armchair shopping and optimize your precious time.

A wider variety of price list downloads is available - from PC to Consumer Electronics, just like our site's content.

We’ve also improved on our site search function, which is now a lot friendlier to any misspellings and provides even more relevant results. You can even opt to list the results by date instead of relevancy.

The new search listing is powered fully by Google and it defaults to a relevancy search with much greater tolerance to misspellings and more. You can toggle it to list chronologically by date as indicated by the new "Sort by" function too.

We hope all of these small improvements and enhancements improve the site’s usability and empower you with the information you seek. You can bet that we’ve a lot more improvements in the pipeline, but we’ll save that for a future update when the time is right. Meanwhile, I thank you for your continued support to HardwareZone and we will continue to strive and improve our product/service offerings. 

Vijay Anand

Vijay Anand / Editor-in-Chief

A pioneering contributor of since its inception in 1998, his keen interest in DIY computing has helped establish content standards in testing and reporting online, while his drive to share knowledge has laid the foundation of Social Media 1.0 in Singapore via the HWZ Forums. As site editor since 2005, he oversees all content production with the local team, supervises the regional teams and provides forum management insights to the large pool of contributors.

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