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Learn Chemistry’s design refresh

Over the last few months we’ve been doing some development work on Learn Chemistry and some of our other educational sites. This has ranged from small fixes to new features like the more prominent download box for editable resources.
The latest changes include a refresh of the site’s look and feel, as well as some changes around how to use the site. The visual refresh isn’t solely cosmetic, although part of the aim is to make the site feel less dated. Based on feedback and user testing, it includes some simplification and de-cluttering that make the site easier to use.
New home page layout
The search bar is now more prominent. It’s the main way the site is used, and we want to make sure it’s easy to find.

We’ve removed a number of items on the page that weren’t used much and/or confused users: The “Teachers, Students, Higher Education, News” panels, the social sharing buttons (Twitter, Google Plus etc), and the resource counter.

We’ve removed the Browse Resources control. Testing and feedback suggested that most users thought this was a search filter, and it wasn’t used much. Removing it focuses the page on the search box and highlighted resources.

We’ve simplified the design visually. Cleaner lines, more spacing, and less on the page make the page quicker to navigate, and the highlighted resources more prominent.
New site navigation
Learn Chemistry used to have multiple navigation menus. These were confusing and took up valuable space, making the site hard to navigate on mobile devices. We’ve replaced these with a new navigation menu at the top of the site, which is designed to be more mobile friendly.
The new top navigation bar retains most of the elements of the existing one, and replaces the links to other RSC sites. This also removes the other search box which searched across all RSC sites, and caused some confusion.
Simpler look and feel across the site
The new visual design on the home page removes the coloured background and makes the menus smaller. This has also been rolled out across the rest of the site, and most of the sub-sites.
We hope you like the new design, and look forward to hearing your thoughts and feedback.
Posted by Stephen Hessey on Dec 12, 2017 2:53 PM Europe/London

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