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Site News

Introducing the New CartoonBrew.com

Cartoon Brew, America’s most-visited animation industry source, relaunches today with a complete redesign of CartoonBrew.com.

The reimagined website, designed and coded by the unflappable and brilliant Aric Harris, employs a bold, technologically-forward framework that makes our content easier to find and read than ever before.

Here’s some of the new features:

Responsive design: With around 40% of Cartoon Brew visitors now reading the site on mobile and tablet devices, readers can find elegantly optimized pages for their smartphones and tablets, as well as desktop.

Fast-loading: We know that you’re busy and we value that you choose to spend your time with us. Our new site architecture, rebuilt from the ground-up, eliminates many plug-ins and localizes other features to reduce the amount of JavaScript on the site, making pages lightweight and faster-loading. It also allows for quicker page development and more flexible design possibilities, so that we can continue to serve the needs of our ever-growing readership.

Continuous scroll and siderail: Auto-loading posts eliminate the need for repeated clicks to find the latest industry news. If you want to catch up on all of the day’s stories, simply scroll downward and new stories will appear. The siderail, present on every desktop page, gives you convenient access to all of our newest stories, regardless of your landing page on the site.

Easier to read and navigate: Our key focus for this redesign was to improve the user experience and to display our content to it best advantage. We’ve reduced the amount of ancillary content throughout every version of the site, highlighting editorial content without burdening users with extraneous information. We’ve also upgraded to clean typefaces designed for online reading (Ideal Sans and Mercury). A drop-down menu in the upper-left corner always connects you to our most popular site features.

Still to come:

Curation: Our editorial team has expanded in the past year and Cartoon Brew now publishes more weekly content than ever before. Over the coming weeks, you’ll see the introduction of smart post groupings that will create additional depth and meaningful context for critical issues in the animation world.

Video platform: We’ve always presented video content, but as we start to produce more original video content in the coming months, we will introduce a dedicated platform for showcasing video series.

As is normal with any new design, it’ll take a bit of time to work out all the kinks and make everything work smoothly again. Our normal commenting system, Disqus, is temporarily down, but it’ll be back up shortly. In the meantime, please share your thoughts on the new design. Now in our twelfth year, Cartoon Brew chronicles the breadth of the animation art and industry like few others, and we’re committed to keeping it the most vital, timely, and informative animation news and education resource online.

  • John

    I can see how this might work better on a tablet or mobile device but I suggest you rework the desktop site. As you mention this needs a lot of work, overall poor design from a website that constantly champions the importance of appealing design. Lots of obsolete elements (the unnecessary bio and author photo at the end of the article) and confusing sidebar with images that don’t read properly. I regularly visit this site and don’t fear change but this is looking more than a bit like an eyesore.

    • That guy

      Yeah, I agree. I’m not a fan of this at all.

    • chris

      agree. I am on my laptop and don’t like it. But, i do like not being able to see comments unless i want to.

    • Whoopdedoo

      Mobile and tablet viewers can have this new format, keep the neater, more organized Disqus for desktop peeps.

      Both should be seperate.

      This new CB has Kinja bruise marks all over it.

    • Nic

      I’m a web designer who’s been creeping in on this community for years. I think this site is on the right track, it just needs some refinement. Which is totally fine for web design; it’s a process.

      It has a lot of potential, but I agree the sidebar either needs to be entirely removed (which would be my recommendation) or really needs some white space. It feels very cramped and confusing, and I think it’s a primary culprit.

      I also would get rid of the mid-level ads, but hey, money’s money and a blogger’s gotta eat.

      • Barrett

        That sidebar is very, VERY distracting. Do not like it there AT ALL. The having to click for comments thing is a minor irrirtation that I can live with. I had a lot of hiccups with Disqus before, so I don’t mind that the comments section code seems to be on a new engine. I do wish the comments were all in a sans serif font as they were before, for some reason the new serif font is more uncomfortable to read. (I generally like sites to be all sans serif save for banner/headlines, but that’s probably just personal taste.

        DO please get rid of that left banner. I really liked the old site’s layout and type handling, but I understand it probably isn’t coming back. Just try to do something more in line with how other stories were profiled on there. Without a side-by-side comparison I can’t say exactly what was so different, but oh boy, was it different.

    • KW

      Im not sure if my previous comment got posted. There was something buggy with the recaptcha.

      I agree though. I think this site works well for phones and tablets, but maybe im in the minority in that I dont like reading things on my phone or see a point in owning a tablet. As a desktop site this is really difficult to read now.

      I liked being able to see a full list of articles now I can only see a few and I have to scroll to see the rest. The bar on the left is also difficult to scroll through and I only see 2 and a half articles at a time there. Its easier to just go back to the home page. Once I do select an article most of its hidden because it doesn’t all fit on the page and I’m having to scroll because I can only read 3 small paragraphs at a time. Overall there’s just too much scrolling for a desktop website. I think there needs to be two versions

  • Bob Jones

    I’m nostalgic for the old design, but my gosh, this new one is incredible.

  • Adrian

    Cool

  • Kim

    Sidebar looks truncated on Chrome on windows for me – the height only extends half of the page height, and it has a scrollbar. Removing height: 100% from “.sidebar .article-list” fixed it for me and made it the height of the browser, which I’m guessing is the intended design. :)

    • Rob

      If you are in Chrome and seeing that gap its because you have your ad blocker turned on. If you omit Cartoonbrew.com from the adblocker that it fills in that space with an ad.

  • Denis Bouyer

    Hmmm…it looks like I’m on the mobile version of the website on my laptop.
    Looks like this : http://i.imgur.com/mzHV3gH.jpg and this : http://i.imgur.com/EXhgFdP.jpg

    Everything is gigantic and I can only see 2 article titles at the same time…is that normal ?

    • Same from me. Reading old comments, the site has also an issue with Chrome and it looks terrible.

  • Martin Cohen

    That stupid bar at the top screws up scrolling a page at a time. I have to back up a line or two to continue.

    Please allow me to eliminate it. or tell me how I can do that myself.

  • Taylor

    This is going to take some getting used to. I kept refreshing the site because I thought my browser was breaking it.

  • Tom

    Maybe this looks okay on a phone, but on my monitor it’s borderline unreadable. Everything is HUGE.

  • Enochrox

    Have you done away with DISCUS all together or am I just not seeing it?

    Not cool. Apart from that, I like it. I mostly browse via my phone so I cant speak to the issues others are having with the desktop design.

    • HelloMoonMan

      I noticed that too. My account in no longer hooked up and I honestly feel less connected. That’s a major issue.

  • Zack King

    Looks like a decent mobile site, but very annoying on desktop. Much less readable, hard to scan quickly for new articles. Side bar doesn’t go all the way down, and the scroll bar for it is tiny so it’s a bit annoying to use. Would also be nice if whole site didn’t appear to be magnified by about 200%…

  • Jenos

    Everything is REALLY too big which maybe is good for mobiles but not for laptop or desktops.

    That sidebar is annoying, I scroll and come to the next story while I also have the sidebar image scroll with me to show the next story? And we have two sets of icons on the same bar? With two icons being the same? W-what’s happening here? Are you trying to reduce the clicks per story or something?

    I like what its trying to do tho…it needs alot more work.

  • Fernando

    I love this new design! Bye bye, Disqus!

    • Dylan N

      I signed up for Disqus because this site…. oh well.

  • JS

    I miss Disqus.

    • HelloMoonMan

      same

  • David Wilson

    Amid, I’m a big fan of the functionality improvements to the site and it is far more responsive than ever before. Those are some huge steps forward.
    I offer one criticism, that for me is a significant one. Offering more content “above the fold.” On traditional browsers and horizontal mobile devices I can only see 2.3 articles, that’s really lousy for 60%+ of your audience. that’s not taking advantage of a 1080p screen. You previously had 8-10 items above the fold making it easy to browse multiple headlines . Congrats on the improvements and I hope to be able to browse more content when your site first pops up.

  • No sir…I don’t like it.

    I think I hate it. When I sit down at my computer, with dual 30-inch+ monitors, I don’t want something that looks like it belongs on my phone.
    How about http://www.cartoonbrew-classic.com for us old school folks, resistant to change? ;)

    • No sir…I don’t like it.

      But on a more positive note…. My neighbor across the street says he can read it just fine through my window without his telescope anymore.

    • Barrett

      I had to hit Command-minus on my browser 2-3 times to make the site tolerable. The acute gigantism may look good on a phone, but on a 24 inch monitor it feels like I’m in “visually impaired mode.”

  • Miss Simplicity

    I understand the need to try new designs, but in a world of busy, click-baity websites, this doesn’t stand out at all. It just feels… less professional looking. And it looked horrible on my smartphone, even worse than the desktop. It had annoying adbars at the top and bottom of my screen, along with the Cartoon Brew logo, which was clear and blocked some of the text. I also don’t understand this trend of an infinite scrollbar, I can’t control where I want to go once the darn thing gets so tiny.
    The old design, IMO, combined the best of both worlds– it was clean, easily read, and worked wonderfully on my smartphone AND desktop.
    Anyways, good luck in your pursuit of a new design, I’m confident your team will eventually pick something that will please both old and new readers alike. I know these things don’t always work out on the first attempt.

  • Hi guys! I appreciate that you guys are going forward with responsive design but it looks so busy on a desktop screen. For a mobile and tablet this looks great but it might need some redesign.

    Dont take the comments too much to heart, I think everyone is just giving feedback to help improve something they already love. Stay Awesome!

  • Mister Twister

    Looks broken on my end. NoScript is not blocking anything except the intrusive Google trackers.

  • Rex

    Not a fan of the desktop version. It’s uncomfortable, bordering on unreadable.

  • Pedro Nakama

    Studios are making CG animated films because look at all the money they are making! Websites are shifting to this format because look at all the mobile-devices out there!

  • I agree with many comments here.
    The previous design worked really well on my desktop computer, and now it all look hacked, broken, loose and unloaded. Many white spaces, uncomfortable to find a way to read everything.
    I hope you find a way to polute this design to every device, im guessing that in tablets and cellphones might look good, but in my desktop computers, it just looks bad.
    I love CartoonBrew and I hope you will achieve a good design in the end.
    Good luck!

  • Stubbz

    Reloaded the page because I thought it hadn’t loaded right. This looks completely bonkers on desktop and mobile alike. Everything is gigantic, truncated, or cropped and still somehow there’s just a ton of white space? I mean this is so obviously not a step forward here; how could you have pushed this live?

  • KW

    Im not a huge fan of this for desktops. I can see how this would work for tablets or phones, but viewing this site on a desktop now is a bit of a hassle. Maybe im in the minority but I dont like reading news articles or stories on phones and I dont see a purpose to owning a tablet.

    The big part of that is not being able to see more than one article at a time. I dont like having to scroll through an entire article to get to the next one. I like being able to see multiple articles listed and then being able to click into the ones I want to read. I get there’s this thing on the left but its oddly displaying articles and scrolling through it isn’t easy.

  • Jennifer Lorbacher

    It’ll definitely take some getting used to.

  • Brittany

    My biggest suggestion would be that if there is going to be this much whitespace, can it be toned down to maybe a papery cream color or something? The white is bright on the eyes, and makes me want to look away.
    I also agree that the text is maybe too big and the sidebar images seem cluttered. I miss the last design’s easy menu buttons, and the fact that you didnt have to scroll this much to see the top stories. However it could just be from not being used to the sudden change.

  • Looks great on the iPad. Sucks on my desktops. The sidebar has to be addressed. It remotely is doing nothing on the left side. Perhaps it should be larger and on the right side. Being right handed it bothers me. It should integrate more with the rest of the site. It took some time getting used to CNN. Is this what they mean by responsive? Bad response. Either way content is always king. All hail the cartoon king of the internet.

  • Barrett

    OH, and one other thing re: the site design. PLEASE fix it so that when you post a comment, the page doesn’t RETRACT the entire comments section, forcing you to scroll back down and try to find where you left off reading! That’s a completely infuriating “feature” above and beyond anything going on with the layout or sizing.

  • Chris

    Continuous scroll is a Very Bad Thing. Give me the page I want, the whole page I want, and nothing but the page I want.

  • Eman

    Don’t like this one bit.
    Everything’s far too magnified which means I have to do extra scrolling. Feels like I’m pressed up against the site. And overall it’s just messier to navigate. Especially if I want to find an older article.

    But I guess I’ll cope. The chances of the site going back to the original design are super slim.

  • Graham

    Is there a way you can bring the “Leave a Reply” form above the comments instead of below? Having to scroll past all the comments is extremely inconvenient.

  • slowtiger

    Unreadable on PC. This is what you get with “mobile first” and CSS which is not really responsive. Other sites do better.

  • KBHR

    I’m afraid that the desktop version of this website, as many other has comment before, isn’t the best choice for me. It seems to me that I’m looking at the mobile version, everything is too big, gigantic.

    Maybe an alternative desktop version of this website could be a great idea.

  • Doz Hewson

    This….isn’t sending me. It is now too complicationary and cumbersome.
    Oi, the effort. Shouldn’t be this damn much effort to hit my desired
    article(s). I don’t mind downscrolling to reach the commenting area,
    but it is timeconsuming like a mug. The experience is somewhat of CB’s
    early days reminiscent. God! Will Disqus really/truly be reinstated,
    brah?

  • Pedro

    Improving and changing is always welcome. This time, however, I honestly thought the website was just down for maintenance and the Mobile phone version was up in its place meanwhile. Faster or not, this doesn’t really read well on computer browsers (maybe it would work on a phone of tablet, but I don’t think I’ve ever visited Cartoon Brew from those devices, so I wouldn’t know).

  • Jimbo2K7

    Nope. Can’t say that I like it.

    I concur with those that believe that catering everything to tablets and phones is the wrong way to go.

    Set the new site up as a mobile site, and give desktop users something that is more usable and less obnoxious.

  • Chris Sobieniak

    Not bad, though I suppose I’ll miss the old layout personally (looks rather too BIG on my laptop).

  • Overall I like this design, though I’m not sure what the side banner on the main page is supposed to be doing. I feel like it’s just sort of there, but isn’t really doing much. Maybe I just need to get used to it.

    Also, wow, no more Disqus. I can certainly live with that :)

    • Also, after posting a comment I noticed it sent me to the next article. I’d prefer for the website to not do that; instead I’d like to stay on whatever article I commented on.

      • Barrett

        The way the comments section vanishes and you’re bumped down to the next article in the Endless Stream is highly annoying. I know a lot of these changes (no separate mobile & desktop version, continuous scroll) are very “big” right now in the web design community, but there’s a lot about mid-2000s era web design that I feel “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” The last 3-4 years have introduced some very irritating trends in web design.

  • Andy

    Cartoon Brew has always been a well designed site, but this new version is super big and clunky if you’re viewing it on a desktop monitor. There should be a separate mobile version.

  • Guest

    This is barely even viewable on my computer in firefox. For some reason, giant pictures fill up the entire screen until a scroll way down – and then I see the same articles that the giant pictures linked to. Seriously, I have been visiting this site since 2007, but find myself coming less and less because, quite frankly, when I’ve got some moments to spare I don’t want to waste them navigating just to read stuff.

    For the love of God, all I need is a list of articles – please, just give us the old CB back.