MATLAB Spoken Here

MATLAB Central Blog Improvements 6

Posted by Kent Millard,

You’ve probably already noticed the redesigned MATLAB Central Blog site that was released in January. Yesterday, we polished the apple further with an additional release that squashed some bugs and tweaked the look and feel of the site.

Since this is the first major overhaul of the Blogs site, we’re all pleased to see the new changes released. In fact, we’d like to give you a tour of the Blogs site to show off some of the new features that we’ve added. So sit back and enjoy the view as we take a trip through the new Blogs site.

Landing page

If you’re a regular reader of the blogs, chances are you haven’t been to the landing page in a while. The last time you went, it probably looked like this:

blog-update1

Now, the landing page looks like this:

blog-update2

In addition to sporting big, colorful images of our bloggers, there are a few other things we’d like to point out:

  • Highlights. The most recent blog posts and Technical Articles are highlighted.
  • Synopsis. Mouse over any of the images and you’ll get a brief write-up about the blogger and the focus of their blog. Click and you’ll go to the blog home page, which also happens to be our next stop.

Blog home page

blog-update3

Go to the home page of Loren Shure’s blog, and you’ll see several new features:

  • Blog post previews. Quickly scan through the titles and preview text of the 10 most recent posts by your favorite blogger.
  • Comments icon. A lot of posts generate interesting discussions among the readers and many of the bloggers. Just click the gray comments icon next to the title to see what’s going on.
  • Share a post. Now you can easily share a blog post with your friends on Twitter, Google+, and Facebook or send them an email link.
  • Left hand navigation. This area is chock-full of goodness. Want to find Loren’s 2011 post on Intersecting Lines? Click on the Archive link next to Recent Posts. Interested in reading posts on a particular topic? Check out Categories. You’ll also see Recent Comments and helpful links.

Okay, let’s get to the good stuff and see Loren’s post on Intersecting Lines.

Blog post

blog-update4

In addition to this terrific post by Loren, you’ll notice a couple of other things:

  • Links to the next/previous posts. Bloggers will sometimes do a series of posts on the same topic. If you liked Loren’s Intersecting Lines posts, you’ll be happy to see at top of the page that she followed it up with a part 2.
  • Cross blog links. Perhaps you also enjoy reading Cleve’s posts on scientific computing and interesting mathematics; or Steve’s writings on image processing. Just go to the top of page, click All MathWorks Blogs and go to their home page or their most recent post.

What do you think of the new Blogs site? What do you like about it? What’s still missing? Leave us a comment below.

6 CommentsOldest to Newest

Good job on the redesign! I actually prefer one aspect of the original Blog landing page; the fact that it included the title/link of the latest post for each author. I quite miss having that in the new design. Also I find the inclusion of ‘Recent Technical Articles’ somewhat jarring, since a) it has little to do with the topic of the rest of the page (blogs) and b) my eye naturally gravitates to its location, missing the ‘Recent Posts’ at the top. Perhaps you could consider dropping the Technical Articles listing, and putting the Recent Posts in that location instead? Cheers!

Thanks for your feedback Eric!

I appreciate your comments and am interested to hear more about your thoughts on the inclusion of Technical Articles and the latest posts by the bloggers. I’m planning on doing some usability tests/interviews with blog readers like yourself about the redesign in the upcoming months. If you’re interested in participating, I’d welcome the chance to talk with you; feel free to contact me at: kent.millard@mathworks.com. Thanks again.

I like the new format. One thing I would like is the ability to print the page. Something like a print view page that removes all the sidebar and headers. I’m not sure if it was present in the old site and if not it would be a nice addition.

A lot of times if I’m reading a blog post from Loren or Guy that contains examples it’s nice to be able to print the page. I find it easier to understand code on paper than on a screen.

Hi Aditya -
Many thanks for your suggestion to add printer-version capability to the blog posts. We’ll be considering several enhancements to the blogs and I’ll add this to the list.

In the meantime, the Safari browser comes with a Reader button that provides a printer-version of MATLAB Central blog posts. Click the button and you can even boost the font size before printing out a copy of Loren or Guy’s post. (You can probably find similar functionality for Chrome and Firefox add-ons).

Thanks for the feedback.

@Kent – re printing, I suggest the WP-Print plugin. It’s extremely easy to setup and does the work splendidly, formatting the resulting print page very nicely. I use it myself in my blog (look at the printer icon at the bottom of any of my posts).

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