Mininova Offers Sneak Peek At New Design

It seems that it is open season for upgrading major websites. Slyck reported on The Pirate Bay’s recent website upgrade. It seems that MiniNova is the only site bigger than, according to the sometimes disputed statistics gathered by Alexa.

Note: This is an article I wrote that was published elsewhere first. It has been republished here for archival purposes

Whether or not it’s bigger is beside the point though. Mininova now offers the torrenting public a sneak peek at the beta of the new site design.

According to MiniNova’s official blog, “We are planning to publish this new layout, which should make Mininova less complicated and easier to use, along with some new features/improvements. Some of these features are already implemented.”

The blog points out the following changes:

· Better “General information” of torrents.

· Redesigned Upload page.

· The download content of a torrent is shown as a folder tree (example). This tree view works best with modern browsers, which have CSS3 support. The icons we used are from the well-known Silk Icon set, made by Mark James.

· The website now uses the UTF-8 character set. That means, for example, that torrents titles can now contain Chinese characters. More interesting news is that pasting the contents of an NFO file in the torrent description works great now (example). Just paste the NFO characters from your favourite NFO viewer between [nfo] and [/nfo] tags in the description area on the Upload page.

While the public beta isn’t fully functional as of yet, users will still be able to see what the new site will generally look like. They say that they don’t want to publish the new site design without public feedback.

One may wonder why major sites are upgrading their layout now. Are these new site upgrades a result of their longstanding presence? Are they stepping up their performance to stay on top of the top public sites? Is the web 2.0 bug finally infecting web designers everywhere? Or is there something else to all of this?

One thing is for sure, the user experience for many of these sites seems to be getting that much better.

Drew Wilson on Twitter: @icecube85 and Google+.

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