I’m sure that by now everyone has noticed that the ChemSpider homepage design changed just over a month ago. A few features moved around, the Molecules of Interest section was retired and perhaps most significantly the Search box was given a dose of CSID: 5791, becoming bigger and more prominent.
The reason for this wasn’t just to make the site more attractive (though I think it does look ‘prettier’). Our motivation for the change is to deliver a site that makes it easier for users to interact with and understand. And by doing so, hopefully make it quicker and simpler for you to get your tasks done using ChemSpider. The refresh of the homepage is hopefully illustrative of this: We think that as most users come to ChemSpider to search for information – it should be easy to get straight into a search, hence the greater emphasis on this feature.
In the next few days we will release another upgrade to the interface which is centered on making it easier to understand the data presented in the compound Record View pages. I’ll post a blog entry dealing with some of the key features in the next few days.
The development of ChemSpider is an ongoing process, and we are aware that even after this upgrade there will be aspects of the compound Record View pages that will need more work (and also other parts of the site that still need development). It’s not going to be easy: ChemSpider brings together a rich and varied set of data from a large number of sources – this poses many challenges. We also realise that there are many different tasks that each of you – as users – want to perform, and it is always going to be difficult to reconcile all of the different opinions/needs.
However, we are trying to make the site better for you. And therefore, we’d really like to know your opinions on the changes (please test new features for a few days first). We welcome your feedback on the redesign either in the form of blog comments or email feedback (chemspider-at-rsc.org).
Over the next week – keep your eyes peeled for the upgrade and my accompanying blog post which will endeavor to give you a good introduction to the new features.Stumble it!