Recently, I redesigned the authors’ listings on the site. It was a necessary change, but some are very unhappy with it.
In one way, they are a little bit less convenient to some now. But it was a necessary change.
What are the changes? Not much, I added paging to the listings, so now instead of each letter being displayed all at the same time, it gets displayed in chunks of 30 authors. Also, it’s better looking for desktop browsers.
This change made it difficult for somebody going for a certain author to get to their target quickly if the target happen to be on page Eighteen of a certain letter. For those browsing for discovery, it shouldn’t really matter.
The new display has a solution for those who are seeking a specific author. The page has a ‘Jump To’ field at the top. Just type the first few letters (up to 5) of the author you want and the page will jump directly to it. In a way, this is actually faster than scrolling through up to 500 authors on one list.
The reasons for change are:
Mobile: Scrolling down 200-500 names on a phone is very tedious. The new listings are way better for phone users.
Search engine indexing: Google and other search engines on the internet have limits on the number of links per page that they follow. The limit is around 100-150. Which means, when served with a list of 500 authors with each author having an average of 3 links, the indexing bots drop a lot of links and many authors don’t show up in search engines’ indexes. That’s isn’t good nor fair for those authors at the bottom of those lists.
Update 2014-08-04: Due to popular demand, and since this redesign didn’t really benefit the site from a performance view, I’ve implemented some code modifications that removed the listings limits for logged in users on non-mobile devices.