Today we released an upgraded Recommended Content Drawer based on feedback from our Pro subscribers. See it in action by mousing over the arrow you see here to the right, and it’ll reveal articles with big bold images in the background. Nice right?
These personalized content recommendations use social data from across the Web to show the best possible content to every visitor to our blog––and it’ll do the same for your site.
Issues We Addressed
As with everything we do, we research and test before making upgrades to our tools. In the case of the Content Drawer, there were a few issues we wanted to solve. One was that the original content drawer showed too many articles for someone to easily scan. So to help with the scanning, we wanted to show more eye-catching photos to encourage more visitors to click on the content they see recommended to them.
We also noticed the original arrow button that opened the Content Drawer was hard to see on some website designs. So with this new update, we improved those things.
Upgrades to the Content Drawer
The first thing you’ll notice is the new button that launches the Recommended Content Drawer to open. The button now has themes that will help it stand out more on your website. We took some inspiration from other tools that prompt readers to go to the next article on a website, but then we added the benefit of our recommended content algorithm.
And as I mentioned, the new Content Drawer now has big bold images. They’re a little wider in aspect ratio than we’ve used previously in order to closely match the style of major social networks, like the Facebook Newsfeed. That way if you’re optimizing your content for sharing (i.e. using open graph tags), it’ll also look great in the Content Drawer! Also, by making the drawer hold bigger images, there are a few less recommendations displaying which makes it way easier for visitors to scan through the articles.
Thumbnails in Recommended Content Widgets
All of our recommended content widgets use Open Graph tags to pick out the thumbnail image that’s shown when a page is shared to social networks like Facebook and Twitter.
To make the recommended content look great across social networks your visitors share to, and even in your content widgets, make sure your primary image for each page is at least 320 pixels wide. Our tools will then automatically stretch and (slightly) gray out the image within the content drawer so the article title is clearly visible to your visitors when they scroll.
So, What’s Next?
Your feedback fuels our project timeline, so let us know what you think of the Content Drawer’s upgrade in the comment section below. This is the first widget where we’ve used big images and overlayed the titles, so we want to know whether or not you want more widgets like this!