When we unveiled our new home page design in April, I mentioned that this was just a placeholder while we worked on a more drastic redesign and some great new features. Today I’m excited to announce the release of the new Herdict site and several of those new features.
The first thing you’ll notice is the new look. We wanted to redesign the site around the two most common ways that people use Herdict: testing sites and exploring our data. That’s why our new homepage is devoted to four large buttons: two for testing sites (“Test Sites” and “Help Our Partners”) and two for exploring data (“Explore Real-Time Data” and “Create and Share Lists”).
This is where we’ve made the most changes. If you’ve used Herdict before, you’ve probably used our “Reporter,” which loads a list of sites that need to be tested. We recently updated our algorithm that chooses those sites, and now we’ve changed the look of the Reporter itself. When you click “Test Sites,” the Reporter now loads in a pop-over, so that you don’t leave whatever screen you’re on. This is important because the Reporter is now accessible from almost every page without navigating you away.
Once in the Reporter, you’ll see on the far left a column of different lists that you can test. The first, with the Herdict logo, is the Reporter queue that you’re used to. In the next column you’ll the upcoming sites in the list represented by screenshots. Now you won’t be surprised by which sites load, and you can easily skip ahead if you’d prefer. In the main window the selected site will load. Clicking Accessible/Inaccessible will automatically load the next site in the list. This redesigned Reporter makes it easier than ever to help Herdict and test sites.
You can now also help organizations such as EFF, Global Voices, OpenNet Initiative, Reporters Without Borders, and Twitter. By clicking on these organizations’ icons in the first column, you can access lists of sites that they have identified as important to them. You can also explore the lists and data about them on our “Browse Lists” page. Thanks to this new feature, if you support EFF for example, you can actively help them by testing sites they need tested.
We’re also enhancing how you can explore data. If you click on “Explore Real-Time Data,” you’ll see live screenshots of different kinds of data that we have available. In the top row you’ll see different ways to slice our data relating the Internet as a whole, including maps, time graphs, the raw data feed, and our in-depth sheets. In the second row you’ll see dashboards for the Herdict queue and our partner organizations’ queues. Clicking on any screenshot will take you to the full-size version of that page.
“Create and Share Lists” will soon be a new way to explore data and interact with Herdict. We are extending the same code that lets our partners create lists of important sites in order to make it possible for all of users to do that. When that feature goes live, this will be where you can explore the lists that you and other users have created.
I am really excited about all of these changes. I think they make Herdict more useful for reporting web blockages and learning about the instantaneous health of the Internet. I hope you’ll play around with the site and keep participating.
If you have any questions or suggestions, please contact me at ryan AT Herdict dot org.