Directors Notes - Redesign & Rebranding

We probably should have given you a bit of warning before announcing this, we know you would have wanted to send cards or gifts (for future reference we love whisky!), but Directors Notes is 10 YEARS OLD! That’s right, for a decade now we’ve been delighting you with our witty and insightful look into the world of independent filmmaking, but whilst our writing has hopefully vastly improved over this time, the appearance and usability of our site had somewhat suffered.

With this in mind, we felt our ten-year anniversary was the perfect time for a long overdue redesign and rebranding (hopefully you already noticed), here’s what these changes mean for you our readers:

Responsive

Hallelujah! Directors Notes now looks as good on your phone or tablet as it does on your desktop. We know our old site suffered from its clunky nature when viewed on your favoured handheld device and one of our mains aims of this redesign was getting it slick on mobile. We like to think this is a huge improvement and hope you agree.

Usability

Ok…we admit it! The previous incarnation of our site was a bitch to navigate! We were new to this whole website thing and got far too carried away with categories and tags (the more the better…right?). Now we’ve made things easier for you by separating content into Interviews (featuring Animation, Live Action, Music, Art & Fashion and Documentary sub categories – each with their own pretty colour), Podcasts, and from our main nav bar you can also see the latest picks from our ever-popular Vimeo channel (now over 10.7k followers) through the Watch link or search the site.

Readability

Directors Notes may be well known for its Podcasts (which despite appearances are far from dead!), but over recent years the “traditional” written article has become more and more prominent on our site. With this focus on text-based interviews/Q&As becoming more evident in our output, we really wanted a design that focused on our writing and made it easy to digest. So a focus on clear and concise content was our aim and hopefully this comes across loud and clear.

More Content

Not only was our previous design a little cumbersome for you to use, it was also somewhat sluggish for us to use. The new design will make things a lot easier for us and with the addition of our Asides (shorter posts that show all their content on the Homepage) we should be publishing more posts (you may have noticed our output has suffered a little in recent months – at least now you know what we’ve been working on!).

Rebranding

If you look around the site and on our social media channels, you’ll notice two new things. Firstly, a new logo (check out the top left hand corner of the site to see it) featuring the DN initials (how we at DN Towers regularly refer to the site) and secondly the use of ‘WeAreDN’ – a moniker we’ve adopted on our Vimeo channel for some time now. WeAreDN speaks to the fact that Directors Notes only exists because of the generosity of our filmmaker guests who grant us behind the scenes access to their projects, the support and encouragement of you our readers who engage with that work, and the burning curiosity shared by every member of our humble team to discover the What, How and Why of  the best that independent cinema has to offer.

Newsletter

In our footer you’ll notice we’ve added a sign-up to our newsletter option – if you want regular updates on the content we’ve been producing, just enter your email and we’ll send you a Newsletter every now and then to showcase the podcasts and articles we’ve featured..

Although the DN Team loves all things internet, unfortunately we aren’t blessed with the mystic skills of designers or developers, so this redesign has come as a huge learning curve to us all. A big shout out has to go to the awesome Tamara Gabriel for her patience and guidance (and having to look at my sloppy attempts at coding) throughout this process – you rock!

This redesign was driven greatly by us wanting to make Directors Notes a cooler and more welcoming place for you our readers to spend your valuable online time, so if you have suggestions, spot bugs or just want to tell us we did “OK”, feel free to let us know through the form on our About page.

Further down the line we’ll be looking into ways to make it easier for you share work with us and even giving you the option to support DN…if you so wish. Keep check the site and we’ll be sure to let you know when we introduce any more changes.

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