Welcome to the New MotoringFile

Ladies and gentleman, you’re looking at the first complete redesign of MotoringFile in a very (very) long time. With this new design we’ve focused on de-cluttering and streamlining the site in terms of design, content and code. The overall layout will feel familiar to our previous design. Stories flow from top to bottom in chronological order (as before) with key stories pulled out and organized on right. What’s really different is the top navigation. The categories are all still there (now found at the bottom of the site) but we’ve now grouped much of that content into three eras of the modern MINI. This should create a simpler way to navigate for specific model information.

For those who are familiar with BimmerFile you’ll feel at home. Our plan was to test the new design before transitioning over a decade of MotoringFile content onto it. Or in other words as my dad taught me, measure twice and cut once.

Finally MF is now 100% responsive. Simply put it’s been designed from the ground up to work on mobile, tablet and desktop with no loss in functionality.

Your feedback helped us (and will continue to help) in tweaking the site and the overall experience. To that point look for further tweaks in the coming days to further refine the experience.

Go ahead. Kick the tires a bit. And then come back here and lets us know what you think.

  • Robert M

    I’m loving the new layout.

  • Chilly

    Great job guys, I love it!

  • Gary

    MINI and MotoringFile — rebranding arm-in-arm! The Around the Web ads are too prominent and ostentatious (those images should be no more than half the size of the featured content in the right column) but other than that, it looks fresh and utilitarian. Good work.

    • Eddie Cosme

      Completely agree about the “Around the Web” ads. At first when I scrolled down I thought they had removed comments. Shouldn’t have to scroll down a full extra screens worth of ads to get to the comments.

  • sugurunishioka

    Great job guys! Looking great and clean. I’ll keep coming back here daily as I’ve been since I got my R56S in 2011. Keep up the great work!

  • fishbert

    new layout?

    • fishbert

      One niggle (or maybe I’m just blind), but is there a way to see how many comments an article has from the main page?

  • MikeUK

    One minor point which is a bit annoying; when the top menu goes over to two lines (if your browser isn’t wide enough to fit them all in, for example) the pop-up menu’s don’t work properly.

    Hover over ‘R56 ERA’ for example and the pop-up menu appears, but to get to it you’ve got to go through the white space made by ‘Video’ being on the next line. Then the menu disappears.

    Other than that, it’s looking pretty good.

    • Regarding the top menu width: we’re still tweaking the categories that go into this so that may change.

      • MikeUK

        I could see this list becoming a bit hard to manage as more items appear, so I can see you may need to revisit this.

        A ‘Home’ link, the same as clicking on the logo at the top may be useful though. I find I browse around, but have to scroll to the top to to get back to your home page.

        These are minor niggles though, on what appears to be a rather good design. (That’s Brit talk. In Americanese it would be translated as “Awesome”).

  • LuckyDevil

    Nice, Clean, Fuctional Design, but What happened to the “like” button? Keep up the Good Work ?

    • We’re still tweaking social integration. For the time being there are social tools at the bottom of every article.

  • John McLauchlan

    Well done Gabe (and the MotoringFile elves who contributed to the new layout). Looks great and functions really well.

  • Michael Lehnert

    A nice and good-looking redesign, even though the old one had no faults and didn’t require a redesign, IMHO. I like that the new ‘FILE’ logotype in the site’s logo picks up the JCW badge colours of black, white and red, but I am not 100% sure about the BMW M-Motorsport-inspired graphic used. However, I understand it makes sense to re-use the logotype from your equally new Bimmer side. Still, I’d hope MotoringFile would warrant something more bespoke and unique.

    Just two troubleshooting things:

    1) When browsing with Safari (desktop) versions, the top pop-up navigation menu remains blank until you actually move the mouse pointer onto the popped-up menu space. Only then do the submenus’ content appear.

    2) The R50 menu incorrectly states “R50 Era MINIs // 2006-1014” in its “hoover-over” pop-up. It should obviously say ‘2000-2006’, shouldn’t it?

      • Good catch on the R50 Era. Should now be fixed.
      • The nav bug you’re seeing is something we haven’t seen. What version OS and Safari are you using?
      • Re: logo – totally understand the opinion. That may still be tweaked.
      • Michael Lehnert

        V 6.0.5 on Mountain Lion 10.8.4, 6.1 on Mountain Lion 10.8.5 (— can’t cope with the Jony Ive aesthetic redesign of OS X on my personal machine 😉 —), but I have it on Safari 9 in El Capitan beta as well. Can’t comment on Safari 7, which I don’t run. If you can’t replicate this, then it may have to do with my personal set-up… mmhh… scratchhead

      • Michael Lehnert

        I think I would definitely use the graphic from the t-shirt. I looks “awesome” (and I use the word as a Brit/German European) and deserves to be used for the site. The M-logo is a logical tie-in with BimmerFILE, but I think while alot of people (certainly in Germany) buy MINI because of the BMW foundation, alot more people buy it because of its standalone proposition and Brit heritage, best symbolised by the many famous winged car badges from England.

      • Edge

        Unless I’m mistaken, they are still incorrect. The R56 Era is listed as starting in 2006… but shouldn’t they start in 2007 models?

        Also, the R50 Era is listed as ending in 2007, but shouldn’t they end in 2006 models? (except for the convertible R52, of course… which ended with 2008 models, not 2007).

        • The F56 generation began production September 2006.

        • Edge

          True… but as a 2007 model, right? We all know that a “model year” of vehicle starts manufacturing late in the prior year.

          EDIT: Also, I think you meant to say R56, not F56.

        • We’re going by the UK and Euro designation where they place more emphasis on the year produced over the “model year”. Since this this is an international site that’s what we went with. There’s probably no real right answer though.

        • Edge

          Ah OK. In that case, maybe it should be more specific and include the build months? In your example, “09/2006” instead of just “2006”. That would reduce confusion… because when someone just sees a year, it’s reasonable to think that it means “model year”.

    • Eddie Cosme

      Completely agree about the logo. First thing I thought was M logo.

      • Finally had a moment to finish the new MF logo. It’s been a long time coming but I didn’t want to update it until I was totally finished. Hence the re-use of the BimmerFile logo for 12 hours 🙂

        • Eddie Cosme

          Much better!

        • Nick

          Love the MF logo. Looks great!

  • Eddie Cosme

    I really like the cleaner look.

    I’m not a fan of the large image on individual articles. Always a pet peeve of mine when I click to read an article and my screen is filled with an image. I clicked the link for the ARTICLE, so it should be visible when the page loads.

  • Looks great – congrats!!

  • b-

    6F?

  • jcwcoupe

    Good job guys! I’m glad to see the new design.

  • Ruxton

    Awesome job, the site looks great

  • Patrick W

    While I understand, logically, every element of the new logo (chili red and black being classic Mini colors; the repetition of the new MINI wing logo, etc.), I can’t help the fact that when I look at its eagle-winged stance of hard geometric lines in red and black that I am first reminded of white supremacist / neo-nazi / National Front logos that I’ve seen in the past. (Sorry, just being honest).

  • Kevin Bartlett

    I quite like the new design. My aging iMac however isn’t quite up to the task of making it run smoothly though…..maybe it’s time for an upgrade.

  • nervous

    I miss the comment counts in the article descriptions.and at the tops of articles.

  • Scott Eaves

    Two thumbs up!

  • LuckyDevil

    ? I can’t get through a whole article on my iPhone 6 without the website giving an error an reloaded. I just wanted to make you guys aware of it. Your coverage is great though. I’d like to see more on the redesigned BMW powered jcw countryman that will be coming out if you can dig anything up. Thanks J

    • Can you screenshot this? We haven’t see this error in testing our various iPhones 6.

      • Michael Lehnert

        I actually get the same error, systematically and consistently, using Safari on an iPad mini (first generation and second generation) on the latest iOS 8.4.1 using 4G or WiFi .11n on both 5Ghz and 2.4Ghz frequency bands.

        I can load the home page or landing page without problem, but as soon as I drill down and open an article, the usual loading immediacy of MF pages slows down significantly, and as soon as imagery and/or ads are loaded, or the image is loaded and starts to get automatically animated for the zoom-in or slideshow feature you guys introduced, the tab shows the error message LuckyDevil posted, and reloads. This can continue for 3-4 cycles, until the website is eventually fully loaded and stable to view. Scrolling is extremely jittery, though.

        This occurs with multiple tabs open showing other websites, as well as with just MF in one browser tab, immediately after a cold-start of the iPad, with Safari cache emptied and cookies deleted.

        I thought this is related to the low RAM on early generation iPad minis, because Safari kills and reloads tabs once the downloaded data exceeds 70-100MB per page in tab on those devices. However, in years of using these iPads, I have only experienced that when downloading massive PDF files (80MB-100MB) and never for websites. This happening on a new This really means I can’t read MF on these devices anymore. As usual, YMMV when it comes to other users.

      • LuckyDevil

        Sorry, I thought I had attached it. Right above the black bar. The whole screen goes white and reloads.

        https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/95ec2912879110fed5ab099d3a12eeb9b7a0318d559762a1a447f89e4ed09294.jpg

    • Michael Lehnert

      I actually get the same error, systematically, using Safari on an iPad mini (first generation and second generation) on the latest iOS 8.4.1 using 4G or WiFi .11n on both 5Ghz and 2.4Ghz frequency bands.

      I can load the home page or landing page without problem, but as soon as I drill down and open an article, the usual loading immediacy of MF pages slows down significantly, and as soon as imagery and/or ads are loaded, or the image is loaded and starts to get automatically animated for the zoom-in or slideshow feature you guys introduced, the tab shows the error message LuckyDevil posted, and reloads. This can continue for 3-4 cycles, until the website is eventually loaded. Scrolling is extremely jittery.

      I thought this is related to the low RAM on early generation iPad minis, as Safari reloads tabs once the downloaded data exceeds 70-100MB per page in tab. However, in years of using these iPads, I have only experienced that when downloading massive PDF files (80MB-100MB) and never for websites. This really means I can’t read MF on these devices anymore. As usual, YMMV when it comes to other users.

  • oldsbear

    It’s the Countryman of website design.