In the last three years our Envato Marketplaces (FlashDen, ThemeForest, GraphicRiver, AudioJungle and VideoHive) have grown like gangbusters, with big communities, huge libraries of files and lots of activity. So when we set out to redesign them earlier this year everyone on the team knew it was going to be big. What we didn't realise was HOW big it would eventually get! Today it gives me great pleasure to show you ...
Our marketplaces were looking a bit tired in the visual department. After all, these are sites by a company whose middle name is 'web design'! So we set about reinventing the wheel with a whole new look, starting from the top with new logos. The illustrations were updated by the super talented Kai Loon and we are usung the wonderful open source font MgOpen Modata...
Interface builds don't get much more complicated, detailed and spectacularly difficult than the new Envato Marketplace design. Fortunately our marketplace front-end dev is Stuart Richardson, a web developer who laughs at problems that make other web developers cry in desperation.
Stu has built a massive interface complete with menus that give us space to grow, a grid view/list view browse, a better site switcher to flick between the five marketplaces, a slick new look and feel and a wildly improved interface. It is easily the biggest, hardest, and I believe best set of websites we've built to date ...
Our new look and feel doesn't stop at the interface either. Thanks to the always talented Derek Herman and my new design wingman here at Envato - Rod Blackney - we have new blog designs, a new marketplace wiki, new Twitter backgrounds, new PollDaddy skins, new badges, a ton of new banners, new Envato Mail and a brand spanking new audio player (courtesy of Lance Snider)!
Also a big thanks to Liam Mckay, Aaron Lynch and Kai Loon who all helped me with concept designs for the new marketplace look and feel. I needed help giving the sites a fresh look, and these three guys delivered!
Features, Features, Features!
... In 1972, a crack commando unit of programmers was sent to prison by a military court for a crime they didn't commit. These men promptly escaped from a maximum security stockade to the Melbourne underground. Today, still wanted by the government, they survive as ruby developers. If you have a site, if no-one else can build it, and if you can find them, well you still can't hire the A-Team - because we already did.
And thank goodness for that, because for 3 months our crack ruby devs John, Erin, James, and Clinton have been pulling 10-14 hours shifts, coming in on weekends and doing whatever it takes to make the marketplaces ... awesome! Here's what they built ...
1. Follow Authors
A little beta feature we've added is the ability to follow authors (yes, inspired by Twitter!) and view their latest files on your homepage. If it works well we hope to do much more with this baby!
2. Huge Forum Improvements
We've brought an all-new UI including first reply and last reply, better styles in the posts, email updates from forum threads, the ability to see threads and posts by a user, and a new recent threads sidebar. And we've hooked up the marketplace blogs and forums so you can chat about blog posts on the forums as well as see the latest news and announcements from inside the community!
3. Author Dashboard
If you're one of our thousands of talented authors, you'll appreciate the new Author Dashboard featuring latest comments, useful links, upload queue information, and latest author-only announcements!
4. Search Within, Search by Tags, Search by Attributes
We have been working hard to improve our search and packaged in with the launch are the ability to search within categories, portfolios, collections, search by tags, search by attributes, search users, search the wiki from support and many other search improvements!
5. File Types, Tags and More Item Page Improvements
Item pages are the core of our marketplaces, so we spent a lot of time making them more awesome. We've got a new audio player, inline video players for smaller videos, a "More Items By" section for authors to show off other items, a "File Types Included" area which we're building icons into and enhancements to comments, tags and attributes!
6. Improved Extended Licensing System
Marketplace Manager Cyan has been working hard to improve our licensing system on the marketplaces and today we introduce our new Regular and Extended options allowing usage in all types of projects at more affordable rates. She has also written out plenty of helpful explanations of how and when to use different licenses in our marketplace wiki.
7. Collection Browsing, Rating and 'Related Items by'
We've been slowly making collections more and more important. In this release you can now browse all public collections, as well as rate them! We're now using collections to provide buyers with a way to find related items by showing top rated collections containing an item right on the item page!
8. New Wiki Housing Much More Information
Today also sees the launch of our new marketplace wiki at Wiki.Envato.com. It contains tons of articles, tips and FAQs about the marketplaces and gives us a storehouse to build a comprehensive knowledgebase about how to get the most out of the marketplaces!
... And there's so much more! From multiple weekly features on the homepage to new smileys, a better rating widget to username checks on the sign up page, process bars to guide you through processes like signup and depositing to fields to allow users to show off social network profiles, more RSS feeds to Facebook pages, and lots of little features, flourishes and fixes!
Goodies #1 - Free Web Icon Set by TurboMilk
To help celebrate the launch we have a couple of goodies to giveaway. First up is a free set of 25 web icons in 3 sizes created by Eugene Artsebasov and the illustrious Turbomilk team!
Goodies #2 - Marketplace Wallpapers
While the marketplaces are all clean lines and fresh highlights, we wanted to work in a bit of grunge for the blog designs. So Rod put together these super cool wallpapers which we reused in our Twitter and Blog designs. Grab one for your desktop...
With the structure all in place we're going to be working on tightening up the new layouts as well as fixing any little bugs (report any you see here). But more importantly we're working on some big features to improve buying: shopping carts, and one-off purchases (so you don't need to go through the deposit process).
We're also going to be releasing not 1, not 2 ... but 3 new marketplaces by the end of the year. Beginning with 3dOcean - our marketplace for 3d models, textures and all things three dimensional. Look out for that in October!
In the meantime on behalf of everyone on the team, we hope you enjoy the new design as much as we did building it!