A warm hello from the Kinja team, we hope you all had a wonderful Holiday weekend. This week we dug into the feedback around last week’s design updates, continued planning our next round of iterations, and began running tests on a few features in the hopper. Continue reading for more details.
Today we’re taking a much needed step to improve our on-site search with a new results page for kinja.com and richer search results.
In addition to returning stories that match your search terms, we now return any matching users or blogs.
We’re hoping to launch this new search on blogs in the very near future.
Making It Easier to Manage Your Blog
We’ve received feedback that if you’re a member of multiple blogs finding your drafts can take one click too many.
Today, we added an option in your user menu that will allow you to access a blog’s manage page with a single click, when you’re on that blog.
Further Improvements to Typography
After releasing our new font, Elizabeth Serif (based on Merriweather by Sorkin Type Co), we have been further optimizing and improving to create the best reading experience as possible. The biggest issue revealed was the difficulty to read the Light weight on Windows OS on Chrome and Firefox. That has now been resolved with the addition of the Regular weight switched in on Windows systems.
Since Elizabeth Serif is a modified font for Kinja, we are continuing to create handmade punctuations, symbols, letters &c, so look out for beautiful details soon. Here is the full family of our new ‘?’ mark introduced a few weeks back. What a good looking family!
Testing Design Updates
There are two tests that you may have seen running on the network this week - a visual update to the discussions and a swap of the sidebar from left to right. You can expect to hear more detailed updates from both tests next week. We’ve included a sneak peak of the update to discussions below.
Refresh to Bottom of Page Recirculation
We worked with our partners to Taboola to move to a more standard grid format for our bottom of page recirculation module. We hope this make it easier to discover interesting stories without quite as much scrolling.
Wrapping Up SQL Replica Separation
And now for a more technical update from the engineering side of the house — The SQL Replica Separation project has finished! In the past, we had an SQL replica running on every application server; while this has significant advantages it makes doing app server rebuilds much slower. Instead, we reduced each datacenter’s app server footprint from 20->16 servers and repurposed those 4 machines as SQL replicas. All app servers now connect to this pool instead of a local SQL replica.
This change freed up ~114GB of memory and ~500 GB of SSD per app server and increases the speed of app server rebuilds. The primary drawbacks are non-linear scaling of our app servers and the fact that we added another class of server to our infrastructure.
That’s all for this week. If you have any questions or feedback, please leave it in the discussion below. Have a great weekend.