We've been working on this update for some time and we rolled it out today. It was inspired by advanced computer interfaces in sci-fi movies like Minority Report, but also by the deep perspective and spatial imagery of the music we work with. In a word: spacey.
For casual users of the site, you'll notice a cleaner look and a "see-through" effect, with very minor changes to the actual operation of the service. But under the hood we've rebuilt the structural system of the site.
Our previous design used an old web technology called frames. While there were advantages to using frames years ago, they have been eclipsed by newer methods, and the new design takes advantage of a newer technology called iFrames. We also found a way to 'tint' the pages with layers of semi-transparent colors you can see right though.
One of the presenters at a conference I attended a few months ago said "Online the UI (user interface) is the brand." I don't think this is 100% true, but he's definitely onto something with this statement. Online the UI is critical — it's the place where you touch and interact with the site, the service and to a degree, the company.
There's one more feature we are working on and will add next month: deep linking.
Most websites support this naturally, because every page has its own URL or web address. But when you build a site with frames (or the newer iFrames) these URLs are hidden within the enclosing elements of the site. Our brilliant programmer Steven Brosseau has figured out a way to have the best of both worlds — a site with iFrames and individual URLs. What it means is that you will be able to bookmark or send a link to anything you can navigate to on HOS.com.
We'll be tweaking the new design in the coming days based on your feedback, so let us know if anything isn't working on your screen.