A Review of the New Changes on Pottermore

This week, aside from releasing the final chapters of Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, Pottermore also made some major changes to the site. Here’s a complete overview of the new changes, and thorough review as well.

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What’s new on Pottermore.com: Things to discover, re-visit, and explore

As you probably know by now, Pottermore made some major changes to the site. We first reported on this in June, and it was nice it all come to life yesterday. In this post we tell you what’s new, and some aspects you may want to re-visit.

FYI –The Pottermore Insider has summarized all the new features in a new post, so you can refer to that if you want to learn more.

The New Homepage

The New Homepage

The Homepage

Before signing-in, you will notice that Pottermore has re-done their homepage. On the new page, you can see what is new on Pottermore.com, what you can discover, and community news. At the bottom, you will see white boxes advertising the site’s features and so on.

Here you will a new exclusive content entry from J.K. Rowling. To find out more about the Quill of Acceptance and the Book of Admittance, click the box that says “Explore Harry’s Story”. Then, click “Try a Moment”, below the introduction. Then the box disappears and you are able to explore the Small Locked Tower of Hogwarts. (Anyone remember this from the Magical Quill Challenge??? Perhaps the part where  we get had our names placed in this book??) Zoom in once and unlock the entry by clicking the book in the center. Enjoy!

For new or potential users, you can try some of the site’s signature features without even signing up. This includes brewing a potion, casting a spell, or reading a sample J.K. Rowling entry from the site.

Contrary to what was initially reported, users cannot be sorted into a Hogwarts House or receive their Ollivanders wand without signing up. Therefore, to be sorted and get a wand, you need to sign up for the site.

Also contrary to the first reports, the “Who is Harry Potter” entry is less severe then what people thought. Many people feared it would interfere with their Pottermore experience to have new fans come in to the site who didn’t know who Harry Potter even was. Luckily for them, it does not detract from the experience but it is still a good introduction for those who do not know the series cover to cover. (For those who are wondering, the “Who is Harry Potter” page can be accessed by clicking on “The Harry Potter Stories” box on the bottom of the homepage.)

The Sign-In Homepage

In addition to launching the final chapters of Prisoner of AzkabanPottermore added to/changed some previous Moments. Here are the ones you may want to re-visit:

  • Harry and Hagrid Visit Gringotts – B1:C5:M2 – Enjoy the beautiful illustration of Gringotts, listen to an audiobook snippet, and collect a few things… Did you find the moldy dog biscuit?
  • Ollivanders – B1:C5:M3 – Explore the centuries-old wand shop on Pottermore, complete with a new artwork and more things to collect.
  • The Sorting Ceremony – B1:C7:M2 – Complete with Hogwarts House ghosts and some chocolate frogs to collect, the Great Hall is in its prime in this Moment.
  • Harry’s First Potion Lesson – B1:C8:M2 – There’s lots more to collect from Snape’s lair this time around…

That’s all the novelties that we found, but if you discovered something else, be sure to tell us in the comments below!

Are you enjoying the changes to the site? What do you like/dislike about them? Share with us in the comments below

New Homepage coming to Pottermore.com

The Pottermore Insider has announced that the coming weeks will not only bring the final chapters of Prisoner of Azkaban to Pottermore.com, but a new Homepage as well.

In apparent conclusion of the recent updates, Pottermore has announced that this new Homepage will be a new way to follow the Moments, and will include a new Map “featuring areas where you can find and access all of the activities you regularly like to take part in, such as brewing potions, challenging students to duels, or shopping in Diagon Alley.” From what we can gather, it will be in place of the current Gateway homepage.

In the Insider post, Pottermore explained that users will use the new Story Navigator to explore Harry’s story. We previously reported on this in the last few weeks.

The Story Navigator

The Story Navigator

The post reads: “You can scroll through the available books on Pottermore.com, browse through thumbnails of the Moments, and click on the ones you want to explore in full.”

A new Map will feature all the locations and activities from the Wizarding World that are currently available on the site, including Diagon Alley and Hogwarts locations like the Great Hall and your own house Common Room. “To access them you’ll simply need to click on your desired location on the Map,” the Insider writes.

The Map

The Map

Pottermore makes note that as the site evolves, more locations and activities will be added to the Map for you to discover and enjoy. (From the looks of it, it seems like this Map will be designed like the Maurader’s Map, and we’re pretty excited it!)

Because you will be able to access all of the locations and activities from the Map, the new “slim-line” Top Bar will display a summary of your profile and your recent activity.

From the Insider post:

As you collect items from the Moments you will see them being added to your Trunk in real time, and the most recent Badge you have collected will appear here along with your Owl Notifications and your House Crest (once you’ve been through the Sorting Ceremony).

Another addition will be the Side Bar feature. The Side Bar will be placed on the right-hand side of your screen and will contain updates and information “so you don’t miss out on anything new,” the Insider says.

The Side Bar is to the right of the moment.

The Side Bar is to the right of the moment.

From the post:

When you’re exploring a Moment from Harry’s story the Side Bar will house the ‘Read About’ content as well as a new ‘Related Moments’ feature, which will showcase thumbnails of Moments that include similar characters, locations or themes to the Moment you are currently exploring. Combined with the new commenting features, this will provide you with even more opportunity to locate and discuss your favorite things about the Harry Potter series.

Pottermore said there will be on-screen guidance to help you get used to the new Homepage.

Remember, the new features will be available once the final installment of Prisoner of Azkaban launches. Rest assured everyone, the wait is almost over…

What do you think about the new homepage and its features? Are you excited about them? Share with us your thoughts in the comments below!

All images courtesy of Pottermore. Thanks to Robert for the tip.

Pottermore reveals more about the Story Navigator feature

The Pottermore Insider revealed more information about the new Story Navigator that was announced a few weeks ago.

The Story Navigator is a new feature that will enable users to more easily explore the available moments on Pottermore.com. This new feature and (at least) two others will debut in the coming weeks when the final chapters of Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban chapters are released.

Today Pottermore announced that the Story Navigator will also feature a “Discovery Bar” and “Moment Markers”. The Discovery Bar, the Insider post reads, will be “displayed along the bottom of each Moment thumbnail on the Story Navigator,” and will show the progress you’ve made through the Moment.

The Discovery Bar is the strip of gold at the bottom of the Moments' thumbnails. Image courtesy of Pottermore.

The Discovery Bar is the strip of gold at the bottom of the Moments’ thumbnails.
Image courtesy of Pottermore.

From the post:

If you’re ever worried that you have overlooked a hidden Galleon or Potions ingredient, or even that you’ve missed one of the exclusive entries by J.K. Rowling, you will now be sure whether you’ve explored each Moment in full, or whether you still have more to discover. There will be a new Discovery Bar displayed along the bottom of each Moment thumbnail on the Story Navigator, so those of you who like to leave no stone unturned will know whether you have discovered everything within that Moment or not.

As we said above, there will also be “Moment Markers”, which will be placed against the thumbnail images of the Moments to indicate where new information from J.K. Rowling can be discovered, where to listen to snippets from the digital audio books, and where a challenge awaits.

The Red Quill marker will appear on the thumbnail of each Moment that contains exclusive new writing from J.K. Rowling, so you’ll never miss discovering these informative entries.

The Challenge marker lets you know that the Moment contains a challenge, such as ‘de-gnoming the garden’ or ‘recapturing the Cornish pixies’.

Make sure you have your sound turned on when you see this Speaker marker – it means a snippet from the digital audio books will be played within the Moment.

We have all this and more to look forward to in the coming weeks. You can read about the other upcoming site features by tracking our “Features and Capabilitiescategory right here. The new features will be available once the final installment of Prisoner of Azkaban is available in the coming weeks.

Share comments beneath Moments and Book Pages: More new features coming to Pottermore

As reported last week, Pottermore announced that new features will be coming to the site once the final chapters of Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban is released in the coming weeks. Today, they announced two of those new features: the ability to comment on Moments, chapters, and J.K. Rowling’s entries, and Book Pages.

With the ability to comment on the Moments, users can share their thoughts about the Moment, read other people’s comments, and interact with the community.

Image courtesy of Pottermore.

Image courtesy of Pottermore.

You will not only have the ability to comment on Moments, but each book, each chapter, and each exclusive content entry from J.K. Rowling, so you can discuss your feelings and ideas about the Harry Potter stories and interact with the Pottermore community.

Another addition that is coming to the site is Book Pages. With the launch of these new features, each book in the Harry Potter series will have its own Book Page. “Here you will be able to discuss your thoughts and reflections on that book, whether it’s currently available to explore on Pottermore.com or not,” writes Pottermore.

Image courtesy of Pottermore.

Image courtesy of Pottermore.

Are you excited about these new features? Last week we learned about the new Story Navigator – click here to find out more about it. Remember, over the coming weeks Pottermore will be introducing the new features, and also sharing exclusive behind-the-scenes insights about the last installment of Prisoner of Azkaban on the Pottermore Insider, the only place for official Pottermore news.