Back in September, 2008, after reading this post by Chris Brogan about taking your blog to the next level, I was inspired. I knew that I was outgrowing my information design as well as my blogging platform. I started blogging here in 2003, it has become increasingly difficult to find older posts because I have too many categories and an idiosyncratic way of organizing them.
I thought I could do it myself, incrementally. Redirect blog to domain name, export content to a new platform, and use of the pre-formed themes for my design. I started to read posts about un-cluttering your blog and design checklists:
- Whiteboard: Why Less is More in Design
- The Blog Usability Checklist
- A Beginner’s Guide to Making Your Site More Usable
- A Guide to Creating a Minimalist Website
- 50 Tips to Unclutter Your Blog
- Critique Your Design
- Usability is a Conversation
My Zoetica colleague, Geoff Livingston, suggested that I don't go the DIY route and work with a professional web/blog designer! And, am thrilled to announce that I'm working with Allyson Kapin and Jared Seltzer of Rad Campaign. They have graciously agreed to let me write about what I learn about a blog redesign process.
Our first task was to an assessment to look at the strategy as well as the design elements. The strategy covered:
- Call to Action
I'd like this new blog to be a cleaner version of Beth's Blog with less clutter, but no so polished. I want the blog design to reflect being authentic, and generous in sharing knowledge. I also want the blog to be a fun place to visit and more interactivity, at least in the comments. I feel like my current platform gets in the way of building community and conversation in the comment threads. I want something with white space, that's visual, and is not boxy corporate.
The most important part of a redesign process - after you map out the strategic points - is to look at a lot of blogs and identify design elements you like. This helps you develop a common vocabulary with the designer.
The next step is to start thinking about the information architecture and this, of course, flows from the objectives.
I'm also going to be working on the SEO strategy with colleagues Dennis Yu and Jonathan Coleman. Which will come after the look and feel piece.
So stay tuned! Have any advice for going through a redesign process?