If you’re reading this post from your favorite RSS reader then now would be a good time to click through and look at Noah’s new blog design. After about a week and a half of working on the design we decided to launch it today, just in time for the May 1st reboots – there are too many of those to list anymore.
I decided to redesign Noah’s site because there were a lot of problems with his other design. When I designed it I was in a rush and didn’t really focus on details when it was coded. With this design I told myself I would focus on details, make sure everything worked, and finish the design. Not everything works yet, but it will.
The main things Noah wanted to do were highlight the fact that anyone can join, write, and get free links back to their blog. He wanted to encourage people to comment, interact, and he wanted to increase his page views (stats whore).
This is something that a lot of people want on their blogs. They want to interact with their readers. Here’s the thing: readers don’t want to interact with you unless you write good content. If you write good content, you’ll get interaction – you could practically hide the fact that you allow comments and you’d still get them.
Noah gets comments now, so I didn’t have to try too hard to promote people commenting. If you comment a lot you get listed on his “Top Commenters” list they gets reset every month. If you register and post you get free posts on a popular blog.
The point is that I didn’t do anything too fancy to promote interactivity. All the Ajax in all the world won’t get people to comment if your content sucks.
Increase Noah’s pageviews
Noah told me that he gets a fuzzy feeling when he sees his pageviews skyrocket. I did my best to make Noah’s fuzzy feeling stick around by giving people as many chances as possible to click through to new articles.
The new archives page (which isn’t done yet) will be a great way for people to figure out which posts they want to read. The related articles at the bottom of each post will help people find content they’re interested in if they like articles. The authors list will help people find more posts by their favorite authors.
It’s not perfect yet, but it’s a good start. It is much easier to find new posts than it was with Noah’s last layout.
I tried to give some more attention to details. A lot of it you might not notice but the point was to try to tie the site together and make everything match and make everything unique.
It’s not the most unique blog layout ever, it’s not mind blowing, but this site is a blog – not a news portal, not a social network, a blog. There are still things we need to finish and things we need to perfect but we were excited to launch it on May 1st.
My next task is to teach Noah to format his posts so that they don’t look so awful…