Sneak Peek: A Look at Our Upcoming Blog Refresh
In last week’s blog I talked about our iterative design and development approach, so this week I wanted to show this method in practice and share a recent project that I’ve been working on: refreshing the blog section of our website.
Why are we redesigning our blog?
A lot has happened in our blog strategy since the last time we updated the design. The current blog design was done about 2 years ago with a very different plan and target audience in place. We’ve made a few minor updates along the way to align the blog landing page with our current goals. These changes include the placement of our blog newsletter, how we market to target audiences, and the layout of the site.
The first example is our blog newsletter. This item was added about a year ago, and in order to properly fit it into our site today, our new design will have a well thought out placement for the newsletter sign up.
We have also drastically changed our targeted blog audience in the past 2 years. We built dev.acquia.com for our developer audience and moved all developer related posts to that website. The acquia.com blog now is oriented toward a buisness audience. Our blog offers posts on topics like thought leadership, strategy, and how-tos for the marketing audience. This change helps our users in both audiences to get what they need quickly and easily without having to dig through content that isn’t relevant to them.
Finally, when we started thinking about the visual style of our blog, we wanted the update to mirror the latest look and feel improvements that have been executed on other pages within our site to maintain consistency. For example, this past month we updated our Resource Center with a more visually appealing layout, which we wanted to mimic in the layout of our blog. Our visitors are responding well to this imagery, so we wanted to make it a bigger part of our design.
What are we removing?
We want to streamline our content on the main blog landing page, so we are removing the intro text on blogs and just showing the headlines. This will make it easier for users to browse our blog content. However, this could turn out to be a mistake and is something we will need to watch closely. The thought behind this decisions is that if the headline doesn’t capture you, the blurb won’t add much. This provides us the ability to make the page more uniform in addition to making our images bigger. We also removed the right side bar on the blog landing page. We haven’t deleted those items, but instead we made them more integrated into our design. We moved the series tags under the headline story, so that they would be more prominent.
The other thing we are paring back on is info about the author on the individual blog pages. Currently we offer some fun facts about the author, which are primarily developer focused insights and don’t add much value to our business audience.
What are our goals?
With this redesign, we are looking to enhance the experience of our blog. We want to limit the superfluous extras and bring the value to you, the reader, faster. We don’t anticipate these changes will increase traffic — our content needs to do that for us. But we want to help boost the value of the content by amplifying the vivid imagery that adds value and excitement to the experience of reading our blogs. Lastly, we want our blog to match the look and feel of the rest of our website, and determined that it was a section that needed an update. Come back in the next few weeks to see it live in action. In fact, this very post will look different in just a few weeks’ time!