Web Strategy Redesign: Your Feedback Wanted

Web Strategists, I wanted to thank you all for being so involved in the comments, reading, and sharing the Web Strategy blog over the past years. As you often hear me discuss how orginizations must involve their own customers and marketplace involved in their feedback loops, I want to also live that as best as I can. I’m embarking on yet another blog redesign, working with Engage Sciences (Design), and Mitch from StudioNashVegas (Development, in the next phase), to build the next generation of this website. As I’ve done in the past, I always want to involve you, the customers, as part of the feedback loop.

I’d love your feedback in the following three comps, using discussion points loosely around the required JJG’s Five Elements of UX which I’ve adopted many times:

  1. Look and feel: Branding.  Out of the three comps, which one best fits my brand and that of the community?
  2. Interface and Interaction design: Does it look easy to use some of the interactive pieces to find and navigate to information?
  3. Information Design: In the classical IA sense, is the information displayed in a way that makes it easy to read, find, and consume?

The other 2 elements (content and strategy) remain constant from previous posts, but you can see the below comps have a greater focus on the content assets (speeches, reports, webinars, slides, infographics) beyond just text.

Here’s three distinct comps for your review:
(note: I updated so when clicking on thumbnail you are advanced to full size image)



Blog Concept 1C

Wireframe 1: Professional personal brand. This design would feature more of the ‘personal brand’ or ‘career brand’ as I prefer to say, and could have more pictures of me. While I’m a bit bashful to push that too hard (as I’d rather have the focus be on content, not me) it’s a concept the team wanted to try. You can see this variation that has images as the BG, but I worry about sending the wrong message (larger than life ego) and of course readability.


Blog Concept 2C

Wireframe 2: Corporate Ready: True to my business focus, and those I serve in the world’s largest corporations. The navigation elements are easier to use and centralized, and there’s dedicated features for reviewing content assets towards the bottom. Also notice the decreasing ‘content funnel’ with the latest post in largest form, then they reduce in size as older content decrescendos.


Blog Concept 3C

Wireframe 3: Fresh and Friendly. This one is a real departure from the others shown, or anything done to date. While the color palette can easily be changed, the goal is to really allow fresher perspective that’s warmer and inviting, and using a different layout. Assume the ‘colored fan’ would be replaced by a graphical element suitable for the overall brand, that’s just a placeholder.


You can see all the wireframes here in the full flickr set, provided by Engage Sciences team.

I really look forward to your feedback below, I’ll read and respond to as many comments as possible, as well as the design and development team. We’ll make some final tweaks based on your feedback then move into development cycles and prepare for dev testing then production launch.

  • Either 1 or- even better- 3.

  • Good point about being friendly vs projecting that the content is taken seriously and looking professional. One needs to find the right balance.

  • Seems like a popular theme has been to combine elements of #2 and #3.

  • Well, two things come to mind. It’s hard to read the small white text against a fairly light colored blue background. And secondly, it looses that “white space” (I can breath) feeling as opposed everything looking heavily boxed in. Which is why I’d be curious to see what 3C’s right-nav design/style would look like with the main content area of design 1C. Again, *my2centsworth*! ~Kathy

  • Liza @amauiblog

    Been reading all the comments. Many like 3. The most recent discussion is interesting. But for me, a simple direct answer is I like Wireframe2. Thanks for getting your readers get involved on this.

  • like it except for the choice of font.
    steroids blog

  • THanks Jim, I do a redesign every 2 years as the technology features change. Also the way I distribute content and aggregate needs to evolve.

  • THanks Jim, I do a redesign every 2 years as the technology features change. Also the way I distribute content and aggregate needs to evolve.

  • Hans Suter

    Sans serif is hard to read, this is a fact. And compact text blocks, too.

  • Hans Suter

    Sans serif is hard to read, this is a fact. And compact text blocks, too.

  • My vote is for #2, I like the bottom section of #1 as others have shared – 2’s bottom part is a little too corporate, and each one looks the same. 3 is just wrong, with so many colors and images conflicting, I don’t see the brand as much as notice the clutter of colors. Even 1 has the background image which is unclear and doesn’t really connect me to your brand, and since a picture tells a thousand words, it sort of conflicts with your message, which is really you, your posts and ideas, your connections, events…so much going on, yet the content and you dominate the top.

    Part of what is missing on all 3 is the social graph and conversations, which are sort of buried on each, and with a sampling of 5 folks, they don’t really seem to serve the purpose of the showing the dialogue that is going on. Graphically they stand out, but you get 5, and it is a text based medium that you are trying to make more interesting and visual, yet I could see this being more threaded towards conversations – which one of your posts really generated dialogue, as opposed to scattered comments from people with no real connection to the content.

    I’ve seen this done by focusing on the richer conversations, rather than a collection of comments, because part of your brand is the intelligent consideration and discussion you promote; I want to find what really sparked your audience, not just a random collection of thoughts related to different posts. While it looks pretty, functionally it doesnt’ do it for me.

    Lastly, your job board is pretty much buried on all of these, which won’t benefit your advertisers, it’s sort of lost on the side there, not necessarily a negative, just noticed how much it got pushed down, to the point of wondering if it is delivering value to your visitors and your advertisers, that just the marketing guy looking at it. Pushing it up would interrupt what you have going on…

  • My vote is for #2, I like the bottom section of #1 as others have shared – 2’s bottom part is a little too corporate, and each one looks the same. 3 is just wrong, with so many colors and images conflicting, I don’t see the brand as much as notice the clutter of colors. Even 1 has the background image which is unclear and doesn’t really connect me to your brand, and since a picture tells a thousand words, it sort of conflicts with your message, which is really you, your posts and ideas, your connections, events…so much going on, yet the content and you dominate the top.

    Part of what is missing on all 3 is the social graph and conversations, which are sort of buried on each, and with a sampling of 5 folks, they don’t really seem to serve the purpose of the showing the dialogue that is going on. Graphically they stand out, but you get 5, and it is a text based medium that you are trying to make more interesting and visual, yet I could see this being more threaded towards conversations – which one of your posts really generated dialogue, as opposed to scattered comments from people with no real connection to the content.

    I’ve seen this done by focusing on the richer conversations, rather than a collection of comments, because part of your brand is the intelligent consideration and discussion you promote; I want to find what really sparked your audience, not just a random collection of thoughts related to different posts. While it looks pretty, functionally it doesnt’ do it for me.

    Lastly, your job board is pretty much buried on all of these, which won’t benefit your advertisers, it’s sort of lost on the side there, not necessarily a negative, just noticed how much it got pushed down, to the point of wondering if it is delivering value to your visitors and your advertisers, that just the marketing guy looking at it. Pushing it up would interrupt what you have going on…

  • Declan, thank you for the thoughtful response! I agree with the colors, I’m not sure that’s the direction I want to head. noted on social conversation…

    Noted on the job board, glad you brought that up. Your points are great, I’m factoring these in for the next iteration.

  • Declan, thank you for the thoughtful response! I agree with the colors, I’m not sure that’s the direction I want to head. noted on social conversation…

    Noted on the job board, glad you brought that up. Your points are great, I’m factoring these in for the next iteration.

  • Declan, thank you for the thoughtful response! I agree with the colors, I’m not sure that’s the direction I want to head. noted on social conversation…

    Noted on the job board, glad you brought that up. Your points are great, I’m factoring these in for the next iteration.

  • Declan, thank you for the thoughtful response! I agree with the colors, I’m not sure that’s the direction I want to head. noted on social conversation…

    Noted on the job board, glad you brought that up. Your points are great, I’m factoring these in for the next iteration.

  • Thanks Liza!

  • Thanks Liza!

  • Thanks Liza!

  • Thanks Liza!

  • Thanks, noted on clutter

  • Thanks, noted on clutter

  • Thanks, noted on clutter

  • Thanks, noted on clutter

  • Great question, we’ve already gone through that process and have documented findings, found other similar examples I was seeking an identified the audience and purpose.

  • Jon Keefe

    Hi Jeremiah
    I am maybe coming to this late and maybe my two comments were considered and moved on from:-
    1/. Why show the entire content of the latest post? It uses 80% of your real estate. Surely you could write a version that gives a synopsis
    2/. In my humble opinion ( I’ve been in digital one way or another since 92) there are way to many repeated start points for the same user journey.   

  • I just never have got myself involve much with Wireframe but after reading this I think I’m going to grt familiar with it. Thanks Jeremiah.

  • I just never have got myself involve much with Wireframe but after reading this I think I’m going to grt familiar with it. Thanks Jeremiah.

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  • I am very new with this thing thanks to you to share this information with me. All feedbacks and tips are like more knowledgable thing for me.

  • Anonymous

    Design 3 has the most modern sense, which is obviously good at the site. It’s fresh, and in a new direction of things. 3B is a better color scheme. If it is incorporated into a larger title from “Design” 2.