As I recently announced, I’m collaborating with Matt Chevy on a redesign of this website to freshen up the design, make presentations, resources and case studies all easier to find, and surface the rich conversations taking place in the comments. Last week was focused on feedback from readers and wow: I got a lot of really thoughtful, valuable comments! Thanks to everyone who shared opinions and those who I know will continue to weigh in.  Today, I want to share some of the core elements that I heard from you all and things that are driving the work Matt and I are doing to improve this space.

Redesign wrap-up: What you said, Where we’re going

Last week’s posts had three topics: Content, Comments and Extras.  The comments and feedback really helped clarify thinking, confirm ideas I had, and make clear the opportunities for improvement. Here are some of the high-level key points. If I’ve missed something, I hope you’ll let me know!

  • Categories and Tags: Using content categories like (presentation, case study, opinion and so on) can help people find the type of content they are after, as well as categories and tags that indicate topics, conferences and tools. We’ll be using these to a much higher degree to help surface and sort content much more effectively.
  • Diverse Content: Most people noted that they come to the site for case studies and presentations as well as more opinion-style pieces. But I also took note that there’s a great opportunity to diversify content further by sharing short updates, news or reviews to jump start conversation. Look for that!
  • Where’s the Action: There’s lots of opportunity to improve the real-time-ness of the site. Many folks recommended/requested ways to see what posts were most popular/read/commented on. I have a worry there about the cycle of because a post is listed as popular, it then gets more visits, which then makes it to the list of popular posts – but I trust we can work on that.  And focusing on where the action is also means highlighting posts that are getting a lot of comments so folks can find conversations that are taking place. Definitely something we’ll be sure to tackle!
  • The RSS Connection: A comment from Emily got me thinking about the different experience readers have when they follow the blog via RSS opposed to visiting the site itself. There are a lot of RSS subscribers and I want to make sure that the redesign tackles not just the design of the site, but the way content can be more valuable to all readers. This means brainstorming ways to integrate changes to the content so readers anywhere find it even more valuable.
  • More than Posts: Many comments touched on the fact that this site is about more than the blog posts so there’s great opportunity to bring other spaces and resources into the spotlight, whether it is the public NPTech RSS dashboard, books, or other resources – or content and conversations on Facebook and Twitter.
  • Ability to Navigate: Right now, the site really operates with stock WordPress options, but from the feedback last week I know there are a lot of readers interested in being able to navigate the site/through content in a much more elegant way. For example, being able to connect to similar content types or topics from post to post, using suggestion widgets to generate the “you may also like” recommendations, and so on. I’m excited to try some of these options out!

This list gives an overview of some of the issues and ideas Matt and I will use as a point of departure for redesigning this site. I’ll keep you posted as things develop and let you know in advance before the new site appears. But, you can always leave feedback either in the comments or in email – any time.

Thanks again to everyone who provided feedback last week! I’m really excited for making this a more valuable space 🙂

Blog Redesign: Recap and Reflections
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  • Okay, so I was really behind on my comment on the first post. Looks like you have a great roadmap for improvement. Look forward to seeing how it rolls out!

    • Hey Anna-

      You’re not behind at all! I hope that folks continue to add feedback to the redesign posts or send it in email as there’s always room for ideas and improvement. Thanks for adding in to the process – can’t wait to unveil what Matt and I come up with!