Most readers in my site would have noticed lately, that a lot of things, happen “under the hood“. The fact is that I try to make my site more “user-friendly”, while, at the same time, I would like to reach a maximum of usefulness for my readers! This balance is not always easy, especially in the blogging world!
A Balance To Be Reached, Or New Site Design?
In the blogging world, if you omit “user-friendly” elements from your design, you lose readers. Simple as that! And your content is never reached the audience you intended to. If you use too many components (i.e. more plugins, more heavy design, CCS elaborated tricks, etc), to pull more readers, usually, they blur your content. You need to have define a clear goal for your blog, to start crafting a good balanced interface, for your users to exploit fully!
My goal for my blog is simple. I’d like it to be a locus of useful resources, ideas, approaches and tools that would empower people to take responsibility for their lives, and if possible, to change it for the better. For this cause, I use as an agent the concept of Leadership Initiative, and as enablers principles and propositions, derived by leadership, business, entrepreneurship, startups, productive, social media, strategy, e-learning, etc.
My Design Philosophy!
As a person, I love the simple design, when the most elements, are in place, but not “too over conspicuous“! I like to be able to concentrate on the item I have to read rather than other elements, distract my attention. And, of course, I would like to have further information when the reading is not the issue at hand! Like adds, items of interest, social media connections with the author, etc.
In my blog, I try to follow the same philosophy! For this reason, I experiment a lot, adding and subtracting features, plug-ins, and widgets, do or don’t respond, to my current objectives. And, of course, I try always to maintain a balance between the usability of my site with its delivering speed. If my site is too much slow, many of my readers, would leave and never come back.
Blogging, besides great ideas, involves, such trade-offs, between excellent content and technology. Should be considered and be used properly, for better serving the intended audience of every blogger!
A New Site Design Redux
This is the reason, my most loyal readers, have noticed lately my shift from my previous Standard theme (a “customized by me” version!), to my new Get Noticed Theme, developed by Michael Hyatt and Andrew Buckman.
I was monitoring Mike’s blog for more than 7 years since the days he was still in the corporate world and used PCs! As a matter of fact, I have first reached his blog, searching for an outlook macro, for implementing the GTD approach in Microsoft Outlook! Mike had a solution, I have “borrowed” it (btw, thank you Mike!), I modify it and used it in my workflow! Andrew Buckman, on the other hand, is an excellent expert in WordPress development and Co-Founder of Get Noticed! Theme for WordPress.
Since that period, I was monitoring Mike’s excellent blogging work and I was following his writings, books, and his attempt to build a custom WordPress Theme, that would enable the users to develop and disseminate more easily their ideas to the world. This theme is the Get Noticed Theme, the theme makes me leave aside my previous used customized version of Standard Theme (and excellently designed and crafted WordPress theme by John Saddington and his 8BIT group, which acquired by Woo Themes).
The ‘Get Noticed! Theme for WordPress’ provides a lot of features, I still not starting to use it fully, but it gives you the freedom to change it and modify it according to your needs. Until now, I have used just a few features and customize it on my own, in the simplest manner! I really, lately, I have not the time to proceed with an extensive customization of the theme, but it is something that has already been scheduled!
Along with my new theme and its out-of-the-box features, I starting using and a new plug-in for making easier for my readers to subscribe to my site! This plug-in is the Popup Domination. I use it in the most lightly way possible, in order not to interfere with what my readers reading or searching on my site.
To add to these new additions, I recently have launched my 2014 Readers Survey, to help me understand more, about your preferences and likes (or dislikes) in relation to my site.
Of course, this work is a work in progress. I would let you know for any further modifications when they are implemented!
Question: Do you like my new site design? What other features, would you like to see on my site? How do you feel about my New Site Design Redux?