(I forgot to take a screenshot before I changed it! So, this is the old Photoshop document)
More Reason to Visit
Far more people subscribe to Script & Style than visit it on the web. That's wonderful I think. Script & Style is stream of articles and RSS is the best way to digest that. At the same time, we certainly want to encourage people to visit on the web as well, so there needs to be some reason to do so.
The new design features 20 of the latest and greatest links, as opposed to 5 before, so it feels much more like the front page of a newspaper, showering you with information.
Also now prominent is a search bar. There are literally thousands of articles that have been posted to Script & Style, so it has become a nice place to come and search if you are looking for a particular technique or something you remembered you once saw but can't find again.
Streamline / Removing the Cruft
The gigantic headers and footers started to bother me not long after the original design went up. Sure, they were kinda fun and bold, but it was taken too far. The new slimmed and sleeked headers and footer retain the original feel but don't get in the way as much.
We used to have twice as many links in the footer that pointed to pages that never got much love (like "resources"). Gone!
Not many folks used the email subscription option, which makes sense to me. There are far too many posts on Script & Style to want to have those flooding your inbox. That option is removed and replaced with a single bold RSS option in the header.
Half of the entire layout before was dedicated to the "exclusive tutorials" which we just weren't able to keep up with. Those have been removed, although the old ones of course still exist.
Cleaning up Submission
The old submission form felt too much like an afterthought to me. It was just tucked in the regular content area like any other content. But the submission area of major importance to the site. The new submission area has been totally re-thought and streamlined. It features information about the type of articles we like, and is just friendlier in general.
Just drag this to your bookmarks bar:
David build this for us to make submitting sites from anywhere on the web easier. I friggin love it. First you highlight text on the page that would make a good post summary, then click the button. A new window will pop up with the submit form already filled out. You might have to adjust the post title a smidgen (it uses the window title), then submit and that's it!
Different Advertising Treatment
Script & Style is a daily chore for us. It's a lot of work, and the way we earn back on that time is through advertising. the new ads are prominently placed, but in sort of a fun unique way being placed on a "shelf". I think that will serve everyone well.