New Design Preview

As part of the on-going process to keep impoving We Fly Spitfires, my fantastic team of Norwegian android designers (they’re more Photoshop than man now) recently came up with a new and improved design for the blog. I thought it would be fun to let y’all have a sneak peak and take a look so you can leave any comments or feedback you might have about it.

New design sneak peak

New design sneak peak

The design incorporates both small tweaks and large changes. For instance, the banner has changed from green to blue and the nav bar from blue to red yet the right hand side is quite a bit different and footer is entirely new (I love big chunky footers on websites). We’re also trying to change the main content area too to make it bit more user friendly than just being one gigantic list of all the posts from the past seven days.

This design isn’t the end of the road though and we’ve got ideas for move improvements after I get this built (it likely won’t go live until mid April). The next step, design wise, is probably to make more use of icons and content description. For instance, I want to rework my tags and actually make them mean something and properly describe the content of the post. If I write something that’s going to piss you off or make you laugh, I’d like you to know that it was my intention.

So what do you think? Speak now or forever hold your peace.

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18 Comments

  1. As a game designer, I fear change. As a game player, I’m going to spam your forums with everyone who agrees with me until you change it back, then I’m going to stop reading you anyway. (I just wanted the attention.)

    Have fun!

  2. JC says:

    Looks good to me.

    That said, I don’t understand why my wife is constantly wanting me to move the furniture and pictures around on the walls and by extension I don’t understand why so many bloggers keep “redecorating” either.

    • Gordon says:

      It’s human nature to keep improving things, I guess. It’s why we have DVDs when VHS would do and why we have MP3s when there was nothing wrong with CDs.

      This design is actually also more like the second part of the current one. We didn’t have the time to roll everything out in one go so it’s being phased in slowly.

  3. Larísa says:

    It looks beautiful… But… I know I’m horribly conservative, but I enjoy simplicity when it comes to blog design. Because that’s what makes them feel like blogs and not like some websites. Tobold’s stuck to the most basic of all Blogger premade designs and it works perfectly! He lets the text speak for itself. For a slightly more advanced look, but yet minimalistic, look at Righteous Orbs.
    I’m probably just a grumpy conservatieve old lady, so don’t pay too much attention to what I’m saying. But you asked for our opinion and here’s mine.

    And whatever you do – make sure that you always cans see what’s most recently updated. Spicytuna for instance is driving me nuts wtih his design. DONT have alternating headlines etc which just confuse the reader!

    My two cents.

    • Gordon says:

      I take your point about content being king and I agree completely. I don’t believe in style over substance either but hopefully I can have the best of both worlds :) I’m just lucky I know someone who’s so willing to help come up with nice designs for the blog. I don’t think you ever saw my original theme, it was a basic black and white one very similar to Tobolds (I didn’t even have a banner or any imagery). There was nothing wrong with it but part of this whole blogging hobby for me is having fun with the design and building the site too.

      As for blogs and websites, well technically they are the same thing :) It’s just a medium for distributing information and, personally, I want to create a sense of personality and engagement when people mosey on over. Or at least that’s the theory :)

      Thanks for the great feedback!

  4. Jason says:

    My only complaint on the existing design is the banner ad that appears on single article pages between the title of the article and the body. Seriously? An ad between the title and the body? It’s the main reason I only come to the site to post comments and read the articles in Google Reader instead.

  5. kaozz says:

    It flows nice, looks real good. I’ve been working on how mine looks a bit lately, I think I am just going to design my own template soon. It’s always nice to refresh a the look of a blog. Great job :)

  6. Pindleskin says:

    I like the new sidebar. It gives more solidity to the design in general.
    Speaking of designs, is there anyone out there that can design a decent theme and logo for my wordpress blog? The standard ones are a bit boring.

  7. boatorious says:

    Wow, it looks great. But I wonder if you’re limiting yourself by using that same title for every story.

  8. xXJayeDuBXx says:

    Not only do I like the look, but I like that you have a Caldari Merlin in each story…

  9. Dustin Moore says:

    Your blog is simple and easy to navigate in. I was thinking about my design earlier and always think about how I’d hate to steal your whole look but it just gives me so many ideas for my site. I especially like the Facebook, Twitter, RSS, and email links up top on the right. Are we just over critical on our own blog design or does my just suck that much? I have to redo my tags, I know that much.

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