I’m a bit stymied in my desire to get moving on a site redesign. It is not the dearth of reader input in the comments section (you’ve been generous on that front) so much as quite a bit of the input is one-offish in nature. There are some feature changes that are clearly needed, such as having adding an edit or preview function to comments and having a proper contact page (although I perversely find it useful to force readers to work a tad to find my e-mail address; I’m swamped as it is, and lowering the barrier to e-mailing me will likely result in an even more overloaded inbox, with the side effect of even more messages from people I consider to be pretty high priority getting missed). The “Contributors” section in the right column probably gets moved to a click-through button in a bar across the top.
The first thing is to figure out feature changes. It may turn out that we stick with ones that are obvious (an elaborated version of the list above) plus ones that will help site performance.
Cody Williams has volunteered a couple of times in comments to give substantial input on a site redesign, and I’ve been super remiss in not following up. I wonder if another reader or two who also has some experience or a strong point of view in this area is game to join in a round robin (for instance, Psychoanalytus has a user interface programming background and has a strong point of view as well…). There are probably elements of Sven Franck design that are worth incorporating (I liked his “Explore” button, but it may be more straightforward to have the more conventional bar across the top. We have that now with the “[ Subscribe | Blogroll | Topics | Archives | Videos | Contributors | Site Statistics | Search ]” above the banner ad, but it is easy to overlook that. I’m also not sure re how much redundancy to have, since some of the things now across the top are replicated in the right column).
That is a long-winded way of saying I’ve gotten some non-converging reader advice, and having a small group help me sort it out would be very much appreciated. Ping me if you are game.
Another query is I need a teeny bit of graphic arts work done (changing text in an existing design + a new small design task). Need quick turnaround, will pay.
Thanks a ton!