If you visit my site much you’ll notice that I have a new layout here on the front page. I am still getting to the sub-pages but I wanted to see how this worked out in reality before I did much else. And, honestly, I am not sure when I’ll get to the rest of the site since my schedule is getting more and more busy.

The reason for the chages come from my frustrations with blogs in general. The biggest frustration is that old posts get lost and information organization is fairly hard to manage. For example, some people come to my blog because they are my friends and they will read anything. But, the fact is, they are mostly looking for information / updates on my family. Other people come to my blog because they are interested in the stuff I write about church, faith and mission. They don’t really care about how great my kid is at baseball (Even though he is incredible). The other frustrating thing is sidebar content. Often the lists of things get so long the information just get lost.

So, I had a a few goals in this redesign…

I loved the previous layout of my blog but over the years the content, features and the code itself has become super bloated. Making changes was starting to become difficult just because my html/css/wordpress skills have changed over the years and there was some outdated code still being used. So, a big goal of mine was to simplify the content in a more readable set up and also de-clutter the layout.

Information Hierarchy
I wanted to have the freedom to have a featured post along with the recent posts from my Ministry life and the recent posts from my “regular” life in separate sections. You’ll see how I approached that in the main column.

Sidebar Usability
Like I said, I was sick of having long, long lists of information in the sidebars. Some people just want to see comments, other people just want to see my links, others want to figure who i am and what I’m all about. So, I used a little Ajax/jquery magic and put them all there above the fold so you can read what you want. I am pleased with how it turned out and it really cleans things up.

I’ve been redesigning this in my free time at night. This keeps me from working on real work around the clock and lets me stay creative outside of client work. I am sure over the next few weeks I’ll get to the subpages. A big thing I have to do is redo my categorization system to make it work with my two main categories and my featured posts.

Hope you like it and if you see any problems with the site feel free to point them out.