I'm very pleased to announce a brand new design for ReadWriteWeb, including a new look n' feel and new logo. The design was created and implemented by San Francisco design firm Ideacodes - specifically Emily Chang, Max Kiesler and Bryan Collick. Personally I've been a big fan of Ideacodes for a long time, so I was thrilled to work with them on this new design.
It's been a year or so since our last major re-design. And this is the first RWW design where I haven't been involved in the coding myself.
The goal of the re-design was to achieve a fresh and bold new look, with cleaner layout and CSS. We also hope the new design will encourage more community on RWW, enhance the way our content is presented, and overall give the brand some oomph.
First up, you will notice that we have a new logo. We've kept the yin-yang symbol, as that to me has always represented 'read/write' and the harmony of that concept - but the symbol has been modernized. The logo type is bolder and emphasizes the letters RWW. And can you spot the subtle thing that's been removed from the logo? The '/' between Read and Write is now gone. Although I have always thought that the slash was meaningful (or maybe I just thought it was cool!), in practical terms it was a slight hindrance - in terms of spelling our name and perhaps even making it difficult to type the URL. So from now on we'll be calling ourselves ReadWriteWeb, or RWW for short.
Finally on the logo, the design buffs among you will appreciate me telling you that the font is univers. For the body text, the font is Arial - a cleaner, more modern and readable font than the Lucinda Grande/Verdana we previously used there.
The other major change is that the site now has a white background, with a distinctive red header. Over the past year I had felt the red background of our old design was overwhelming for some readers. On the other hand the red is closely associated with ReadWriteWeb and lots of people like it, so I was keen to keep it in some form. The new header, I hope you'll agree, is distinctive and the bold splash of red makes our brand stand out.
Personally I love the new logo and header, but I am certain they will provoke different opinions. Why? Because that was the case with the ReadWriteWeb authors during the design process! That's good though - I'd much rather have a bold design that gets different reactions, than a bland one that gets no reaction ;-)
Other new features you will see on the new ReadWriteWeb:
- Popular Posts; this list at the top of the page is automatic and right now is based on the most commented posts.
- Popular Tags; a list of the tags we're using in Movable Type.
- More prominent and bigger RWW Readers section, via MyBlogLog.
- Search in the header (a much requested feature!)
- New main categories, which we think better describe what RWW is about content-wise.
- Shorter post extracts on the homepage, for better scannability.
Plus of course we've kept and enhanced features such as 'Featured Posts', 'Recent Jobs', the swicki search and more.
We have more new features in the works, so keep an eye out for those over the next month or so.
A huge thanks to Ideacodes for their inspiring vision and hard work. I want to also thank our web hosts Media Temple, who worked beyond the call of duty to help us get the new site up and running. Also thank you to Six Apart for their help and advice regarding Movable Type 4.
Let us know what you think of the new design in the comments. As with any new design rollout, there may be a few little bugs to be cleaned up, bits to tweak, things to align, etc. The OpenID login for example isn't quite ready. So the new design is still a bit of a 'Work in Progress'.
We're keen to hear your feedback and any suggestions! And shout out if you come across things that need fixing.