Yesterday we launched with a new homepage and Mike offered his thoughts with regards to why the changes were made. I have spent the last 2.5 years on this site critiquing and bashing a lot of other sites on the web and I only thought it would be fair to have a go at our own site for once.
What?! Why would someone in the company critique their own site? Wouldn’t it just be better to wait till everything is done perfectly before launching it? In our case Mike and I are two creative types (and I use “creative” loosely here) that differ on certain aspects of design. However, he is good at what he does and I have learned to trust him with certain issues when we can’t agree on them.
Take a look at my favorite version in comparison to the current version:
The old version had more visual pop to it. The color combinations that Rundle was able to pull off were something I had never seen before on the web. With the current version I feel that the gray background is just too bland for what many people might have loved about previous versions. The gray carries over to the navigation at the top and this is something that Mike and I disagree with on a daily basis. I personally can’t stand seeing a gray background and then the same gray used for the navigation. He likes it.
The gray makes an appearance again behind the ads. To nobody’s surprise I hate it there as well. I believe the ads can stand on their own without a background and if a gray background must appear somewhere in there to breakup the content then maybe it would best be served with information on how you can advertise on the 9rules homepage.
My final gripe (I just had to use the word gripe because I don’t think I ever had before) is the “From Our Featured Blogs” section. I think the green background is too light and the entries seems to run into each other. This is actually something Mike agrees with me on and we are thinking of simply placing a small border underneath each entry to break it up visually a bit better.
So Why Launch?
Again, I think a good question to ask is why launch if I have these issues. Well for one the site desperately need the new functionality displayed currently to drive more traffic internally towards our communities. Also when dealing with your own site I knew I had to watch out for being overly critical to the point of nothing ever launching. The problems I have with the site are aesthetic and shouldn’t effect the performance or usability of the site and therefore I felt it was okay to launch with these “issues”.
What are your thoughts? Am I insane or being too picky?