Monday, October 1, 2012

Blog Design Revisited {a new header}




Thanks so much for taking the time to talk to me about the new design. To those of you who offered constructive criticism, advice and genuine first impressions, thank you. You have provided me with a wealth of information. Every comment has been carefully considered by Dave and I and we really value your input.

I know, geez, it just a blog design but I love this space here and I want you to love it also. Mock me if you will, but i do take it a little bit seriously (blushes).

Given the wide range of opinions, advice and ideas shared, I thought it might be valuable to address them in a post of their own. A few things were raised repeatedly. Image size, similarity to the beautiful Chantelle's blog, White Space, staying true to my personal aesthetic and appearing more commercial.

But before I get into all of that, let me start by letting you know that the blog header was only intended to be very temporary - a beautiful friend of mine who just happens to be a seriously talented artist has created an illustrated header for me. Her name is Lauren Claire and she is amazing. You can see it at the top of the page, it's one of a lovely collection - You'll be seeing the rest over time. I have a celebratory giveaway going up tomorrow that ties right in. YIPEEE!!

righto, moving on


Image size - One of the main reasons I wanted to change things up was to make the images play centre stage. It was my intention to make them larger. I really love blogs with great images and i'd really like mine to be one of them. I'll be leaving the image size alone for a little while but i'd love to know how that goes for you. If you dislike the larger image size, is it because it takes to long to load or because they are too large for your screen? Are you reading blogs on your phone, ipad, lap top, desk top?

Fat Mum Slim - whoops. You are SO right! It is really similar to Chantelle's beautiful blog. I actually didn't realise when in the throws of  designing this one just how alike they are. I found the comments about design and it's link to reader engagement incredibly valuable and have taken this into consideration.

White Space- oh gosh, i LOVE the white space. After the last design I was yearning for it. The white space is also vital for the little project I mentioned. You'll have to trust me on that!

Personal Aesthetic- I found the comments about the last design being more 'me' really interesting. It's funny because the last design (which was all kind of lovely) was entirely the work of Talia - she conceptualised it, chose the colours, constructed the header, made the buttons- everything. This time, I went to Talia with a very specific brief. I told her exactly what I wanted and we worked side by side to make it happen. So i suppose this one is more 'me' in that sense. I still think it's fruity too, look at those little social media buttons- they are so colourful! Having said that, the last one did have more 'personality' I agree. This one is very much a platform of the content, which i'm okay with. Also, do you think changing the profile pic to a coloured one might be better/less impersonal?

Commerciality- mmm, i do agree, It saddens me that this layout does look a little less 'welcoming'. Thats something I really valued in the last design. I want this to be a homely place, one that you'd like to hang about in and maybe invite a friend. Lets see how it looks with the new header (coming asap- as soon as I can get my internet at home working) and go from there.

Honestly, I can't thank you enough for you advice/thoughts re this new design. Your comments have offered much food for thought and being a lover of constructive criticism- i found this a really valuable exercise.

In other news, we've had a four day weekend here and I have so much to share with you. I'll be back with a plethora or super sized images ;)

xo em



42 comments:

  1. ooooh, yes. YES! beautiful illustrated header. love it. :)

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  2. oooo LOVE the new header! I like the colours better too! ... I don't know you personally - but it seems more you (in relation to pictures of your home and decor etc)

    I love the black and white profile pic.

    I think the change from cool colours in the header to warm colours has made it feel much more "homey"

    ... i LOVE big images

    xx

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  3. I love the heading and bright colors!

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  4. I like the black and white photo, your headers so colourful (and gorgeous) I dont think anythings lost, it shits me when I cant see a whole image on my screen but thats not an issue on your layout for me anyway!
    Very, very cute!
    I think that commercial bit is a little BS... I'm here for the content of your posts, not your side bar, I like this layout; neat, tidy and sweet!

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  5. LOVE the new header and the bigger images! {how do you do that??}

    xx j

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  6. Ooh, LOVE the new blog header! It's more personal, and welcoming. Normally I'm not big on black and white pics, but i think this profile pic works well, as there is still so much other colour on the page, that if it were colour too, it might be too much.
    I love thie big pics, they work fine for me, both on the ipad, and on the imac.
    Love it!
    Think it must be time to update my blog soon too!

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  7. It's gorgeous Em. I am a massive fan of the large images, so much so that's going to be in my new blog design. People come for your story and that's all I have to say about that (run Forrest run).

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  8. Love it!
    Its funny that we (those who commented) all take your blog and its design so personally. Well done to you and thanks for touching so many peoples lives with a few simple words, beautiful pics and an insight into your daily living!

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  9. Now THAT'S more like it!
    Love the illustration header, wonderful, perfecto!

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  10. I love this one waaaaay better than the first go and even better than your super cool original. it's now making me think how much I wanna change mine! Love the big images too...bring em on. i only read blogs on my mac book, so images are not an issue for me and really they look awesome big!!

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  11. i think it looks gorgeous and achieves everything you want it to ... I love the new custom header, the white base brings it into perfect focus and the accessory colours and buttons compliment gorgeously but importantly the content is still yours! enjoy and we will enjoy with you. we are the lucky ducks! Hx

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  12. New Header is amazing, white space is actually something I really like, large image size suits me fine but then I am mostly looking at this blog on either my ipad or my PC screen, I still think this blog shows heaps of your personality (although I can only claim to know your personality by all the many blog posts I have read over the past few years :) ).

    I was a bit shocked when I opened it up the other day to see the changes because I have become so used to the color popping spectacle that greeted me each time, but I really do like the changes. And like I have said before I really do come here for the wonderful, homely content. Reading about your little life and seeing the pictures as well, just makes my heart sing.

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  13. I like the blog header,fun and colourful without being over the top.

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  14. the larger images are def better....love love the header......am i the only one who didnt see the sims with FMS`s blog??
    dont try to please everybody though....we all keep coming back cause we like what you do....font colour is certainly not a deal breaker!
    xAl

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  15. i love how much thought you have put into this... I think you're header is looks great! And as other's have said before, your pretty space is a bonus to your lovely content and the content is what we keep coming back for!

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  16. That Lauren is all kinds of talented! Love that girl. I think the header is soooooooo beautiful! x

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  17. The new header is really beautiful - I think the warm colours vs. the blues in the last one make a huge difference! (Am already looking forward to the other header designs Lauren created!) I personally love big images, even if sometimes you can't see the whole photo at once, but one can really dive into the photos, and I like that.
    As for the profile pic in colours or not - imho it would have to be one where the colours match the header and the social media buttons, otherwise it would be to much. And I like the black and white one!
    So, when do you tell us about the new project? I'm curious!!

    Fine

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  18. it's amazing how attached your readers had become to your old layout! the new header is fabulous em, I think you've taken the beautiful fruity colours from the last layout and used them in a new way that is beautifully light and airy and much easier to read without double margins. you know I'm a BIG fan of the BIG images because I do it too ;) I don't have trouble with them loading, they appear straight away. I only look briefly on my ipod, I prefer to read and appreciate good images on the mac. I can't wait to see what this new project is, and to see more headers for Lauren if this one is anything to go by! x

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  19. I LOVE this header Em and I love the idea of seeing different ones too - you clever chick you! xx

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  20. Love the b&w photo. LOVE the current.header. Love the new layout and design. You go girl!

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  21. love it...truely stunning and more you than the interim header. i love the clean feel and the big pics work well. a big yes here.

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  22. Oh Em, you sweetheart, what a lovely post you have written. And I can honestly say, the blog header is looking fab, I really love it. Given that the header was the only thing I kinda longed for from your previous blog design... I think this one is a beautiful replacement.
    As for the big pics, I adore those, your images are always filled with so much life and expression... the bigger the better I say!
    And I really like the black and white profile pic too, I think you girl's look just gorgeous and it has quite a soft, old fashioned feel to it, which I think suits you beautifully. Well done clever creators xoxo

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  23. YES YES YES! Sorry to jump on board so late in the game Em, but I truly love this header. Love the bigger photos as well. xx

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  24. Beautiful! I love it! And the image size is perfect the way it is. =)

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  25. Wow, now it's absolutely amazing. I liked it before, but I love it now. your friend is so talented to be able to wip that up. I love the gumboots at the end! As for image size, I like the larger images, mind you I view on an iMac, I guess if I viewed on something smaller then the photos would be pretty large... but you know that's your readers decision to do so. Just go with what you like! I love coming to this space, and love it even more now! V

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  26. oh, and i wanted to say, grace. you got it lady. the interest in the design shows how engaged your readers are. looking forward to many more happy reads over here :)

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  27. I think it looks beautiful and is very easy to look at, so calmimg. Keep the b&w photo, it looks gorgeous x

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  28. oh yay I love your new header but now you have me totally terrified as my blog designer starts work next week on my design and reading all of this has me absolutely terrified!!!!!!! I might need to ask for some opinions on mine when I first see it just to make sure I'm doing it right!

    well done, it looks lovely

    corrie:)

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  29. Not only are you one fantabulous lady, that blog header is flipping' radical too!!!

    Bravo ladycakes

    x

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  30. I love the new look - fresh and clean ♥

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  31. love it! well done :)

    melynda x

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  32. I didn't get a chance to comment on your post about the old header ... but I love this one! I think the other one wasn't "fruity" enough. This one seems much more you.

    I love the bigger pictures and the white space.

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  33. the new header looks lovely.

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Thanks so much for your words of encouragement, advice and solidarity.

xo em