Site re-design coming soon…suggestions welcome

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Currently myself and my web designer Piotr Godek from Odd Web Things are looking at a total re-design of PhilipBloom.net.

The idea is to streamline it. Make the content more obvious. Make it cleaner.

Key things that need to be retained. It still needs to feel like a personal site, as that is what it is. It’s not a corporate site. It’s my site and it’s also become a bit of a community with Buddypress. I know the adverts are ugly but they need to be maintained to keep the site viable on a financial basis to pay not just for running costs but to give me the time to work on the site and keep the content flowing. So a way of streamlining those is important too…

So if you have any ideas feel free to post them below!

 

31 comments

  1. The ads (and the fact that many are animated) seems to kill my browser (Safari) on Mac far more than any other site. I DO understand, to keep costs under control, you need the ads, no complaints from me there, and I will often click on them too, so they are relevant, but perhaps less animation 😉

    Other than that, the content is about perfect, just need more of it. Perhaps you could clone yourself?

    Best,

    Justin.

  2. Personally, I love the gray theme with the black bar at the bottom, please don’t change it.

    I would suggest minimal changes, just a bit of resizing is all. Smaller font size on the home page for Recent Posts. A slightly smaller site header. ‘They trusted me’ logos a little larger. Maybe make the right-hand side bars (Archives, Categories & Links) collapsable. A few less ‘tweet this’ links, currently seeing 8 on this page. Have you considered the option of text based ads? I’d still click them. I don’t mind the images so much, but the transitions between ads are a little distracting. Lastly, I might add the PB Kessler Crane red in as an accent color? It would really pop with the current theme.

    BTW, I think you’ve got a great partner in Odd Web Things. Thanks to you, I was able to use them for a quick fix on my site.

    I do hope this is helpful. Granted, I’m no web designer, but making information easier to digest is my day job.

  3. It’s already a great site- the combo of eq talk and your short films. I do agree that it needs simplification – your shooting style is ‘zen’- so should your site be clean, simple, clear. Only suggestion I would make that’s of a more specific nature is that all your films should be in one area – now I keep finding them here and there. I would personally also like to read your comments on your films – i.e., I used x lens for this effect, overall I was experimenting with the notion of creating energy through transitions only, other people like this piece but I suffer every time I view it (something I mutter to myself about all my films), etc. Overall, really, this site is great and I find myself coming here all the time. For instance, I am very curious about more of your ruminations on the both the d5100 and the af100. As well, I find myself studying some of your films (Greenpeace India comes to mind, along with your Prague adventure). Cheers!

  4. Establish a rhythm of font and graphic sizes. Recent blog titles can be reduced a bit. If I set the magnification of your page to make the big bits ‘the right size’, the smaller bits look too insignificant. I’m zooming in and out between blog entries, movies and comments.

    Establish a heirachy of information. What’s more important? Videos? Blogs? Ads? Sign-ups to the news letter? What do you want a viewer to look at first? I want your blogs. I want your other stuff in a sidebar that is less dominant than your up to date content. I want easy access to your other stuff as ‘separate pages’.

    On ‘first land’, what’s the take home message? Who’s it for? Fans or clients? Are your clients the people who attend your seminars, or the people who hire you as a DoP? So which videos are we going to see first on the landing page?

    Liked the move from dark to grey. From my own research, viewers don’t like dark backgrounds with light text, but I’ve yet to change my site.

    Your banner/header could ring the changes more.

    There could be some unification between tweets, facebook, varioius image sharing sites and the website. Okay, okay, enough already. Next…

  5. Sorry about that last bit. I think your site is great. Really informative and laid out nicely. What changes are you wanting to make for improvement? Better navigation? Expanded categories?

    I can’t think of much.

  6. hi

    i dont know if u know this website
    http://dslrvideoshooter.com/
    i feel it is very easy going design with a good accessibility

    for me .. it is very important to give me the ability to control any slider that you might include in your new website

    all the best
    Mahmod .. the iraqi guy from your Brussels workshop 😉

  7. I think most important thing now is the structure of the categories and the navigation. when you have a lot of content like yours it is important to have a quick look to it. Video content must be in first place so i think you could use a wordpress dedicated video theme that yout designer could personnalize like videozoom (http://www.wpzoom.com/themes/videozoom/) or http://theconvergence.co.uk/ or mine http://www.learnwebvideo.net/.
    Thanks for all the things you share.
    Franck

  8. It is a very good site that is full of excellent content. I would perhaps consider the layout slightly, such as the comments box being closer to the main article. The front page is a little busy and could do with some slight tweaks to image sizes and text layout. I would also consider changing the page width.
    I would also look at some proof readers to make sure the articles are correct and formatted better.

    Hope that helps.

    1. thanks Phil. I know i make mistakes, I go over them and correct them. I think a proof reader is not needed. This is a personal site not a corporate site therefore mistakes are going to be there.

  9. The right-hand side bar … it’s too long & pushes the public comments way down to the bottom of the page … more often than not I forget to scroll down to check for responses to your posts.

    The comments are filled with equally useful information and for the first few months of using your site I didn’t even know they were there!

    Colour scheme, fonts, everything else I like.

  10. Your site has always been one of the best out there for content and easy reading. One thing you should add is a trust meter to comments that after lets say 50 comments that poster is allowed to post without moderation.

    Even then you can edit and or erase the post as admin but it would make it for more up to the minute posting/feedback.

  11. I’m thrilled to hear that you’ll be re-doing your website. I agree that it is a bit cluttered with ads and just overall you have a crap ton of material. That’s a good thing though.
    What I think you site is lacking, and I mean no disrespect here, is aesthetics; visual appeal if you will. Your site is superior when compared to other blogs and such, but it could be so much better.
    We all pretty much adore you and the work you create, so I think I can say this with support from others that we think your site should reflect your creative ways. Really have fun with it while still maintaining professionalism, functionality, organization and of course the use of ads. I demand you to step it up a notch and let your site shine out all it’s creative Philip bloomness.
    I’m going to recommend that you visit a friends website, he’s a very gifted and creative web developer. I’m sure you’ll be able to grab some ideas from his site, as well as his prior work. I’m also sure he’d be willing to help you out if you’d happen to have any questions.
      http://iamthomasbishop.com/
    I wish you the best of luck mate, can’t wait to see the re-design.
    And if you do happen to visit his site, could you please leave a comment below?as all of us here are  huge PB fans, we tend to consider it a BIG deal when you actually read and reply to our comments. 
    Thanks!

  12. The navigation has to be simple and visible and your posts or blog has to be the priority. I will put a section for your films and a section for downloads like presets (camera, color,etc) pictures styles, looks styles. You have so many articles and blog posts that a search option is a must. Im ok with the ads but I will put less animation on them. In your films section I would put the recent videos firt and then sub categories like timelapses, places, people, experiments etc

  13. I like the color scheme but I would like a bit more organized layout with all the links (face book, twits… etc). Maybe something like a stock exchange scrolling data… I also find the moving ad distracting… I think either the content should slide (like featured films) or the ads… Maybe I am a bit traditional but I like to see similar type of content to behave I the same way… Finally I have to say I really admire the effort you do to give to the community… thank you for that

  14. Menu’s in header/banner should be bigger/more pronounced

    You want the entire site to roll off the banner, kind of like zacuto.com & eoshd.com & apple.com & yahoo.com

    but you also want the blogger aspect of it(gives it the personal feel).

    blogger.com has great personal feel to it.

    to many ads, in the footer & the footer is too big.

    They trust me section: should be added to Rates,Bio,Resume section.

    Look at eoshd.com for a good facebook/twitter/vimeo implementation

    Contact: should be in the banner

    the rest of the footer information should be flattened.

  15. 1) Minimize the # of categories so they match the 5-7 things your site is all about.
    2) Really focus on your information architecture: how your content interacts with other content, inter-linking strategy from one post to the next (e.g. wikilinks plugin, manual links where appropriate), emphasis on and links to evergreen content vs “random” or limited shelf-life content (e.g. an editing tutorial is evergreen, meaning lots of people will find value in it for a long period of time while a blurb about NAB 2011 is valuable for a much shorter time period…direct people to your long-term valuable content and let your short-term content fade into history naturally — people can still search for NAB 2011 if they really want to find something about it).
    3) Create series as a way to help users navigate through the content and really learn about a specific topic. For example, create a “getting started with filmmaking” series, a “cinematography” or DOP series, a “making money with film” series etc. In each series, include a set of blog posts or articles on that particular topic. Each series should have its own “landing page” (a blog post that includes links to all the other posts in the series) and each post in the series should link back to the series landing page. For a good example, look here: http://tentblogger.com/starter-kit/ <— this guy is a genius!
    4) Have fewer ads but charge more per month for each ad. The fact is, you have the traffic so charge more so you can reduce your clutter but still make the money you want. Be brutal! The few advertisers you do keep will love you that much more as they get more attention from your audience. If you are intent on keeping all of the advertisers, you could create an "Other Products I Use" page to house lower cost ads. Also, going back to point # 2 above, you can put context-relevant affiliate links within your posts to eliminate the visual clutter.
    5) Keep the visual aspect simple like it is now. Less clutter but just as simple. Let your content and films be the eye candy.

  16. color scheme works well
    Display of content is not so good
    Home page 2/3 of page should be blog post (not the opposite)
    Major flaw. Removing the sidebar stuff (mentioned below) Will help. Make home page prominently display your valuable blog content!
    Prominently display date of the blog post (and/or updated date)
    Do not animate ads or rotate them
    Remove: (side bar stuff)
    login (maybe recreate in header)
    monthly archive
    Links
    Blog Categories
    (pretty much all side content) (can put this on a dedicated advanced search page)
    One has to scroll a lot to get to comments on a short post. Major flaw.
    Make sure any future side bar content is shorter than the blog post
    PS. Now with all that sidebar junk gone, your ads will display much higher. Your ad clients will appreciate that A LOT! But remember, do not animate them!
    No sub menu (grey bar), only one main menu

  17. Hey Philip you have excellent content on your website.The Ads are a bit distracting as others have mentioned. The navigation is a bit busy and is difficult to navigate. The last call out would be to add an up arrow that takes you back to the top of the page.I got the idea from tumblr blogs. The code is below you can take out my info and add your own.keep up the great work I love what your doing.

  18. For the redesign of your web … When I click on your links, I’d like for them to open up in a new tab, as opposed to having to right-click and choose “open link in new tab.” But maybe there’s a reason for the way it is right now. On a side note, thanks for all the info share. I am a frequent visitor and I’ve learn a great deal from visiting your site. Nelson.

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