Behind-the-Scenes of My New Redesign!

Kontrary by Rebecca Thorman

When I started writing on Kontrary, I wanted to update the site’s branding right away, but I decided to commit to writing first. If I could commit to a weekly schedule, a redesign would be my reward. And oh, how satisfying it has been.

The old design was reflective of my mood at the time – a bit serious, but also clean and modern. For the new site, I wanted to keep the clean and modern, but dial up the happy factor. And in fact, this is the most color I’ve had on my site. Ever. And I love it, because it’s so much more reflective of who I am right now. Plus, the new site matches our couch pillows. How awesome is that?

I am not a web designer, but I’ve always worked on my site myself because I enjoy the heck out of it. Except when trying to get the placement of an element just right, Ryan says to me, “Babe, I love you” and I turn around with a voice reminiscent of Gollum and exclaim, “Don’t talk to me!” Because that’s just how the process goes. (Thank you, baby, for always being so understanding.)

(Also, if you use Internet Explorer to read my site, I hate you.)

Of course, the site is always be a work in progress, and you’ll continue to see changes and updates over the next few weeks and months. But I’m super pumped to throw open the curtains today. I hope you’ll agree that it’s not just some new paint on the walls; there’s a lot of great functionality on the site as well –

1. Email Optimized.

First and foremost, I want to stay in touch with my readers. Back in the day, bloggers encouraged readers to subscribe via their RSS feed, but that never really caught on with the non-techies out there (although I still swear by my Google Reader). Today, email remains the preferred way to communicate, and I made sure to strategically place email opt-in forms throughout my site to reflect this.

2. Responsive.

Mobile is kind of a big deal, so I created a site that is responsive. That means not only will the site look good on your computer, but it is also optimized for mobile and will look good on your iPhone, iPad, and so on. I’ll admit, the responsive versions could still use some finesse, but this is my first try at it, and I’m stoked to be at the forefront of how we experience the web today.

3. Content Strategy.

My primary goal is always to be extremely useful and valuable to you, but the site’s layout and organization hasn’t always reflected that. The new site has topics and highlights organized so you can find and discover your favorite content fast. Over time, I’ll continue to organize my old content (there’s a lot of it!) to make sure these resources are even more valuable.

Please do let me know if you see any odd layouts or broken links via email, especially if you’re looking at the site on your mobile phone or tablet. I don’t have access to every device to test so your help is most appreciated.

If you want to go ahead and let me know what you love most about the new design, or just say great job, leave a comment below.

Thanks for helping me celebrate my new digs!  We’ll be back to our regularly scheduled programming this week.