Blog’s new design has already been online for more than a month – this time we didn’t announce it officially through our social media channels and instead we conducted some tests and waited for your spontaneous reactions. The changes are far from revolutionary, more like evolutionary, yet still quite easy to spot if you put new and old versions next to each other. For those who check us often – you’ll notice the changes immediately, the rest – maybe few moments later.
We introduced the biggest changes more than a year ago, in March 2014 – it was a real revolution back then. Huge pictures spanning almost 100% of site’s width, sidebar menu, disappearance of “Like” and hidden Facebook. Many warned us that it’s not a good idea but the statistics tell us just the opposite. The design itself got great reviews, set a new strong trend in blogosphere and some even called it the best designed blog of 2014. Why change such a beauty then?
(Un)fortunately every design gets old at some point. New trends emerge along with new tools and readers’ and ours observations. Not everything worked right. Sidebar comments wasn’t a good idea – it decreased you engagement in discussion heavily and we’re giving up on this concept. The comments are back in the form from before the changes.
The biggest changes are:
- hiding the sidebar menu which is now expandable which in turn produces the ‘full screen’ effect,
- introducing more space by dividing the pictures with a transition through white,
- adding a list of newest entries (you won’t see the podcast and the tech section on the home page but there),
- restoring comments below the article,
- changing the font and decreasing the number characters in the line of entry to approx.70,
- introducing the background to the entry titles and considerable improvement if their visibility,
- new Spotlight and Poland by drone sites (including an amazing player!).
We observed the blogosphere, your actions and our needs and learned that even though the importance of the home page is slowly decreasing, it is still the most important place where all blogger’s activities come together. I guess you can say that it used to be ‘what have you done lately’ while now it is: ‘who you are and what have you done ever’. Therefore, the initiatives that are the most important to us are instantly visible as the second thing on the blog and it’s easy to find the others.
What’s more, there will be more new content coming and we decided to hide it on the side because we don’t want to obstruct the regular broadcast. Make one ‘scroll’ and you’ll see all we recently added, yet the list of travel entries is not polluted with too much drone or tech content :)
This is because:
- two new sections coming up – we’ll introduce them gradually, one will surely be revealed this year,
- even more interactive projects with dedicated microsites coming up (like Enter the trail or Poland by drone,
- different way of content distribution (lots of things going on in the background and significant changes in social media – numerous channels are emerging which are dedicated to specific content and not us in general).
But let’s get back to the biggest change from last year for a moment – the change in partnerships with companies. Many people expected us to withdraw from such partnerships. And yes, we stressed that we’re going to focus mainly on our own projects and others that are so sophisticated that a partner is required. In 2014 we did ‘Enter the trail’ this way. Right now we’ve just finished Street Art and two more projects to be published in the next two months. We love the fact that with patience and by showing examples of such partnerships we can still develop and create great stuff for you. We don’t do it too often, only from time to time… :) And remember that every time we do something with a partner, we do it so we can make something on our own next :) End of teasing then. You know us and you also know that we don’t make empty promises and prefer not to talk about some plans at all if there’s even a slightest possibility that something won’t work out.
I’m writing this entry with a broad smile because a year ago we were full of doubts regarding the future of this blog. We talked about it a lot in Argentina. If we want to continue this adventure and if yes, then how. What do we want to do? What is our mission? Now we know it – we want to help you understand the world. Not always travelwise, but more from the reporter’s point of view. That’s development, not a sudden turn of events. We grow, you grow – we go further together.
Here’s a little comparison for you unbelievers :)
Comparison of home pages:
Comparison of entry pages:
That’s it. Have a nice time browsing our blog. Let me know how you like it, what needs to be improved and what’s cool :)
I would also like to thank Arek Sołdon, who has been constructing this amazing design every year only to make a better version next year. Also Piotr Kliks who started supporting us recently but he’s such a agile coder that I couldn’t be happier that we eventually bumped into each other.