artworkBest of the Web

Our (Evolving) Redesign + Murals by Louise Chen

by Grace Bonney

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Spring is finally here, and earlier this week we soft-launched our own version of a spring clean-up: a little update for Design*Sponge. Over the past few years we’ve been listening closely to your feedback and wanted to put some of your most common requests into effect: namely the elimination of slideshows (Poof! They’re gone!), a change to much larger images, larger text, and category landing pages that are easier to search, use and click through. While we pushed these changes live this week, we are still working on our home page layout and gathering data on how this version is working so we can best incorporate your feedback and actual user patterns. We realized that we need to add titles to each section and buttons to “read more” so you can view chronologically so that change is coming asap over the next few days.

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I’ll do a more official walk-through in the coming weeks when everything is solidified, but for now feel free to share your feedback and thoughts in this post here. We’re listening, making notes and changing as we go to ensure we make D*S as fun, inspiring and easy-to-use as possible. Until Monday, thanks for your feedback and I hope you’ll enjoy these murals by Detroit artist Louise Chen (aka Ouizi). Her floral paintings have been on my mind all week, thanks to my friend Lacey who spotted them on a trip there last week. xo, grace

 

 

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Comments

  • Ohhhh…The new page just feels…too big. too much, and it seems most blogs have the wiiiide layout. And I miss the pages you clicked thru! Just 1 opinion of many. Regardless, happy you are here.

  • The new design looks really pretty, but one thing I feel is missing is the ability to scroll back through to see what I missed since last time I visited. I know I can go category by category, but can I just go back to previous pages of content without limiting to one type of article?

  • I’ve never commented on the site before, although I’ve been reading it for years! Just wanted to say that I love the redesign. I just came to the page and started reading some articles, checking out my favorite features… when all of a sudden it hit me that everything was feeling fresher, brighter, cleaner! I love how it feels modern while also being recognizably the Design Sponge that I love. I’m sure there are minor things to be worked out, but I’m ALSO sure that a ton of work has gone into it up to this point, so I just wanted to say bravo to your team and congratulations on your beautiful work!

    • Thanks, Kate!

      We still have some changes to make based on feedback, but I feel like rolling in these new changes based on data has been really helpful. I’m looking forward to finding the best version of this new cleaner (and larger) layout in the coming days and week. :)

      Grace

  • I love DesignSponge so I hate to be picky, however, almost all of the vertically oriented pictures no longer fit on my laptop screen at once. : ( The pictures, particularly of home tours, lose their impact when I can’t see an inch or more of the shot on my laptop. I also miss being able to scroll down and see what I’ve missed easily and I did like being able to click through pictures rather than scroll down for home tours, but that’s just me. I do hope the formatting changes so the whole picture can be seen at once. Sorry to be a downer…it is really pretty otherwise. :)

    • Hi Allison

      Could you let me know (or share a screenshot) of the issue you’re having? That definitely shouldn’t be having- I can see all the full pictures on home tours on my laptop. But what laptop and browser are you using? I’ll see if we can troubleshoot :)

      Grace

      • Grace, thank you so much! I’ll try to grab a screen shot but I’m using an HP Chromebook if that’s of any help. Essentially the pictures are so large that there’s a good inch of the shots I can’t see unless I scroll up or down. I guess I could hide my tool bar, but it’d still be somewhat cropped. So strange! Glad to know it’s probably just a singular issue
        , haha. : )

        • Allison

          Gotcha. Can you tell me what size screen you have? (ie: in inches?)

          We’ve been hearing nothing but requests for “much larger” images for years, so it’s funny to now have the opposite problem ;)

          Grace

    • I’m also not able to see the full vertical images on my computer screen! (It’s an 11 x 18 desktop monitor.) (I’ve started to hit “ctrl – – ” every time as a workaround, but this also makes the text tiny!) Thanks so much for taking the time to review reader feedback :).

  • I discovered Ouizi’s amazing flower murals here in Brooklyn! There’s a converted garage that looks like it might be a studio space covered covered in her giant florals. I stumbled upon it one day, posted a pic and the internet did it’s job. A mutual friend tagged her, and have been a fan since. Would love my own home covered in her flowers! p.s congrats on the new design! looking good

  • Love, love, love the redesign! Wondering if you’re going to add drop-downs to the menu bar? I love reading your product round up posts but had to search for it to locate it. Which is fine for me :) but maybe will be easier find on the menu bar.

  • It’d be great if posts could still have “posted on” dates so that it’s easy to tell what is the freshest content, or a way to sort posts by “latest and greatest,” but it looks like you are working on the latter :) The forms on the page are a bit washed out, making it slightly challenging to find text fields. Upping the contrast might be helpful for those of us with bad (work) monitors and tired eyes.

    Love the site refresh, it’s always a struggle to keep up with new trends for your web presence, and I appreciate how thoughtfully you’ve approached this. Keep up the great work, Grace & team!

  • Love the redesign! It is so clean and sophisticated. Also it might have made my day to be able to just scroll through a home tour today. ;) The phone experience specifically is much improved (not that it was bad to begin with). I agree with the commenter above that I like to be able to easily see the posts in order so that I can scan down to where I last visited.

  • The redesign is wonderful! Well done, everyone! I’d also like to say…I thought I was the only one that wasn’t a fan of the slideshows, so it’s reassuring to know that others felt the same way — and what’s more, that Design*Sponge was open to listening!

    Looking through “Sneak Peeks” feels like home again, if that makes sense : )

  • I have to echo that the chronological thing has been bugging me the past few days–that’s my biggest gripe. I honestly didn’t even see any of those posts in the Best of DS! Missed all recent content this week due to the new layout.

    I will say though– it has led me to click through to some old posts that I might not have read otherwise and that’s been great! I wouldn’t even realize that they were old until I saw the comments. Although I know you guys have been resurfacing old content in a header for a while now, so that concept isn’t so new. Having both views (new–chronological/past content) is soooo important.

  • I love the scroll instead of slideshow format. I’m almost always reading on Feedly and very often on an iPhone7. Hooray for updates and for listening to feedback. I know it can’t be easy to listen and respond to everyone’s preferences.

  • I love the new layout. I found the slideshows so difficult. I’m visiting your site once again. Thank you,

  • i liked how the scroll gave more text info about each article upfront. having just the title is not enough. I also don’t need things categorized in bits on the front page. feels like i will miss seeing everything this way. love d*s but this refresh is not user friendly for me yet — i know you still have changes to make.

  • I love the new format! It’s easier to read and get around. I started visiting your site a few months ago and really enjoy all the articles. I enjoy that it’s not all design. You have a little bit of everything! Thanks for making it easier for us to enjoy your site! Lou

  • I love Design Sponge – it is the first thing I check every morning. I feel like there have been less house tours in the last few months, and that’s the one thing I enjoy most. It’s nice to see you branching out into other topics like food & art, but the thing that will keep me coming back is the interiors. Keep up the fab work!

  • I had to use a deslide tool since slideshows were adopted–I’m happy to be able to read your great posts on DesignSponge properly once again!

  • Like others, I might come up with some good, constructive suggestions, but I have confidence in the creative and diligent D*S team. I do commend you on this massive reworking of the site … I can scarcely imagine all the considerations must be given to your extensive archives and new entries. So, kudos to you and thank you for constantly improving.

  • Grace and the Design Sponge team,
    I love the new design. I am so grateful that you have chosen to create and develop Design Sponge all of these years, that I would use a magnifying glass if needed, perhaps 3 D glasses or other gadgets as necessary! You and the team are just the best,
    content, heart and soul.

  • Oh thank you! I was one of the ones who bitched about the slideshows. You know what, I was so angry at those slideshows that I decided I’d only look at 5 slides max unless something spectacular showed up in slides 1-5. This is better. Thank you so much. Yay!

  • Thanks for featuring Ouizi! I saw her gorgeous mural at Detroit’s Astro Coffee two years ago and immediately recognized the style in the post- it made such an impression. So glad to see her other work!

  • Hooray! Be-gone slideshows, I am so thrilled! I have been reading over the past 5 years and you all have kept such a strong design sense on the blog. I love that you have kept it simple but simply beautiful! You are different from all the rest and I appreciate new themed articles you keep up with week by week. Thanks for all of the fun and inspiration!

  • Oh, never mind. It’s my browser. (Just tried it in Chrome.) :-) I love the elimination of slideshows too.

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