When SDN and BPX Editor-in-Chief Keith Elliott told us it was time to take a fresh look at the two community homepages, Talila Baron, Managing Editor of SDN, and I jumped at the chance. We had been wanting to bring in some new elements and provide a better homepage experience for our readers. Backed by Jodi Fleischman’s graphic design expertise, we set about restructuring the page, removing some elements, adding new elements, and updating the look and feel a bit.
We began our redesign process by reviewing some expert online pubications like the New York Times and the Washington Post. Next we turned our attention to online community web sites similar to ours, trying to determine the common elements that seemed to work best. We rounded out our research with input from a site review that had recently been done for us by a consulting company.
The resulting redesign gives our readers up-to-date, dynamic information via RSS feeds, deeper and more extensive content, and direct access to our events, special offers, and other programs.
In the features area at the top, we reduced the number of features to three, with one main feature visibly taking the lead. The area is enhanced by two new items: a Recently Featured section containing the previous week’s feature links, and a dynamic list of recent blogs by SDN or BPX mentors.
In the middle section, we added some new permanent areas where we bring you the latest every week on Subscriptions, Events, and Community News. You will now be able to find the latest events or highlights about happenings in the community with a quick look in this section.
In the area beneath that, called From the Library, we provide dynamic feeds of library content for eight key topics in each community. Now you can see the latest publications for major areas such as Business Intelligence (on SDN) or Enterprise Resource Planning (on BPX) right from the homepage.
We continually strive to improve the community experience, and redesigning the homepages is a big step in that direction.