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Worldchanging Redesigned: Read About the New Site

Just to state the obvious: Worldchanging has a new look! With a new book coming out and a lot of growth in the works, we decided to freshen up the site, and hopefully also make it easier for all of you to use. We have worked to improve the navigation, the search function, the categorization, and the layout.

Allow us to orient you with a brief tour of the newly designed site...

Features: At the top of the homepage, we'll be featuring original essays on the most cutting-edge ideas and innovations out there. Unlike the blog column, which will move down throughout the day, the Feature will stay up for several days to give you time to have a close reading.

Blog: As always, we'll be publishing fresh content multiple times daily. We've dissolved the Quickchanges, so you'll see posts of varying length running down the central portion of the site, which we hope will intersperse short, digestible pieces with longer essays. Once articles run off the main page, you can find them in the section pages where they're categorized.

Section Pages: Across the top, you'll see seven main category pages: Stuff, Shelter, Cities, Communities, Business, Politics, and Planet. Each of these corresponds with a section of the Worldchanging book. These will be junction points between the book and the site that will allow cross-referencing of content from both places. You'll find excerpts from the book, as well as related blog content here. Finally, you'll be linked to resources and suggestions for further reading on the topics we've written about.

Team: Many of our readers have said that they want to hear more about the people behind the site. Who are the members of the Worldchanging team? What else are they up to? We've built out a page about the team, complete with a simple blog that will give you a backstage look at the lives of the Worldchanging crew.

Worldchanging Local: This is possibly the biggest news of the new site. We're branching out into geographically-specific sites. During the course of the book tour, we'll be launching the first round of local blogs, which will include Austin, Portland, New York City and others. Look for the dropdown menu on the new page where you can select a region and find out what worldchanging things are going on there.

Donate: Lastly, we have a shiny new donation button that leads to a secure giving form. As you may know, we are a non-profit, 501(c)3 organization operating on a tiny budget. We welcome your support, however modest, if you are so moved.

And of course, this site introduction would be incomplete without acknowledging and expressing our deepest gratitude to the inspired and skillful crew that helped us execute the redesign. What you see was designed by Matt Chapman and implemented by Jeff Kramer of Polycot. The new logo was developed and designed by the good people at Egg.

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Comments

Great job, nice redesign!


Posted by: eric on 26 Oct 06

It Seems like I am the first to comment on the new site... maybe because it's 9 a.m here in Dakar, Senegal. 20 minutes ago I was on my way to the office, going through mad traffic jam, dense pollution, paralitic and kids selling asian pinneaple at the traffic light, an old woman shouting in a microphone to beg people's attention, nearly dead horses carrying heavy piles of bricks to built an unsustainable city with limited space. And I was on my way, white man, and nobody cares and nobody hates, caus' people know "we are all together" on a small planet.
Well, I think this a blessing for you from Africa, a continent where the poorest are nevertheless happy in their cultures and traditions but where innovation and green thinking is also urgently needed. So long life to the worldchanging new website,

Laurent

PS: Oh, by the way, I like the new design personally, the classification based on the book is very usefull. By reading it I feel like this space shuttle on the photo: leaving the ground, from stuff to planet.


Posted by: Laurent on 26 Oct 06

It Seems like I am the first to comment on the new site... maybe because it's 9 a.m here in Dakar, Senegal. 20 minutes ago I was on my way to the office, going through mad traffic jam, dense pollution, paralitic and kids selling asian pinneaple at the traffic light, an old woman shouting in a microphone to beg people's attention, nearly dead horses carrying heavy piles of bricks to built an unsustainable city with limited space. And I was on my way, white man, and nobody cares and nobody hates, caus' people know "we are all together" on a small planet.
Well, I think this a blessing for you from Africa, a continent where the poorest are nevertheless happy in their cultures and traditions but where innovation and green thinking is also urgently needed. So long life to the worldchanging new website,

Laurent

PS: Oh, by the way, I like the new design personally, the classification based on the book is very usefull. By reading it I feel like this space shuttle on the photo: leaving the ground, from stuff to planet.


Posted by: Laurent on 26 Oct 06

Wooo-hooo ! Love it !

It's great. Clear and practical, yet more inspiring than ever. Nice UI. Compelling to read.

Congrats y'all. Well done.


Serge


Posted by: Serge de Gheldere on 26 Oct 06

Wonderfully beautiful. Now the design really supports the inspiring content. Thanks!


Posted by: Jonas Lagneryd on 26 Oct 06

Hey looks great! Congrats. It seems that you took all our feedback on board on site design & usability, including the constructive but negative input on the previous design (lots from myself and others). Fabulous new site, a big improvement, well done. I think I'll be revisiting and reading with renewed vigour now!


Posted by: Flannel Flower on 26 Oct 06

Very nice site design! I like it!


Posted by: Jon Foley on 26 Oct 06

Love the new design. One piece of constructive criticism – keep pictures with article clippings. When I browse the internet it is the visual that brings my attention to the content. A strength of the old site was that 5-6 article clippings had pictures. I am drastically less likely to spend time on article clippings that don’t have a visual.

Best,
R


Posted by: Russ on 26 Oct 06

looks more 'corporate' :P time to get back in the box i guess!

cheers


Posted by: smerkin on 26 Oct 06

Beautiful. Just beautiful.


Posted by: Dan on 26 Oct 06

The site looks great guys. Who did the design on it?
I am a graphic web designer and I must say that whoever it was deserves some Kudos. The site is much more professional and clean looking - just what the green sector needs. If only every world changing site looked so slick! Keep it up.


Posted by: Jon on 26 Oct 06

Looks great!

When did you add Leif Utne to the team?


Posted by: jw on 26 Oct 06

I love it!!! Sometimes the amount of type in the previous edition was a little overwhelming. This looks fantastic. Great Job.


Posted by: pam on 26 Oct 06

I will be using the RSS feed now more often via Bloglines.

I liked the blog-like format which now 'feels' like it is missing.

Would like that and the photos (which were with each piece and displayed on the main page) to somehow have a presence. The photos were a nice touch.

Is the text smaller, too? Make a text-size changer like on Wired.

Nice that the site relates to the book and gives the site more options in expandability.


Posted by: pisbo on 26 Oct 06

I like it. Maybe a few quibbles which I'll put down to 'cognitive dissonance' (a possible misinterpretation of the colour shading that goes with each topic might equate it to the 'light->bright' issue, except it's really 'light->dark')

But no, I like it.

Guess I'm going to have to get into this 'digg' and 'del.ici.ous' stuff.

I also note you've got a few of the local blogs up and running.


Posted by: Tony Fisk on 26 Oct 06

small comment - I use Firefox, OS all updated, but some of yr characters are appearing as gooblydook, eg (if you can see it):

Itï¿œs an absolutely critical overview of our progress thus far toward sustainability, with 500-plus information-packed pages on whatï¿œs


Posted by: Flannel Flower on 26 Oct 06

Congratulations! I like your new package, but as ever, the contents are what bring me back.

A small request: could you bring back the "comment count" with each of the entries? Having read a post, I like to check back to see if there are fresh comments - following the discussion is often as interesting as the original article. The "comment count" is a quick way to see if the discussion is continuing.


Posted by: David Foley on 26 Oct 06

Having browsed a bit more, a couple of minor fine-tune quibbles occur to me:
- the hyperlinks in the main text need to stand out a little more: I find I'm looking for them and, while I can see them, it's more effort than it should be (could it be my ageing lenses are blocking out red more than they used to?!)
- The preview/post buttons are a little too obvious (bright green background tends to bleed into the text). Maybe make the text a little thicker?

FlannelFlower: the strange characters also occur in IE.

David: I see the comment count in the main item but not the main page (I normally access items via Firefox's RSS tag anyway). It looks like it could be added unobtrusively to the grouping line (right justified)

(Oh! And have you got the old logo stashed away for old time's sake? ;-)


Posted by: Tony Fisk on 26 Oct 06

Oh! And have you got the old logo stashed away for old time's sake?

http://www.worldchanging.com/images/wclogo.gif


Posted by: jw on 26 Oct 06

It's definitely a fresh look, and I like the subject organization. Nice job pulling it all together!

One thing about the green paint can, however: The first thing I thought was "greenwashing." And I keep thinking it every time. Perhaps a different image would fit better?


Posted by: Kim on 27 Oct 06

Congratulations...the site looks muuuuuuch better. And I really like the configuration relative to the book subjects. Your logo really comes alive now and the whole experience is a lot more enjoyable and also more credible to people visiting for the first time. I'm buying the book imediatedly.


Posted by: Stiven (sustainableday) on 27 Oct 06

Much cleaner than the old site; I like it!


Posted by: Dan on 27 Oct 06

Looks fantastic! Much improved.

One nitpick, shouldn't there be some visual change to the header (color or boldness) when you click on a new category?


Posted by: Chip Thomas on 27 Oct 06

I like the new design. More readable, although the default font size is a little small for me.


Posted by: pauldwaite on 28 Oct 06

I'm a bit disoriented.


Posted by: __earth on 28 Oct 06

Excited to see all the improvements! I just came by looking for contributor bios the other day. Here's a suggestion for even more practical improvement:

It would be great to see the full text of posts in the RSS feeds. Often times with just a sentence and a half, it's hard for me even to tell if the post is on a topic I'd be interested enough in to click over into Safari. I'm sure I've missed lots of great content from you guys because of this.

And if you add more original essays, it would likewise be great to get them to come in through the feed in full text.

Keep up the great work! I can't wait to see you guys when you make it down to Portland. I'm rallying together a big group of friends (most of whom are new to Worldchanging) to come on down.


Posted by: Greg on 28 Oct 06

i liked the format of your old site much better, this seems too regimented to me, a little harder on the eyes perhaps??


Posted by: becky Welter-Nolan on 29 Oct 06

I absolutely love the design on the book cover.


Posted by: Tabbie on 29 Oct 06

Great you made most boxes vertically flexible, you only forgot the `features archive' and the `news and views' boxes.


Posted by: Han on 29 Oct 06

Thumbs down on the new design.

Not that it wasn't time for a look and feel refresh, but I really don't like fixed width sites as I use wide screen monitors at a decent resolution and there is more "wrapper" space than text. And the text size is very small (yes it can be resized but then there are aesthetics problems with text growing beyond the bounding box)...

Count me as one who prefers an elastic blog like format that has more information and text showing...


Posted by: naum on 29 Oct 06

You've done a beautiful job with the redesign! I dig the heavier use of color as well. Veddy nice.


Posted by: Cat Laine on 30 Oct 06

congrats on a refresh... but unfortunately im another thumbs downer. i feel like WorldChanging just lost its distinctiveness and frankly something of the best part of its identity. of course i will continue to read daily, i love each of the great writers that work so hard for us. but i felt like the previous site was unique at least relative to all the rest of the content that i know of and consume. new site feels a lot more like treehugger or other pre-existing concepts.. engadget even. kind of baffling to me.

also, a simply thing on its face that is really bothering me: you have a "stuff" section but no designated science section? or, based on the "emerging technologies" subsection of stuff (in and of itself at least partially incongruous-- a lot of critical new and emerging technology has nothing to do with tangibility!), am i to believe that science and research will go under "stuff" as well? overall this seems like an unwelcome move toward a remarkably dumbed down worldchaning focused more on consumerism, a change thats sad given worldchanging's track record of really big picture, highly creative and synthetic writings that integrate the news and patterns on stuff and on science and on culture into a much more profound, imaginative whole that really focuses on and helps acheive changing the world.

Maybe i'm just a sucker for prolixity (especially in these days of linguistic famine when we're supposed to judge our political candidates based on rhetoric composed of 5th grade reading level vocabulary and syntax), but the ruthless purge of your awesome, complicated old tags like "cracking the code...", "the second superpower...", etc. is really sad to me. i loved that you didnt shy from organizing all this challenging, wonderful content into bold, challenging, complex categories that barely even exist yet. maybe youve just trained me too well, but to me the old categories really conveyed action toward solutions we are just beginning to figure out, and your content fit really intuitively into them and bolstered and help define the categories themselves. imagining how new posts will fit in a "stuff" category seems, to me, enervating to our ideals and our responsibilities right off the bat. if i want to read about stuff i'll go, like i mentioned, to engadget or woot or treehugger or something.

i come to worldchanging to learn how to subvert and co-opt the consumerism at the base of the pyramid in order to build bright green communities that protect and restore the biosphere (among other projects). i feel like the old site made that task clearer, and the new site doesnt, and so i'm lead to question where Worldchanging is going.

[wow have i really become an embitterd oldtimer at age 27?!1]


Posted by: sp0078 on 30 Oct 06

Great work! Kudos to the team.

This new design is pleasant to the eyes and the mind. It has made navigation extreamly easier which will make the goal of diseeminating information more easier.

Cheers


Posted by: Suhit Anantula on 30 Oct 06

hmmm... just seeing headlines when browsing the archives is not very attractive. there is so much information on the web that you need visual helps in order to decide if something is worth reading. i would suggest to have the full blog posts with images the way it was (inside the new design). the way it is now unfortunately does not make you want to explore the site, it might be good for someone doing research, but the blog now comes across as "boring"... hopefully this can be changed back.

and yes, at least in firefox/os x some special (?) characters don't show up correctly, you only see some strange signs. this obviously does not look good.

the book looks very interesting and i know that you have great content, but the way the blog entries are presented within the new design does not work for me...


Posted by: indisurfer on 30 Oct 06

I think I like the old look better too but maybe the new one will grow on me as time goes on. I really miss the comment count and density of material of the old layout.

I've also noticed a slight shift in the content since the Jamais days. Hard to put my figure on it. Not quite as quirky, nuts and bolts and techy as it used to be. I kind of miss that. But will still read and comment. WC is still a unique resource.


Posted by: Pace Arko on 7 Nov 06



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