Site Redesign Thoughts

By Michael Flanakin @ 10:57 PM :: 26519 Views :: User Experience :: Digg it!

As I mentioned on Twitter, my site's long overdue for a revamp. I'm looking at ways to make my personal site a hub of all my activity on the many disparate services and social networks I'm part of. I have a number of ideas on how to bring them together, but it all comes down to how much time I'm willing to sink into this activity, given the many other things I should probably be working on instead. My biggest concerns are creating a hub of my activity, most likely moving my blog because I'm tired of managing the current platform, and coming up with a design that's more modern and fresh, yet simpler than what I have today.

I've been doing a lot of thinking over the past few hours and, while I don't want to slap my entire OneNote notebook of thoughts out here, I do want to share a wireframe of a conceptual home page. This is merely a conceptual layout from an information architecture perspective, but it's a start.

Site redesign concept wireframe

I'm thinking about the site having four main areas: about page, activity stream, blog, and articles. The activity stream is the most complicated piece of the puzzle, given the vast number of disparate services that provide lackluster offerings. While this has the biggest opportunity for improvement, it's also a huge time sink, considering people use those services and aren't going to come to my site just to see my end-to-end activity stream. Based on that, I'm not sure how much time I'll dedicate to it.

I'd love to get feedback from others. I want things to be as simple as possible. I threw around the idea of not having a main menu at all in an effort to let the context drive the experience, but I'm not sure that's approproate given the fact that people are used to seeing a menu. I should probably go for it and use instrumentation and analytics to determine which way is best. What do you think?