UPDATE: The Date for the site redesign has been moved to February 2nd, 2012.
Want us to tell you a secret? Zoomers.ca has never, ever, had a design facelift before.
Sure, we've updated the above logo and maybe even switched up the colours, but we've never done any drastic design changes. (The proof is in the Wayback Machine pudding.)
Announcing an upcoming redesign isn't exactly breaking news. If it ain't broke, why fix it?
But in a past design survey we conducted last year, we found our community generally had this to say regarding our look, design & usability:
- "I sometimes have difficulty finding places I am looking for."
- A common complaint from our community is the general disorganization of our front page. You overwhelming told us in this recent survey that our site is confusing, especially for first-time users.
- "It's hard to get search engines to pick up things I write about."
- In the past couple of years, we've seen an increase in our members using the site to create content for a wideraudience. From our active blogging community to even our resident kitty captioner, we've increasingly seen the site become a space for our community members to share their own content and creation.
- "I LIKE THAT YOU CAN CONVERSE IF SO DESIRED. AND ALSO THAT EVERYONE IS BASICALLY ON THE SAME WAVE LENGTH!!!!!!!!!!!!!"
- Yup, we hear you loud and clear on the caps lock. Indeed, many in our community appreciate that we remain to be a community that offers invaluable conversations, discussion topics & informations that speaks to your particularly unique experience. And we want to make sure we keep on doing that.
So with all these things in mind, we have a tentative new look we want to unveil to you that will be coming down the pipeline February 2, 2012:
So how exactly is this new re-design addressing the needs of our community?
- It's a fresh, original & reader-friendly look.
- Ever since our platform NING announced their NING Design Studio, we've been observing the upgrades the social platform has done & seeing how that can serve our community. Any design improvements to our site require that we make this upgrade, and after witnessing the kinks iron out in the past year that it's been launched, we think we're ready to make the jump.
- We want to showcase our community's talents & wisdom.
- As you can see, there is a slide show on the front page that we're looking forward to updating on a regular basis. The slide show allows us to feature 4-5 items within our community site, so we're looking forward to showcasing our community's talents & wisdom front & centre on our home page.
- We're improving our navigation so our site is easier to use.
- We'll be updating the navigation to be far more clear as to how our community can use the site.
- We think that the biggest draws of Zoomers is the site's ability for members to connect with one another, converse in our popular forums & ultimately, create content — whether it be your photos, blog posts or videos — for your friends and family to see.
- We hope that by using these intentions to guide our community around the site, it'll be easier to use.
How Will This Redesign Affect You?
- In switching our community to NING's NING Design Studio, we will likely be down to implement the change for a few hours February 2nd, 2012. We will give more detailed information regarding this as we gear towards this date.
- If our members have customized their profile pages, these pages will be updated to match our new Theme. Any specific customizations should be copied and saved, as the upgrade will likely remove those customizations.
- While this NING Design FAQ (in particular, the question "If my members have customized their My Page, will my switch to a new Design Studio Theme result in the loss of any of their customizations? ") assures that if we switch back to the Classic theme, your previous customizations will be preserved, we encourage our community to make note and save their customizations to encourage a smooth transition.
Got any questions? Feel free to leave 'em below.