This morning we launched the recreation of Nate Riggs‘ website. It has seen a bit of chatter on twitter from quite a few bloggers in the community along with a nice little compliment from Chris Brogan. This a been a very nice case study on the aspect of design enhancing content.
The biggest aspect of the redesign that was always at the forefront of the process was the realization that Nate had build a very large catalog of articles. The content was king of the site, which totally buried the aspect of design. The design needed to help present this large amount of content without being overwhelming, yet be subtle enough to not hinder the access to the content. some of the major points to demonstrate the process:
- Compressing content within sliding blocks to help compact the material, yet keeping it SEO accessible for indexing. All possible with the use of the jQuery framework.
- Using stylized tooltip to display title attribute text. This allowed short blocks of quick information that was able to be expanded upon quickly with nothing more than a roll-over.
- Sorting and standardizing the most repeated information into reusable compact sidebar elements.
- Hiding specified form elements within calls of action. Such as the email subscription form. The privacy information and submit buttons are not visible until explicit triggering of the call to action
- The addition of search capabilities with the Search Everything plug-in to allow a wider spread of results.
- Compacting of sidebar forms, category links, Social Media Widgets, and archive access
Another aspect of this approach was to make sure that as much of the content creation process is as automated as possible. The biggest two examples are the “Interview” page, with is automated to loop through any articles which are tagged with “video interview” and generate a compressed display of all of the videos. The second would be the integration of gigpress to handle all aspects of event handling and notification. The event can be added via the WordPress Administration page. From the added event, a blog post, sidebar notification, and events listing are created. All of which can be pulled via RSS, Google Calendar, or iCal. Flexible, Robust, and automated.
I was a wonderful experience with results in a wonderful site.
Bonus List of Plug-ins used on NateRiggs.com
- Akismet : checks your comments against the Akismet web service to see if they look like spam or not.
- All in One SEO Pack : Out-of-the-box SEO for your WordPress blog.
- Disqus Comment System : The Disqus comment system replaces your WordPress comment system with your comments hosted and powered by Disqus.
- GigPress : GigPress is a live performance listing and management plugin built for musicians and performers.
- MM Forms : This is not just another form plugin ! This is THE form plugin that stores submissions in your database !
- Scribe : Quickly and easily check your content against SEO best practices utilizing the Scribe Content Optimizer.
- Search Everything : Adds search functionality without modifying any template pages: Activate, Configure and Search. Options Include: search highlight, search pages, excerpts, attachments, drafts, comments, tags and custom fields (metadata). Also offers the ability to exclude specific pages and posts. Does not search password-protected content.
- TweetMeme Retweet Button : Adds a button which easily lets you retweet your blog posts.
- Twitter for WordPress : Displays your public Twitter messages for all to read.
- WordPress Related Posts : Generate a related posts list via tags of WordPress
- WP-Paginate : A simple and flexible pagination plugin for WordPress posts and comments.
Thank you to everyone for the compliments on the site!