Times have changed. Back in 2014, for every 1 visitor that read ToolGuyd content on a mobile device, there were nearly 2 visitors using a desktop or laptop computer. Now, that ratio has flipped, and there are no signs of the trend plateauing just yet.
For January 2019 so far, the ratio is now 2.16 mobile visitors for every 1 desktop visitor. Visitor trends and tendencies have also changed.
So, it is time for a site redesign, or at least some changes.
I take pride in ToolGuyd’s look and feel, and I worked hard to create it. I made changes over the years, some big and others small, and like to think that ToolGuyd is as user-friendly as can be. But, if I’m being honest with myself, the design has started to look a little dated. It’s not as good as it could be, at least for readers on a smartphone.
Before I delve deep into redesigning the site, I’ll be doing some testing. There might be little changes here and there. And of course, I’d like to hear your feedback and requests!
I want to modernize ToolGuyd’s look and feel, but without adopting some of the popular trends that I don’t care for or agree with. When reading a post or article on my smartphone, I don’t want to have to scroll through and see an ad after every other paragraph. Or read two paragraphs before coming across grayed out text that requires a click on “read more.” If I clicked on a headline, doesn’t that already mean I want to read the story?
Part of the challenge will be designing the site to be better for both mobile and desktop views. The other part will be in trying to determine whether there are better ways to make published content more accessible. For instance, how do I ensure that the work put into a post from 6 months ago, 12 months ago, 2 years ago is still visible and accessible to interested readers?
So, in effect, I will be working out two new designs – one for mobile, one for desktop.
How can I make your mobile viewing experience better?
How can I make your desktop or laptop experience better?
For instance, at least 75% of desktop and laptop resolutions can support additional content on the sides. Do you want to see bigger images? A large featured “hero” image in reviews? Another column with more related posts or featured posts? Social media content?
I’m not going to ignore tablet viewers either. But, due to viewport sizing, the tablet view will likely be a slightly narrower version of the desktop view, similar to how it is now.
(While I say I, I want to recognize Benjamen’s contributions and efforts. He helps a LOT with rolling changes, and with the last major redesign as well.)
What about ToolGuyd’s look and layout would you prefer to see changed? What should we absolutely not touch?