Have you ever worked your tail off on something for weeks, really pouring your heart, soul and creative juices into a project just to come back to it a few weeks later and say:
What the hell was I thinking?
Yeah. That’s me right now.
When I decided to update the look and feel of Cooking, by the seat of my Pants! last month, I was awestruck by the theme I built for my wife and determined that it would be a perfect for this site. I wanted to simplify things, to make a cleaner presentation for my readers and to take the blog back to it’s roots as a linear experience.
One month in, I’m wondering exactly what I was thinking. Sure, I love the sliding menu, but aside from that the new look is anything but elegant when compared to other food blogs that I admire. The new look not only falls short, but feels nearly amateurish.
Worse, it doesn’t really capture what cbsop is about. The design of any online publication should serve several purposes. The design has to consider ad placements, content, layout ease of use and accessibility, but at the same time the design as a whole should say something about what the blog or website is all about and help to share that concept with its readers. In this I have failed with the current design.
Consider such notables as Simply Recipes, Steamy Kitchen, Chez Pim and Meathenge. Each of these sites is elegant and simple to navigate of course, but the key to each is that they define the feel of the blog. They are an extension of their writers’ personalities. They just fit in the context they are supposed to.
My current design doesn’t do that at all. It has no identity. It’s just… There.
In fact, the more I look at it, the more I hate it.
So I’m asking you guys. Where do you think I went wrong? What could be done differently? What could be done better? I really need to know what you would like to see, not just what I’m thinking of changing.
This has to be a pretty quick process though. The Holidays are upon us and it’s about to get seriously busy here in the CbsoP kitchens. If I don’t act now, I’m not going to have time until mid December and to be honest I can’t stare at this thing for that long.