This evening I rolled out a new design for Keystone Politics. I never seem to be satisfied with the design, but this represents an improvement over the past color scheme and a professionalized look for the site. I’ll roll out specific new features over the next few days. Here are a few notes on key areas where I’m either testing a new feature or looking for ideas.
- Subscriptions: For the past few years, I’ve focused on RSS subscriptions. With this design, I’m testing whether we’ll see a better response rate from a daily headlines e-mail. Knowing the political audience, I think it will be a hit.
- Discussions: One of the biggest challenges on Keystone Politics is convincing our readers to participate in discussions on the site. I don’t think we made a big improvement in this area, but I’m going to be actively seeking out ideas.
- Revenue Opportunities: I finally caved and installed a leaderboard advertisement banner at the top of the page. I’ve resisted it for four years, but increased server costs mean that we’ve got to bring in more money.
- Cleaner Sidebar: We fit a lot of information into our sidebars; I think this look is cleaner than the last one.
Overall I’m happy with the new design, but I’ll be watching our analytics and metrics packages carefully over the next few days and weeks and making changes based on those measurements.