When I started Abduzeedo, almost 10 years ago, in 2006 I had no idea what it would become. I started blogging as a side project, the whole idea of blogs was something quite new in Brazil but it was already relatively mainstream everywhere else. It was a great time, Web 2.0 was the revolution. Designing for that meant to know web standards, CSS and of course being able to create your Wordpress theme. I chose Drupal for the CMS because it was a more robust tool for my design studio and we using for most of our clients. Today, after all these years, we are proud to launch our newest design.
The Abduzeedo design has changed quite a lot over the past 10 years. Our first version was a simple beige theme, classic colors of the Web 2.0, with a nice icon of a UFO abducting our sidebar. The design evolved to brown, then a black theme until 3 years ago when we went to a simple white design. This new version doubles down on simplicity and the white theme.
Before I talk a bit more about the behind the scenes, I'd like to highlight some of the design principles behind the new design:
- A more editorial look and feel
- Focus on content and text
- Avoid hero images for posts
This new version doubles down on simplicity and the white themeI have spent over one year looking for references and inspiration for the new design. I sketched several ideas until I felt comfortable with what we have now. For me, the biggest challenge was to accommodate the advertising units. Despite the fact that most people don't like ads, that is what helps to keep the blog alive, but I also agree with the majority. Ads are not beautiful in general and the vary quite a lot. What I tried to do was create a way we could display them in a more organic way with the other posts.
For the post content, we tried to create more typography resources to make posts more robust. Besides images and quotes, we now can add a grid of images, pull quotes, highlight content and feature two different image sizes. We know that there are plenty of amazing tools out there like Medium, which provides a great content creating tool. We considered a lot of options before this new design, but in the end we knew that we built a solid audience and we should keep our focus on them.
In addition to the new design, we are changing for 2016 and the new year to come. We are reducing the amount of daily posts as we understand how overloaded we are with content and we didn't want to become too repetitive. We also will be sharing more personal content based on our experiences, sometimes critiques on works we saw and liked, and more varied tutorials in addition to Photoshop. We think prototyping is very important and we might tackle some posts on simple/hacky ways to create quick and dirty prototypes.
Good design is honest. It does not make a product more innovative, powerful or valuable than it really is. It does not attempt to manipulate the consumer with promises that cannot be kept. - Dieter Rams
After countless days and nights trying to get this new design done I hope you guys enjoy it and I invite you to participate via Twitter, Facebook, Instagram or any other social tool you dig. Below I will share some of the references for the new design. If you find any bugs, let us know. We know there are likely tons of them :)