Stop the presses! Major updates to the MindTouch blog just hit the airwaves. Over the past few months, the MindTouch digital team has tinkered, toiled, and added a thing or two—all in the spirit of delivering a more consistent, user-friendly look and feel for our deserving (and highly discerning) readers. Our goals with this blog update were simple:
- Simplify navigation and make it easier to find content
- Improve the look and feel for better readability
- Deliver an consistent experience readers want to return to
- Make sharing posts to social a snap
Here’s a quick look at the new bells and whistles to look out for.
Relevant Content, Right Away
Finding interesting blog content should be easy. The new blog homepage begins with featured content straightaway, a curated selection of timely, relevant posts that rotate automatically.
Drill Down Using Dynamic Categories
If you haven’t noticed, we’re big fans of click navigation. When you select a category tab on the blog homepage, the page will dynamically update to show only blog posts relevant to that category. Here’s a look at our dynamic categories in action:
Improved Post Format for Better Readability
Our goal is to deliver useful content with less noise. To that end, we’ve designed a new post template with narrower page width, refreshed typography, and modern branding. We’ve also added improved author bios so you can learn more about our expert contributors (hint hint). Oh, and keep an eye out for supplementary materials like downloadable assets, webinar sign-ups, and links to our favorite customer spotlights.
Quickly Share Content with Your Audience
Do you like what you’re reading and think it might be relevant to your own network of professionals? We made it easier to share content using easy-to-find, easy-to-use sharing buttons on each post. Copy a link, or share directly to Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn.
A New Way to Stay in the Loop
You can now subscribe to the MindTouch blog from the homepage, or at the bottom of any individual post. After subscribing, you’ll receive a handful of curated posts every week. It’s basically a magical email full of the latest in knowledge management and customer self-service—always useful, never fluffy.
Thinking of Your Own Refresh? Here’s What We Learned
Running a website is a bit like owning a home: it’s real estate you definitely want, but there’s always something more to be done. The MindTouch blog update took time and required the talents of multiple stakeholders. Having come out the other end of the process none worse for the wear, here’s what we learned:
1. Planning now pays off once the real work begins
Sequester yourselves in a room for a couple hours and map the whole thing out, start to finish. Now is the time to throw it all at the wall, even the bad ideas and extraneous details. Coffee and snacks highly recommended.
2. It helps to take the redesign down in phases
Trying to do everything at once can be overwhelming and inefficient. We found it useful to break the project into phases and take them down one by one.
3. You cannot make wholesale website updates without considering SEO
Well, you can, but we don’t recommend it. A major refresh is the right time to get things like categories and tags, keywords, and meta descriptions in order.
4. Always keep the end-user top of mind
As the project progresses, it’s easy to get tunnel vision. When making decisions about design and functionality, we tried our darnedest to always return to center.
For us, “center” is the wants and needs of our audience.
That last point is perhaps most important. Making things better for our audience is why we decided to refresh the MindTouch blog in the first place. So, when you find yourself up late at night, drinking black coffee and replacing approximately one million image alt tags, just remember why you’re doing it:
To make it easier to for your audience to find, enjoy, and share your content.