A New Look For AVC
Nathan and I started thinking about a new design for AVC a few months ago and I blogged about it. We got a ton of great comments from all of you which we read through carefully. We also used a heatmap to determine where all of you actually engage on this blog. Not surprising, you engage with the content and the comments and not a lot else.
We were inspired by the experience of reading blogs on iPhones, Androids, and iPads. We like the clean, crisp experience of a single column of text and not much else.
We are launching it today. So welcome to minimalist AVC. I love Nathan's work and I love the new design. I hope you all do too.
A few things to note:
1) We've got "like" buttons on each post. You'll see them if you look at a permalink page or open up the comments. They are below the post and above the comments. Please use them to give me feedback on the posts. These like buttons are not from Faceboook, they are from Disqus.
2) Most of the widgets are gone. We've kept the ad unit which produces tens of thousands of dollars for charity every year. It will take a little while for FM to get decent ads into the new rectangular ad unit and for a little bit we'll have remnant stuff. And we've kept the Meetups Everywhwere widget. I see that as a feature of this community, not a widget.
3) We've added a video page. You can get to it via the nav bar at the top of the blog. We are using Magnify to power this and we are piggy backing on the Union Square Ventures video page. The AVC video page is a little thin right now but I will work to fill it out over time.
4) The link to traffic/audience stats is still available but we've moved it to the footer of the page in keeping with our desire for minimalism.
Let us know what you think.
Congratulations on the redesign. The simpler, the better.
I dig it Fred…congrats on the new look – very readable and clean…and faster loading which I know has presented difficulties for you from time to time.
Loving the minimalist design. Excited to see how it looks on a mobile browser as well.
Like … KISS (principle, not band) is good.
very nice fred. will be interesting to monitor the SEO impact. i also suspect you’ll see higher CTR into that 300 x 250.
Seriously this looks more than a generation ahead. Now if we can just get more variety in typefaces…
Great revision, love it. Loved the family photo though.Comments are bigger too, curious to see if/how this will affect the reading pleasure for longer comments.Well done!
The missing family photo was the first thing I noticed too. It wouldn’t have registered high on a click heatmap, but I bet it would have in an eye-tracking study.We have your avatar, which we all recognize as your brand, but it is still nice to humanize AVC from “A” VC to “Fred Wilson: AVC”.Also, I was thrown off by the large fonts at first, but after 1 or 2 minutes of reading through comments, I’m enjoying them.
I always noticed that photo. I think it is so important to humanize the page.
All the most frequent commenters are commenting about the family photoClearly thats an issue
I thought you took that one out to replace it with the two dudes in Paris photo.
But it’s in the About section.
It’s a signifier that you are human and that so is the reader. We likelooking at human faces.It’s why sometimes looking at your tumblog feels intrusive. It’s yourfamily and hobbies and music- however it makes you incredibly normal andhuman.
That plus occasionally commenting using someone’s name is the Disqus equivalent of making eye contact, a pat on the shoulder, and a family portrait on your desk.
Like Newsweek – you are simplifying! Nice work – it’s interesting to consider how many things you have experimented with on the sidebar over the years, and now you are focused on the highest value things that deliver the most results. Smart (as usual)Have a great weekend!-Dan
I think someone spiked my coffee.
that would be me.http://www.avc.com/a_vc/200…Just stick black cat into one of the single origins that they roast…
So much faster to load, great job.
Love it! You have inspired me to redesign my blog. Thank you for giving your reasoning, it is very helpful.Melissa Denton
Easier on the eyes but the font is a bit big for my taste… had to hit ctrl+backscroll
Looks good – feels modern, fresher and more interactive
Less is the new black. Well done.
Looks great. I’m glad that you blog Fred. Whenever I think I don’t have time to blog I think to myself “If Fred Wilson has time to blog then surely I have time to blog!”
On my part I am trying to learn the blog daily part, doing a pretty good job so far.
Nice. Keep it up.I set a goal for myself of blogging at least once a week for a year. It’s working out well so far.
Absolutely love the simplicity of this design!
Woah. AVC got a bath. It’s all clean and shiny now. And had a growth spurt to boot in terms of font size. Talking major point sizage.Looks good though. Can definitely see the nod to more mobile consumption. Is that a reflection of your preference or are AVC’s number skewing mobile? I rarely if ever access AVC via mobile as the comments are wonky and that’s a big reason I visit. Just curious.Remember you’ll never please everybody, so if you like it and your loyal commenters like it, then it’s a win.
Change is good…and always a shock.I like it. My take is that it is 10-15% larger than it needs to be to accomplish the readability goal.MBA Monday’s category on the top is really helpful and a commitment to a future of continuing ‘Mondays’.
agreed re: size for readability. It’s all-caps without the caps… but i like it. i’m imagining Fred hollering his posts now, which makes me happy. Regardless… they’ll look the same as ever via RSS….
Definitely is a shock, but I like the leanness of it.
We all know Fred prefers lean over fat!
Expect a rebuttal from Ben Horowitz.
I sure hope so!
Ha! Hello there, Greg.
Thanks for the feedback.After enough comments rolled in about the type being too large, we nudged it down a little.You can read more about it and our overall design approach here: http://uxhero.com/lyndc
a bit better, though still way too much space between paragraphs. And left side formatting is too close to edge (on firefox/mac laptop).otoh, on DROID this site looks FANTASTIC! I saw the inspiration once I viewed it there.
Reading blogs on droid was indeed the inspiration for this Ken
Hi Nathan…thanks for sharing this and being responsive. Most of us have blogs and addressing the same issues, albeit on a smaller readership scale than Fred of course:)Two items:-Mobile and iPad emphasis is smart but are you working on some data that shows where people view on and the trends. That would be good. For example… I read and comment in the mornings on my MacBook somewhere…then follow with my iPhone throughout the day.-You mention that a large part of the readership is financial. Is that true?Thnx
I am commenting from my iPad. Disqus is doing nicely on it
I’m envious. Mine is on order.
I’m certain you’ll enjoy it as a “couch browser”. It’ll be our big computer while on vacation for the next couple of weeks. I’m having withdrawels though from a lack of hacking on web utilities already though, and it’s only been 2 days.
Mark…I’m presuming this is the wedding and big vacation out west? Mazel Tov my friend!
That’s right Arnold. Not too big, 110 with kids and a few babies. Then Maui for 10days & Bay Area for 3
Enjoy and my best to the both of you.
Thanks Arnold, it’s a marathon vacationing this long. Surprised more folks don’t quit early and get back to work for a rest
Hey folks — there must be some service out there where we can pitch in at whatever levels we want for an AVC group wedding gift to Mark.Maybe a gift cert for him and Michelle at a really nice restaurant on Maui, on June 6, during the group meetups.If we worked in an office, we’d definitely do something.Any suggestions?Shhhh….don’t tell Mark.:)
While we would of course appreciate such a gesture, your kind wishes and positive thoughts are a precious gift we both appreciate (I frequently show Michelle comments from avc’ers). Thanks Tereza 😀
Oh Mark, congratulations! Much happiness over the next few days of celebration and a lifetime of joy to follow!By the way, I imagine that more than lemon (or was it lime?) juice might have been spilled on your iPad at the bachelor party. Sounds like you had fun.
Thanks Donna! Many friends enjoyed libations but for me coffee was the drink of choice. Still synthesizing the incredible social gravity of the big day.Posting the best man’s speech tomorrow on my blog. It made me teary eyed, my brother Ron and parents crafted the best speech of my life.
Hey, Mark! Congratulations once again. Was looking for that best man’s speech — did you post it?
Here it is Donna I’m married, some related follow on posts, and I added a link to messel.posteros.com one of the blogs that accepts short videos by email.Love the comments on today’s post
At a very long “bachelor party” our ipad was heavily used. Convenience for web browsing made it a hot item. Had a great day catching up with friends, some of which I haven’t seen in years. Amazing how much energy it takes to socialize for 12-13 hours, I slept like a stone last night 🙂
I said “finance oriented” not based on any data I’ve seen, but on the texture of the comments and Fred’s primary topic.I don’t have AVC numbers in front of me, but on my own blog mobile browsers (including iPad) are about 7%, and crucially, the people bothering to read a site on a mobile browser are likely the most engaged.
Thnx NathanNot challenging just looking (always!) for info.You’re a talented designer with a sharp business perspective…great combo. Congrats on a terrific job on Fred’s blog!!
“…the people bothering to read a site on a mobile browser are likely the most engaged…”Interesting point.
Also, “mobile browser” often means “in an iPhone Twitter client”, and lots of RT’ing, link forwarding, and saving to Instapaper happens from there. That’s some hot and heavy engagement.
i have a company looking UX help Nathan – are you interested in projects?
Really nice work, Nathan!
I like ’em big.
…the font, that is.
I am not so sure about the background color. Minimalist means blank means white. Can going to white/blank make the blog load even faster? Curious. There are narrowband people out there in the world.
I really like the new look.I think you might have a navigation issue though. The button that says “Next Post” takes you to the previous post. The arrow that takes you to the previous post is an arrow to the right. While on a single page the posts are in reverse chronological order once the posts are by themselves on a page the words “next” and “previous” have temporal meaning that is beyond the context of a single page.
Beautiful!I’ve got template-envy.
Hello New Yorker.
Good looking remodel, it takes a village and feels like I slipped into the works of contemporary architect Jean Nouvel.
I will wear my green hypem shirt in silent memory to the passing of green on avc.
Good redesign. <3 larger fonts
The font’s a bit big on the main site, but I like the mobile version’s landing page so I can quickly see all of the recent posts.
Like it Fred. Text is a little bigger than I would have thought, can’t remember if it was smaller before. Was that a conscious decision?
Overall, I like it.Why are the posts not on a white background? I would make the main column’s background white, so it’s even easier to read. Like this http://fredwilson.vc/.
Id prefer posts on the white background. In overall it looks good and definietely an improvement.
It looks good – congratulations, Fred.
Love the new look. You should change the name to “AVC Zen.”
Looks good on both iPhone and iPad. I like the bigger font for both of them. On iPhone, might want to consider next article link at the bottom below the article instead of the top? More likely to want that once finished than before I begin…
Awesome design. Surprised me.
Why do you have Google Advertising, surely you don’t need the small change they may send your way?
He’s said that the money goes to charity.
ahh great, that makes sense
I am not seeing any ads anywhere.
I really like it! It’s much faster and cleaner.However, I agree with some of the others, the font is a bit big for me. I had to reduce it to be really comfortable. Anyway, I guess that many people will love that, it all depends on your eyes and the size of your screen.
Congrats & cheers. Smooth look and feel. Kudos to Nathan.
Change is good. Very Tumblr-esque looking Fred. I like it.
Looks great on the iPad.
hmmm… mixed feeling. Much cleaner,yes. The AVC logo fonts are awesome, nicely use of the AV up/down opposite directions, and the AV triangles vs. the rounded C. The top bar is nice too.I find the non white background color harder to read from. Also missing is the short list of the titles from the last 5 or so posts. To get back to a post from a day or two you have to go to archives, than this month and than scroll…Agree that the fonts are too big and too bold.The like button can be set to always on. :)Maybe old habits die hard.
Good point on the links to the older posts
Love the new look. Clean and crisp. Congrats!
I dig it.
Nice design, but the font size feels a bit too big for me. I find it a bit difficult to read.
So nice! Much thanks!
It’s funny all us old farts like the bigger font and the kids think the font is too big.
Yeah — kinda like how I can’t think of anything sexier than going to sleep by 10pm. Oh, baby!
In line with other’s comments on text font size: your post is 347 words (including title) and *barely* fits all on the screen of my 24inch mac cinema display. I think that is a good litmus test that it is too large.
Looks good. Nice and clean. I’ll concur with some of the other folks on font size – it’s a bit large. But maybe a good percentage of your demo is in the “over 50” age group, although I doubt it. 🙂
I like the new layout and larger font, its very clean! Excellent update!
Thumbs up. I dig the clean look, and don’t miss the green.I think Fred should put out a visual history of AVC.com, showing the design evolution. We’ve seen it move from widgetopia to today’s lean and clean mode.
That would be painful for me to produce
about bloody time!simplicity is the ultimate sophistication – thus said Leonardo da Vinci font size a bit OTT – will look better 3/4 points smallerother than that….all good.
Actually I think bigger with a less curved font. The curvatures are disturbing…
Fred, the site looks great.
Meh. It now looks like something aimed at the visually impaired, thus losing cool factor.I think you went from a sport bike to a maxi-scooter on this one, except via load times, where the reverse is clearly true :^)
I am visually impaired from a decade of squinting at a blackberry
Ha!Fred, the personal touch is missing i.e. family… I personally liked the green background (especially since, we’ve got alot of sun and sunshine here in the Middle East) – which so happens to match your twitter and tumblr domains.
Fred – I think the column of text is way too narrow (which makes the font seem too big). I would prefer if it were ~50% wider, or even better, a fluid layout.
I really think you should keep the avatar at the top! That is your brand, your identity.
Looks great. I especially like the new logo. I sort of miss your standard blue & green colors, but you can never go wrong with a simple, modern palette. Particularly fitting now that you’re in the Apple fan boy camp with your new found love for the iPad.Nice work Nathan!
Nice look. Like others I think the font is big – but overall like the change – particularly the load time – superfast now. 2 nitpicks: up top right where you have your avatar – the text (at least on my computers)”Fred Wilson is a VC and principal of Union Square Ventures. His wife is Gotham Gal and his daughters Jessica and Emily blog too. “Drops the word too all the way to the bottom of the box and is not aligned with the other words. You might want to try and reformat that piece – or rewrite the text to better fit the box”Fred Wilson is a VC and principal of Union Square Ventures. His wife, Gotham Gal, and his daughters Jessica and Emily also blog.”or”Fred Wilson is a VC and principal of Union Square Ventures. His wife blogs under Gotham Gal and his daughters Jessica and Emily blog too.”Aviah Laor commented below on the interplay between the A and the V and the curve of the C. Not sure how it would look (I’m no graphic designer) but if you kept the same relationship that you get on the A and V and put it between the V and the C – you would chop off a bit of the curve on the C – but it might be a very cool look – or simply shifting the C right a few pixels might get the same distance to the tangent to the Cokay now, I know I officially need to get out of the house post knee surgery here.Happy Memorial Day Everyone
I say turn the three letters into a logo. Launch a competition.
if there was a little bit of margin on the left, the font was reduced a point, and the title font a couple points, it would be a great design.as it is, it looks like something i would go to on the crackberry, not a browser.
That was the inspiration but maybe we overdid it a bit
i reloaded in a different browser size and it looks a million times better. maybe that explains alot of the complaints?
Congrats, it looks great!
Sexy!It will take a few moments for my brain to adjust though.P.S. I noticed the Like and Dis-like buttons on Disqus – happy about that. I can go back to my old favourite threads and ‘star’ them now.
Looks good. Less clutter on the sides makes sense I think. There is always the temptation to add everything, but if it’s something people won’t use anyway there is no point and it is a distraction. It makes me wonder about Internet text ads in general. It is really rare that I even notice the links on the right in a Google search anymore. Sort of the same with Blogs — they are always in the same places and I just kind of tune them out by default.The Disqus feature is a nice one too.
Looks great!It would be cool to show screenshots of before-after. Not that people need to be reminded of what it looked like before, but just to allow direct side-by-side comparison.On the type size, I’ve wondered the same thing. I think some people find the larger size tiring when their eyes have to scroll from left-to-right and then down one line, repeat, because too few words fit into one line. The eyes then feel like they’re running around all over the page.
I’m not a huge fan of the Myriad font, especially because it appears almost bold on my computer. The contrast between the HUGE font size for the article and the tiny! font size for posting a comment is a shock, too.I mostly read AVC in my RSS reader…guess I will stick to that.-Erica
The sidebar widgets were nice to get to know more about you. Seeing what a person is interested in helps build character, in a way; It might be those things they see like ‘Foursquare’ which and other portfolio follows that then gets them interested in engaging in conversation. Not sure how it’ll affect things. Perhaps you needed those to build the current community and now discussion is vibrant enough to maintain and catch interest. :)- Perhaps can put the widgets on About me page? Picture placeholder is still there too. 🙂
Nice and clean. Looks great.
“Straight up diss” ?Fred’s entire sidebar bio is made of links to his family’s sites. If it makes you feel better, the beach picture is still on the “about” page.I always liked the family picture in the sidebar too, but the problem is that to fit there, it had to be so small that it read visually as “stock photo of a family” and not “Fred’s family”.
We should strategize about how to ‘undiss my family’ NathanSeems to be a common comment
lol, no worries nathan, i was just joking around. fred knows i like tocreate conflict when there clearly was none intended. a stupid joke, but ilove it dearly. :)i do think it would have been cool to get the family pic in there as i thinkit fits great with fred’s brand, but of course i understand there arelimitations you have to deal with, as you noted.
I don’t like Myriad. I think it’s too trendy. I think on a laptop or desktop, the center column needs to be centered more and the widgets need to be pushed further right.And much like fraser- I don’t think color is unzen. It also pushes your portrait out of the way (you shrunk it down, and it is off to the corner, and the grey makes it recede) I miss no colors…It gives somewhere for my eyes to go.Much like arnold, you may want to up the size of the text a tad of a percentage point or two.The minimalism overall was a good move. And a like button, most definitely.
I love beautiful typography, so count me in as a huge fan of the size and new font. It makes AVC beautiful to read.
I think its a great redesign. comment font size needs to be a bit bigger (when writing a comment that is). I used to read from rss primarily because the site was too slow to load.
I like the minimalistic look. the change will need some getting used to though.Pls Fred, where did the green go? I think green is much friendlier than red. I promise it has nothing to do with the color of my country’s flag.Would you consider split testing the Green vs. Red?Edit: The family picture has to come back. :). Kid’s post just alerted me that it was missing.
Interesting how in Firefox and Chrome that on an old 17″ (non-wide) monitor that your short about and map get shifted to the bottom of the page (like it does in the iphone browser) and there are no ad’s, whereas in IE8 (which I don’t use) the whole page loads, regardless of screen size.I like the overall design. Really like the way Disqus seems to be better integrated in the page. It doesn’t feel like a plug in.Also think it’s great that you publish your site stats.
I think this is a tremendous improvement. It’s extremely ‘readable’…an often overlooked quality on blogs! Admirable that you continue to evolve…well done!
it seems that the personal blog links from the discuss expand dialog are broken (active blogs ok)on Chrome on 1024×768 all the widget but the main logo and the text disapear
Digging the new format. It *feels* more designed (like a tumblr feel to the old school typepad feel), which is a good thing and reflects the shift in personal online media today. A more enjoyable overall experience for the reader.
The Like function (per post) is something that was sorely needed for some time. Having a Dislike key is rare, and sorely need throughout the rest of the web by the way.But I really think that also having a “Best of avc” (BOAVC) tag, like craigslist always had, right next to those, would be something that would be great too. (yes you know i’ve asked for years!)You could also right now add a “rank posts by # likes” over on your disqus page (maybe they already provide that), which would also be useful, though not a replacement for BOAVC.Also noted: the The new Like implementation on each comment. It has seriously increased stickiness thanks to the micro avatars. Well done, disqus.
“Having a Dislike key is rare, and sorely need throughout the rest of the web by the way.”Blogger has a polling widget for posts, with three checkoff boxes, one of which you can use as a dislike key, essentially. I did, with my old Blogger blog. The three choices I gave were “good”, “meh”, and “bad”.
Great idea for boavc Ken
Love the new redesign! Great work, Nathan!
“We’ve kept the ad unit which produces tens of thousands of dollars for charity every year.”It should probably say, “Benefits so-and-so charity” below the ads; I’ve always just presumed you were being a capitalist.Very clean and loads quickly, though. Nice!
I never actually noticed the ad before.. but pointing out it’s for charity may make me more likely to click. 🙂
Looks fantastic! We use Nathan on stackoverflow.com and stackexchange.com too — he does great work. If you’re looking for awesome design work, Mr. Bowers is your man. http://uxhero.com
*sniff* Thanks Jeff, I’m all choked up 🙂
Hi Nathan. Do you take on/want more work? If so, how best contact you? I’m an old friend and colleague of Fred’s. Steve
Nathan — I don’t know you but very impressed with your responsiveness and the content of your responses. Plus, nice work on Fred’s blog…still getting used to it, but overall, beautiful work.
Generally love it.Two comments:1- not a big fan of the logo/font. Looks like a merger between a megacorporation and Jalopnik. ;)2- I miss the family picture! I really liked it, and liked the way it was cropped on your homepage. It gave a personal touch to your blog, and conveyed what I believe to be a reality which is how much your family means to you, all the while remaining discreet.You always use the same picture as an avatar, and it’s a good one, but that made that one picture stand out all the better. Really liked it, I’ll miss it.
I agree regarding the picture.
I can’t believe I care about something so small, but that picture humanized the site.
Yeah. I love that picture. We will have to think about that
After I wrote that comment I noticed it’s still in the “about” page so it’s not *completely* gone. But yeah, I think bringing it back would rock.PEG
Yes, that picture was the best, not too many bloggers put a family picture up there like that.
I like the cleaner design – thumbs up. That said: the red – not so much. Red is such a harsh color on websites. I feel like something less glaring would look classier.
Half-agree. Red link is good for main links – but I don’t think it’s needed on the username, or on the “these people liked this” links.
OK — I can buy that — and this gets me nodding toward Suster a little, too.The red could be dialed back a smidge. Maybe keep it in our names but not in the “in reply to” — which could be a dark gray. And keep red in the links.I think as links, the red is hot! *So* much better than boring blue.
Mark, might be time to freshen up bothsidesofthetable.com. The site is clear and easy to read, but IMHO it could use a look that’s as uniquely-suster as the ideas.
One of the rare moments I’ll disagree with you on, Mark.I love the red and how it works with the spare design.
You could have just Liked my post, it’s really what you meant to say. 😉
Fair enough! We’ll agree to disagree. I find the red so glaring. Almost distracting. There is so much of it. I once used red a lot in a post and a designer wrote me and said that red was a bad visual color for text. What do I know – I’m not a visual designer. If everybody loves the red then kudos!
Hey — see below — I could live with dialing the red back a teeny-tiny amount. It’s just a 1/2t. too much of paprika. But getting close.
REALLY like the new look!
Like the new design — particularly the subtle texture for the background color.How about changing the site search engine — I usually end up searching avc.com from either Google or Yahoo using a site restrict.
While I think the “clean, crisp experience of a single column of text” and removing non-essential elements of your former site is smart I’m missing elements that would give “avc” a unique identity.Its not so much about “branding” as it is about personalizing the relationship between you and your readers. Not only does that help build your audience but it also gives deeper meaning to the “conversation”. When given the choice, as a reader I’d rather be engaging with “Fred” than “AVC”.Here’s a couple of thoughts…1. Move the AVC logo and tagline so that it doesn’t create a barrier to your postings. Instead minimize its size and marry it to the information you have on the upper right corner (it’d be okay to reduce the size of that font and include your entire bio from your “about” page—it not that long).2. Add “AVC” to the home button, as in “AVC Home” as a way of reinforcing the name of the site.3. For postings, reduce the size and consider using a serifed font so that it doesn’t have an “ad copy” feel to each article.4. Consider using warmer color tones rather than keeping everything neutral.Lastly, in regard to “UI” I’d much prefer the header links open in new windows—though that might be because I read your blog mostly on a laptop (haven’t spent that much time on my ipad yet).
What do you think about the removal of the family shot Andy?
Its not the shot its what it represents to your readers, which would be better addressed by looking at the each element of the design (some of which I mentioned in my comments).I’d consider adding to your bio (on the home page) to give it more depth. Its like dating except now you can talk about your wife & kids. You need to be a combination of flirtatious and engaging. Mario’s brilliant at it.In regard to that family shot, I’d rather see that and photos like it as part of your postings so that your family life is interspersed throughout your blog. For your story about how you’ve changed your mind about the iPad, include a photo of the iPad sitting in the kitchen, maybe being used by your kids to look at a recipe (BTW, which “take-out” app do you use? We’ve been using Menu Pages).
I stopped putting pictures of my family on the avc blog because I hadsome bad experiences
Sorry to hear that. Nix the family shots and Scoblelize it—pics of apps, devices, seminars, etc—visual elements that will both personalize the site and bring dimension to it.
Like the redesign, I think I actually liked the older version better but I understand why you felt like a change was necessary.One thing, site looks great and optimized on an iPhone, but shows the standard desktop browser view on a Nexus One. Maybe you could display the mobile version for us Android users too 😉
I’m looking into this. I don’t have a Nexus One, so I tested with the Android SDK emulator. Unfortch, you never quite know how the real hardware will perform. Lots of “YMMV” with the Android emulator.
you might have asked the guy (or girl) that did your avatar to redo that as well?love the minimalism and the fast load time on my mobile
New layout looks awesome! Great work Nathan and Fred.But the lack of green is throwing me for a loop.
Font size is far too big. Makes it really jarring to read paragraphs of text with such massive text and huge gaps between lines, and what seems like double spacing between paragraphs. Results in too much scrolling etc. These are basic things to get right!
The greyish background reminds me how, back in the 90s, I loved the grey Yahoo pages… right after the age of geeky dark computer screens… but just before the invasion of print designers on the web and the white backgrounds they brought.
Very sharp. Nice work, Nathan! Spread minimalism 🙂
My old freinemy. We meet again at last! ;-P
I like it. It’s clean, I miss the sidebar/sidesquare a bit though, not that I used it much, but it was familiar. In any case, I give the makeover an A+
You need like/dislike buttons on the front page, not just the individual article pages.. I often read the whole articles on your front page without clicking through to the comments page, even when I really like the article. I only click through when I think I am going to be interested in reader comments on the particular subject.The reason the clean design is good is that you can gradually fill it up with new and interesting stuff until it becomes cluttered again!You should add a recent tweets widget.A related question, for Twitter why do you use 3rd party link shortening services instead of URLs you own yourself? You already own a short domain so your shortened links should start with u.avc.com instead of bit.ly 🙂
I told disqus the same thing about the like buttonsI never thought to use my domain to shorten links. Good idea
on.avc.com might be another option to consider. TED.com uses on.ted.com as their shortener. Really it’d be possible to set it up with just AVC.com though..
font size is too big – weird on the eyes and somehow dumbs down the contentmiss the green color and some of the shadings – i am a big believer in the emotional content of color, and somehow bleaching all the color out of AVC maybe somehow bleaches out some of the grit and characterlike the navigationdon’t miss the widgetsdid i miss the deletion some previous time or did you just now remove the simple controls for sharing posts and pages? eg email this, etc
You are right Steve. We nuked the “feed flare” at the end of the postI don’t want this to lose the grit
Love the design, it’s sharp, clean, and hip. The problem is, it doesn’t feel like you.Words I’d use to describe you:Family, engaging, friendly, kind, down to earth, intelligent, thoughtful, relaxed, humble, considerate, open, warm, critical, dynamicThe words that come to mind with this design;Hip, trendy, cold, creative, artistic, minimal, distant, clean, direct, definitive, static, cool,Not much overlap here.I love the design, I think it’s cool as hell. Creatively, artistically, ascetically, I love it.But, it just doesn’t feel like Fred Wilson the person.At the very least put the family back up. (do it in black and white to fit in)
Exactly. It’s the difference between getting into a modern art museum vs. a somewhat older living room, a bit messy, but cozy. Warm colors.And taking the widgets is also a bad idea because it’s a cross communication with other info sources. Now it’s more closed. Or maybe widgets are out.
Great feedback Jim. I really appreciate it
That’s what I was trying to say with one of my posts in albeit not so detailed way re: character missing.Don’t do black and white though. It’ll still be able to fit in. 🙂 Colour’s important to deal with the “cold/distant” parts that comes to feeling with the design.
Keenan makes some good comments. The big AVC logo on the left also struck me as a little on the large side and too overbearing for the personality of the site we were used to.
I disagree with the ‘hip trendy’ etc. This site says one thing to me:Readable.As in: I’m more likely to scan around and read it :)Some small suggestions:1) #uxnerdout The ‘quote’ box in the ipad article is idented a bit too much for my liking. It stops my eye from naturally flowing to the next paragraph after reading it.2) A simple “Most Popular Posts” box on the right side (done via DB/caching not a widget) would be nice. Or something else to expose old stuff that’s great. This blog is full of knowledge and I would love some recommendations :)Can’t wait to use the iphone version. And for a bit of free demographic research: I hit the site directly before hitting Hackernews or TC because I want to read the post HERE first and comment in hopes that you’ll respond to it 😛 (I mention this because you were wondering about people who visit direct vs. go RSS/aggregators)
“Family, engaging, friendly, kind, down to earth, intelligent, thoughtful, relaxed, humble, considerate, open, warm, critical, dynamic”Impressive assessment Keenan. Interestingly, this sort of describes the general tone of the blog community here as well.My only disagreement…color photo or maybe sepia tones.
I liked it better before. You already had a minimalist look and a very unique style. This just looks like every other blog page.
I like the overall layout but the font style on Safari 4.x on Mac looks *awful* – it makes it a pain to read your blog. If you do not experience this let me know where to email a screenshot..
Email it to me at Fred at usv dot com
Didn’t know you had usv.com too – nice. 🙂
Wow, this is a big change. Looks great! And I like the bigger typesize. Way to go, Nathan and Fred, and congratulations!
I agree with the other commenters – font could be a tad smaller.Also, is it just me, or is the site generally slow, particularly with scrolling?
I love it. Nice and crisp.If you want to bring back the family pic — and I understand why you would — maybe move your avatar to the far left above the date, put the fam top right and the verbal descrip just below it, and the Twitter and RSS just below that.Your avatar on the left would make it look like a Disqus comment that puts the ball in play for the rest of us. Could be a fun vibe.
I dig it. Nice work Nathan.
Looking good, Fred! Nice job.
I’m late to the party so shall limit my comment to a micro specific.Having the next and previous post buttons at the end (i.e. after the comments) is annoying – especially given the number of comments. Would like to have them replicated either after the post or maybe at the top of each post so that I have the option to skim through the subjects and then judge if I want (or more accurately have time) to scroll through all the comments.I’d also say that next and previous are confusing labels – how do you know where I just came from. As they work now, I would argue that they are the wrong way round. The previous post in my mind is the one you wrote previously – unless I’m mistaken that’s not where the previous button takes me. Older and newer post would be clearer buttons. Or perhaps you could have the post title in those buttons.
that’s a great comment johni want to fix that
I 2nd that. Having to scroll through all the comments to move to the next article is a huge pain. It pushed me off avc.com and to a rss reader so I could navigate quicker.
I dont like it. The MyriadPro-Regular is not clear at all.I assume it was designed on a Mac which renders the font a lot better than a PC.Much as I like my macbook, i don’t use it for grown up work and therefore am looking on a PC. And waaay too much spacing.I think newspaper website design is the most useful to follow. Blogs are in the same sphere. This isn’t a nighclub
Redesigning My Blog http://goo.gl/fb/EnLOk
Hey, how come my Disqus at my blog does not sport that Like button? This is not fair. 🙂
Enable it: http://blog.disqus.com/post…
The coolest Like button on the web so far. Why even have a don’t like?
Very impressed with the responsiveness!
It’s fabulous! What happened to the picture of the family? That was the best part of it. Disqus is doing great with the like button!
It’s so minimal there’s no way to tell when a post went up! I can figure out the month from the permalink but it’d be nice to know the day too…
It looks good on the iPhone & easier to read & commentYou have more videos from your posts- why can’t they be included in that new Video sectionI don’t suppose u changed the search function which some of us have complained about
Fred,Off-topic, but are you aware of the recent issues with Disqus (e.g., 24 hour+ lag times on e-mail notifications)? Is this being addressed?
It’s all caught up now. Here are some details: http://status.disqus.com
That’s what I call great customer service. Thanks, Daniel, and nice work you’re doing with Disqus.
A couple of extra comments looking at the site afresh:Like many of the other readers a family photo (maybe a new one)An explore AVC page as well as/instead of the Archive with tools to get at the wealth of information in the site, I know I’ve hardly scratched the surface of what’s here in the posts prior to me discovering your site.Some suggestions; maybe a tag cloud, advanced search, popular topics, a better index and the separation of VC and tech as categories you have 3012 posts in this category (because many people arriving first time will have come as a result of searching for VC resources) Possibly quite a lot of work that maybe an intern would be happy to spend a week doing.If you only do one thing I would say it would be to separate and index out the pure VC related stuff.
on the whole, I for one don’t like the design. On the plus side I’m big on minimal, so the clean up of the clutter on the right is good.On the down side. I don’t think its very readable. Font size too big and line height are too tall. I happen to be reading in Chrome on XP (nothing looks good there anyway). The blog feels like iTunes (negative for me). It should strike out to have a design that feels right for Fred’s personality and goals, not a mega corp cold look. Don’t like the gray textured background.also the AVC logo is too big. The ‘A’ and ‘C’ are not kerned enough.I favor more information density. Less spacing in the text, paragraphs, line breaks. Also each comment takes up more space that it needs due to these spacing issues.
I dig it. Miss the fam pic.
It’s a bit Craiglistish with a hint of Google – crisp, clean, with a side of boring. Obviously it works though.A flashing neon sign that says GIRLS GIRLS GIRLS or NO VACANCY might have been a nice touch. It needs some fun.
I can’t see who replied to who with indenting. Is that only disqus mobile settings or main site a well?
that happens to me on iphone and ipad.i believe it is a disqus issuei told daniel about it.
Groovy. Disqus will need the Google star system to prioritize bug tracking soon enough. They must encounter plenty of browser specific issues as the mobile market grows.
The background is a litte jarring, I prefer and like a white background. I like the minimalist look, it looks great.
Great job Nathan. I love the redesign. This also shows Fred is a good client and has good taste :)For those who complained about the large font size, I think you will appreciate the better readability later. It’s something to get use for the better. All blogs should be designed for speed, clarity and readability. This minimalist theme works very well.
Fred,I think that your new look is a huge improvement. So many sites have become weighted down with so many widgets that you’re tempted to not bother reading them because they take too long to load. I think the improvement in speed will facilitate more discussion and increase the value.
Really like the new design but breaks on the Blackberry (not quite sure how relevant this is though for this crowd :-))
The font hurts :(, the minimalist design is good but that font overpowers any minimalistic sentiments lying here….
Great work, Nathan. And congrats to Fred on being a good client — an important part of any successful redesign!A couple of items to note:- re: MBA Mondays: I’d really like to see this page laid out differently. I don’t think a blog format is the best format for an archive of posts. Maybe doing more of a browsable directory by topic or some other vector would be easier to scan and jump into a specific post.- re: video tab: same as the MBA mondays. I feel as though a grid of smaller videos thumbnails with their titles underneath might be easier to read. You could then have a landing page for each video with comments, etc.- re: Tumblr and Radio sites: Might be nice to update the themes for each of these, and make sure to include the same header/navigation from AVC.com to make it easier to go back and forth between sites.
great suggestions Kylei agree with all of them
Great Stuff Fred – love the new look.
For the most part, my experience with the new design seems to mirror many of the comments above. By nature, I am a minimalist (except with words — haha) and like this aspect a lot! More elegant. Liked the new design a lot more after the initial shock and spending some time with it. Still might prefer a tad bit smaller font and headings and the red slightly less bright. The font for AVC doesn’t seem to fit the brand somehow. (I am over 40 so the comment about the younger crowd liking the smaller font doesn’t apply here.)Must say that looking at this on my BlackBerry put it in a whole new perspective! Marked difference in readability. (Except can’t seem to get comments to load.)Love the tabs at the top.MISS the family photo — really like the way it looks on the “About” page, but like having it pop up immediately — somehow seems like part of your branding so not having it is especially acute.I guess A VC has officially become AVC?Lastly, the old design had more of the dimmed lights “pub” feel (whether real or imagined) that seems to go with this blog, whereas the new design seems more like a trendy place to have lunch. I’m sure that with the same old crowd and a glass of wine, it will still be a fun place to hang out.
that’s a great comment donnawe’ve gone trendy on the pub redesigni guess its wine not beer now
If you want the comments on your Blackberry download Opera Mini.
Hey, Fernando, so cool of you to offer this suggestion. Thank you!
Like it a lot …
Oh, nearly forgot … REALLY glad they’re not Facebook “likes” 🙂
Unfortunately I don’t like the new site at all I’m afraid. It feels cold, especially the choice of background and the move towards a less colourful palette. The previous design, albeit a little dated, felt cosy and conversational which is what I like most about your articles and the people who read and comment on them. Agree with others that the big AVC font feels like a big corporation.
For the date display, the “margin-left: -84px;” pushes the date so far left for me that I cannot see it. (I am using latest Chrome build on a Mac). I can see a little part of the date, but not much of it.
love the new look.it’s easy on the eyes and loads super fast.some of my favorite blogs are clean and beautiful including evhead.com, davidslog.com and now avc!
beautiful – love the bold, red titles and the clean, minimal style.
Тhe new design and features are awesome, congrats!
I know this is an old post, but I just wanted to say: am I the only one who is reminded of Aliens vs Predator when I see this new logo? ;-)Great redesign though!
To be fair, Disqus intentionally waits until everything else finishes before it begin loading. 🙂
Disqus does feel a little slow sometimes, but then again Fred gets 100+ comments per post, and that’s a lot of user profile pics, http requests to load.Overall however Disqus does a good job of being fast, and it beats the pants off every built-in blog comment system I’ve tried.
Thanks Nathan — getting faster with every new update!
that’s a good suggestion