By March 31, 2013 Read More →

Change is Good

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“One day your life will flash before your eyes. Make sure it’s worth watching.” –- Anonymous

Change is good.   But only if you embrace it.   Change is a chance to stop doing what’s not working, start doing things that would work better, and keep doing the things that work well.

Change is the ultimate opportunity for transformation.

When any great change happens, it’s a chance to do a reset.  It’s a chance for a fresh start.  It’s a chance to let things go.  It’s a chance to create a vision for the future.  It’s also a chance to reinvent yourself, which many times means bringing out more of who you are.

Sometimes change is taking one step back to take two steps forward.  The key is to avoid taking a step back, only to take two steps back.  That’s what happens if you get bogged down with baggage and don’t embrace the new opportunities with a fresh perspective.

Spring is in the air and it’s time for change.   I’ve changed things at Sources of Insight.  It was long overdo.  I had stretched my previous theme way past what it was designed for.

The big thing to note is that the world has moved on to more social integration and more mobile devices, software services, and apps.  My original theme was designed for different times.  As much as I liked the design, it was no longer keeping up with today’s world.

Worse, my theme was starting to look like patchwork versus an integrated experience.

As part of changing Sources of Insight, I used it as an opportunity to address the feedback I’ve gotten from readers on a few things:

  1. Make it easier to find key things
  2. Support nested comments
  3. Improve the fonts and readability

The big thing a few of my readers brought to my attention is the fact that my theme wasn’t working well on mobile devices.  My theme was not “responsive”, meaning, it didn’t adjust between phones, tablets, and laptops.

Now it does.

Now Sources of Insight is responsive across devices, and it’s even easier to find things.  For example, the menu has two rows, so now you have one-click access to key pages and categories.  The menu is responsive, too, so I can also add some simple drop-downs so you can directly jump to specific items.

While I’ve addressed a lot of the feedback from users,  I do still have some open issues.  For example, I’ve had several readers ask me to add a “Donate” option (in fact, one reader was actually pretty upset that I didn’t provide a donate option, and that surprised me.)   I also haven’t fleshed out my Social media integration story yet.

All in good time.

I’m a fan of creating a sustainable pace, so the way I look at Sources of Insight is that there’s more time ahead of us, than behind us.

The real beauty here is that the theme has an elegant design, with plenty of room for growth.

One thing I’ve noticed about themes and blogging is that changing a theme can often lead to growth.  While it might be a chicken and egg scenario, I think a few things happen when you change your theme:

  1. You create a new energy, and people like to see what’s different.
  2. If done well, you find a theme that brings out your energy, or gives you a better platform to showcase your work, or helps inspire and ignite what you’re truly capable of.
  3. While changing things around, you stumble onto something that helps you take things to the next level … it’s serendipity in action.

I’m glad I made the change.  Now my theme looks like an integrated experience.  It does a lot of  little things well, including supporting nested comments.  Overall, I think you’ll like the new experience.

I can’t say it was easy.  Even though I tried to avoid a bunch of issues, I had a lot of unexpected surprises.  In fact, the theme I ended up with is not even the one that I originally bought and tested with a variety of users.  I’ll share what I learned in a future post in more depth so that fellow bloggers can avoid the mistakes I made and save a lot of time and money.

All’s well that ends well, but this is not the end.

It’s merely the beginning.

Here’s to new beginnings, and may big changes this year bring you great opportunity to renew, retool, and re-imagine what’s possible.

Photo by Stf.O.

Posted in: News

10 Comments on "Change is Good"

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  1. Your new theme looks great, JD! I love the sense of white space and you immediately feel it’s well organized. I’m very curious to hear what you have to say about “social integration” and the process of choosing a new theme. I also love the whole notion of “sustainable pace.” Here’s to positive change for all of us.

    • JD says:

      Thank you!

      I’ll have more in a follow up post, but the gist is this …

      On Social Integration, let people consume your stuff from their channel of choice (Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Pinterest, LinkedIn), but don’t break yourself in the process. I’m a fan of keeping things lightweight, and adding things only as they fit my style, so it’s part of my flow versus going against the grain.

      On choosing a new theme, I focused on a small set of scenarios, and values. For scenarios, I wanted to make it easy to discover, explore, and find content, and I wanted to focus on the menu as primary navigation. I value simplicity, adventure, and growth, so I played with multiple themes before finding one that matched my values, and I played with it until I could bring those values out.

      The big thing I noticed across different themes is that they reflect the values of the designers … so I looked for ones that valued simplicity, sustainability, and elegance in action.

  2. Beautifully done, J.D. The double row of buttons was one of the first things I noticed. The drop-downs are a great addition as well. 30 Days of Getting Results gets the prominent placement it so richly deserves. I very much like the Featured Articles implementation. These changes are eminently worthy of being embraced!

    • JD says:

      Thank you. I think the change is paying off already … it’s easier to find stuff and it’s a better reading experience. I don’t think I have the sidebar right yet, but having 30 Days of Getting Results right there is a start.

  3. Galen Pearl says:

    Wow, I’m impressed. I am so behind the times. I don’t even know what have of what you said means! A sustainable pace for me, at least as far as technology goes, is a snail’s pace!

    Your site looks great. It will work better for the goals you mentioned, but it is still user friendly for a dinosaur like me. Thanks!

    • JD says:

      Thank you — user friendly was job #1.

      We know the tortoise wins over the hare … I wonder if the snail wins over the tortoise?

      Actually, you hit the nail on the head. At the end of the day, you have to find the pace that works for you, in a sustainable way, so you enjoy the process and the results.

  4. Jon Rhodes says:

    Change can also be invigorating and can give you renewed energy and enthusiasm. When things stay the same, it can feel safe and comforting, but usually things become stale and boring after a while. Keep remembering to freshen things up every once in a while and make some positive changes to things, be they personal, work, or business.

    • JD says:

      So true … change is truly a catalyst.

      While I can’t say I don’t miss my old theme, taking a fresh look at things gave me renewed energy and enthusiasm about what’s possible.

  5. Yvonne Root says:

    Way to go, JD!

    Subtle yet strong changes.

    It is still Sources of Insight which is so valuable. And now it feels as if it is dressed and ready for work.