Elliot Jay Stocks is a designer, writer, speaker, and author, currently serving as the Creative Director of ClearScore, and the Co-editor and Creative Director of lifestyle magazine Lagom. Previously, he was the Creative Director of coffee roaster Colonna, the founder of typography magazine-turned-book 8 Faces, and the Creative Director of Typekit (now Adobe Fonts). He’s also an electronic musician, recording as Other Form and releasing on the Berlin-based label Unterwegs.

I'm redesigning. Here's why.

Posted on 20 April 2009

I first announced the imminent redesign of this site some time ago. In truth, it turned out to be slightly less than imminent; the site remains virtually the same as when I made the announcement. However, that’s all about to change.

In a couple of weeks from now, I’ll be closing my doors to the world and taking some time away from client work to simply get it done. The aim is to have a brand new site live by around the middle of May.

When I first said I’d be redesigning, a lot of people seemed to be quite upset at such a prospect. This site has proved to be strangely popular over time and still continues to receive a lot of link love on the inspiration galleries. But this is the thing: the redesign isn’t really about the visuals; it’s about the content. Well, ok, that’s only partly true – because the site will look completely different – but the overriding reason for the redesign is my desire to drastically change the way the site works, reads, and conveys information. Because of this, I’ve dropped all ‘visual’ design work and have instead been focusing exclusively on the actual content itself. Only when this is sorted will I start to look at aesthetics. And why not, eh? After all, that’s what we’re always trying to convince our clients to do, isn’t it?

My focus has shifted dramatically since I launched this version of elliotjaystocks.com two years ago. At the time (April 2007) I was a designer working in-house at a record label. I did bits of freelance work on the side but that was about it. Now, I’m still primarily a designer, but I work for myself, plus I spend a large portion of my time speaking and teaching at events around the world, and I write more than just a blog these days: my first book has just been published, and I’m writing for various different publications, both online and off. As such, the current website is no longer able to fulfill all of the functions I need, and the emphasis needs to change.

Also, there are other things; things I’ve been meaning to change for a long time. The site needs to be easier to update, rely much less (in fact not at all) on image replacement for frequently-updated text, allow me to prominently promote things from time to time (like the book, my music, a speaking gig, etc.), and above all, it needs to be tied in much tighter to the CMS. My knowledge of WordPress has improved greatly since building this site, so the whole thing will be WP-powered (instead of just the blog section, as is the case with the current version). Essentially the time for redesign has become essential; it’s happening because I’m frustrated. This is a good thing, I guess, since it means I’m redesiging out of necessity and not just for the sake of it.

If you have any suggestions or feature requests for the new site, now’s the time to let me know. Comments are open! (And I should also say that this will be my last blog post until the redesign is live.)

Watch this space!

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