It seems like the look of so many things in the parks is changing lately: from Condor Flats becoming Grizzly Peak Airfield to Disney’s Hollywood Studios losing its hat to the new hub in the Magic Kingdom. Now, you can count the design of DisneyTouristBlog.com among those changes (okay, probably not quite as big of a deal as those changes to…well, anyone).
I spent the better part of the day yesterday working on the new design, prepping the existing framework of the site, launching it overnight, and then staying up really, really late fixing some of the bugs. You’ll notice there are still some (okay, a lot) of bug remaining. I have a good amount of tweaking still to do.
What do you think? The purpose of this change was to address the many comments we’ve received from readers about reading on mobile. I was reluctant to change to a “responsive” (mobile-friendly) design because I, personally, didn’t mind how the old layout looks on the phone, but I realize that’s the direction the internet is going…so it was time for a change. Keep that in mind. Otherwise, any comments or feedback? I’d love to hear what you think, as well as other ideas.
Note that I’m not totally sold on the current look, so we’ll see how it goes for a couple of days and then decide if additional, larger changes need to be made. Also note that I have absolutely no experience in web design or any of this stuff, so literally everything I do here is a matter of reading about how to do something, trying to change it, breaking it, then going onto Google and frantically trying to figure out how to change it while freaking out that I’ve ruined the site. Point being that it’s been a time-consuming and slightly stressful process, so please be kind (yet still completely honest). 🙂
UPDATE: Thanks to everyone who has left a comment here or on Facebook. A lot of the things you have suggested are things I plan to address. I don’t have the time (or knowledge) to make all of the fixes right now, but they will come soon. Here are some of them, point by point:
- The old logo will be back in an altered form. I made it myself and forgot some of the steps of how to do it in Photoshop, but there will definitely be something to give the page character. I want this blog to be personable, not professional or sterile.
- The text color in the posts will be changed to black.
- The post titles will be bolded, enlarged, or something so that they stand apart from other text.
- Dead space will be eliminated; in particular, I think there’s way too much empty space around post titles. I’m not sure if I can kill all the dead space around the edges, but I’ll see what I can do.
- The multitude of problems with the menu bar will (hopefully) all be fixed.
- I’ll see what I can do about images displaying larger (a common complaint), but on a normal screen, photos are larger with the new look–849px v. 614px before. (This new size will only be visible going forward, so starting with this post.)
UPDATE 2: If you saw the website on Sunday (3/22), you might have noticed a lot of the issues above were addressed. Unfortunately, it came to my attention that a number of older, almost exclusively long posts were not consistently loading with the new site, so I’ve reverted to the old site. Aesthetics are nice, but content is key. I still want the website to be responsive, but in a manner that doesn’t cause issues with content. So it looks like I’m heading back to the drawing board. In case you missed it, here’s a look at the new logo I created:
These are just some of the changes that will be implemented once I have time and can figure out how to make the changes. Just thought I would address this now for those comments to which I haven’t responded, or future comments you might consider leaving.
Again, thank you all so much for your feedback!
Great site! Did you know the tips and top 10 links are not working? Spent a lot of time browsing disney information and found your site to be the best.
I had no idea, thanks for the heads up. Who knows what else that new theme broke…
I like this look. Your pictures stand out more and the articles aren’t as narrow so they are easier to read. You have a great site and always enjoy reading your information.
Oh the old site is back! I like 🙂
I like the cleaner look. It’s especially nice for a mobile access. I also like the tab selection better. Some photos of the castle might be nice as an underlay. I agree with other posters, the content is far more important. ðŸ˜‰
Thanks for taking a picture with me at Disneyland yesterday. Best meet and greet at the park!
Hahah, no problem. Nice meeting you, too!
Like the new look. Funny, I was confused when I hit my bookmark for your site as it looked drastically different 😀 Glad that you are/will be addressing all of the suggestions mentioned in this article’s update. I miss the old logo header! I would just say add some more color to the site too make the site more, cozy? XD
Hey Tom, love the new aesthetic. Seems like you’re taking some cues from Google’s ‘Material’ design, which is terrific. One major issue, though, with the title. I don’t know whether you wanted the word “Blog” to bleed onto the darker blue social media bar, but the bottom of the “g” definitely drops into it. Also, when the header collapses as one scrolls down, “Disney” remains in the light blue header but “Tourist Blog” hangs way off of the header bar and becomes partially invisible against the white background. It’s kind of a big problem, but it’s really the only issue with the new design. Absolutely love it; what a great step for this blog! 🙂
Definitely cleaner! Buttt… not very Disney-esque. Everyone has an opinion I guess…. 🙂
I like it. I wouldn’t get rid of too much of the dead space, if you use it right it can actually be a pretty good design too. It’s pretty white, but I think leaving some of the dead space is a good way to brighten up the page.
I like the blue color scheme, but I do prefer the brightness and vibrant photos along the top and sides compared to the white space and ads.
Hi Tom! I love your blog so much! I am a huge Disney fan (obviously) – and that’s what brought me to your blog, but I’m a regular reader because of how entertaining your writing is. I agree with the above comments. I however have never had any problem on the mobile site. I have an iPhone 5 (I thinkðŸ‘). If you’re looking for a logo designer, my sister does awesome work. Her website is: http://www.heidilynndesigns.com if you want to take a look.
The site looks more generic and less unique and less professional to me now. But I understand you want to accommodate the mobile audience, though I don’t recall having issues when I read on my phone previously, but maybe that’s just me.
Oh, but thanks so much for getting rid of the electric green! 🙂
Is this the TrueMag theme by strictthemes? I think I remember it looking similar to this. I was looking into this for my http://www.DadsDisneyBlog.com site, but I went with a different one of their themes instead. I like the feel, but I miss the red colors of your blog.
Like the new look Tom. Clean, modern and responsive so looks great on my phone!
There seems to be a small issue with the logo not been wide enough so its overlapping the planning tab in the header.
Ignore i just read about you adding a new logo soon!
I agree with some of the other folks, it looks nice and clean, but I don’t think you’re selling your awesome photography with this look as is.