96 Comments

Summary:

Two winters ago, we unveiled a new design for GigaOM — today, we are launching another one. Whereas before, our focus was on design, this time around we’re aiming to bring you a unique user experience. The biggest change at our company in the intervening two […]

Two winters ago, we unveiled a new design for GigaOM — today, we are launching another one. Whereas before, our focus was on design, this time around we’re aiming to bring you a unique user experience.

Our product guru, Jaime Chen

The biggest change at our company in the intervening two years, of course, has been in the growth of our network, which now totals seven blogs: In addition to this site, we also have TheAppleBlog, jkOnTheRun, NewTeeVee, Earth2Tech, OStatic and WebWorkerDaily. In short, we generate a lot of content that adheres to the basic ethos of GigaOM.

While I remain a big believer in specialist niches, I feel it’s also important to surface more of the quality work being produced across these properties, such as the Car 2.0 coverage by Josie Garthwaite on Earth2Tech or Simon Mackie’s web working tips. So about six months ago, I asked our product guru, Jaime Chen, to come up with a game plan that would allow us to conduct a complete overhaul. Her mission was to:

  • Better showcase new content and related articles so that we can overcome the limitations of the blog format without really moving away from it.
  • Give readers an easy way to go to other GigaOM Network properties so that they can discover the work of our entire team of writers.
  • Focus on super simple content consumption and discovery.
  • Enable us to be more social.
  • When it comes to actual blogging, take us back to our roots.

Jaime, instead of taking my word for it, went out and talked to a whole lot of our users — nearly 1,000 of you shared your feedback and insights with us. And you were not shy about your dislikes. As it turned out, most of what you wanted was already on my wish list. So we got ahold of our old friend Ryan Freitas and the ace design team of Shane Pearlman and Peter Chester to turn what we learned into a unique experience. They quietly toiled away for months and now, here you have it: The first step in the network-wide overhaul.

What we’ve tried to do is strike a fine balance between what is a blog and what would be an online magazine. We have done this by adding a Featured Posts block at the top of the home page, while toward the bottom we’ve added topic pages and special reports. The rest maintains the typical blog format, but with a focus on extreme discoverability — the most-requested feature amongst our readers.

To that end, many of you asked for a list of three bullet points that summarize the highlights of longer posts. You got it. A list of related posts was another common request, so we’ve implemented that as well. And for those of you that wanted the GigaOM Team to point to great blog posts we might have read across the web and found useful, we’re rolling out that feature later this week. It’s pretty simple — we don’t have a monopoly on ideas, and since our business is based on your attention, it’s our job to make sure that your attention is being put to good use. And that means helping you save time and finding you stuff that you might find useful.

A note about typography: I wanted us to make reading an easy experience, so I opted for white spaces, bigger fonts and some elements that you would typically see in a traditional print publication. I’ve been reading the test site on an older, smaller screen (1024 x 768 ThinkPad) and my eyes don’t hurt — yet. In addition, some of the typographic stylings come to our blog courtesy of font technologies from San Francisco-based startup Typekit. We’re using the FF Clifford font, which is specially licensed through FontFont and being served using the TypeKit technology (Disclosure: Typekit and Automattic, the company behind WordPress.com, are backed by True Ventures, investors in GigaOM and where I am a venture partner).

In the end, I want us to be closer to my grand vision of what I see as the future of blogging — more visual, multimodal, interactive, real time and social. We’re not there just yet, but we will be in a few months. Today you can share our stories on Twitter and Facebook; you can also connect via Facebook Connect and leave comments on the site. It might come as a surprise, but this entire operation (including a fairly advanced publishing system) was built on top of WordPress.com, the on-demand blogging service based on the open-source software, WordPress. Without going into the dirty details, WordPress Jedi Mark Jaquith, our in-house coding champ Chancey Mathews and our dev team of Kelsey Damas, Nick Ohrn, Dan Cameron and Matt Wiebe and designers Reid Peifer and Brandon Jones – many of them spread across different time zones and geographies — helped us put together the whole back end for the new site (and our blog network).

Now all this design and user experience is only as good as what we are supposed to do: create content you actually want to read. On that front, too, we have some good news. Liz Gannes, who till recently was the editor of NewTeeVee, has joined the GigaOM team as senior writer, where she will closely follow consumer web technologies and startups. She will be editor-at-large for NewTeeVee, where she will be contributing her insights into the world of online video as well. Liz is going to be joining me and Stacey Higginbotham, who has also been made a senior writer for GigaOM.

Given her work ethic and deep insights, Stacey’s promotion is well deserved. She will continue to track broadband (including policy), the FCC and cloud computing. So there you have it: the GigaOM troika. We are going to be focusing on all the things we love, with a renewed emphasis on innovation. Thankfully we have our editor in chief, Sebastian Rupley, giving us his perspective on technology all the time — his experience brings a much-needed realism to the go-go nature of Silicon Valley.

Related research

Subscriber Content
?
Subscriber content comes from Gigaom Research, bridging the gap between breaking news and long-tail research. Visit any of our reports to learn more and subscribe.
By Om Malik
  1. i really like the new design – from the sheaf of pages at top/bottom to the new layout for content and especially the typography – nice nice nice.

    Share
    1. Thanks Rohit.

      We have tried to focus on the reading and content consumption experience a suggested by many of the readers.

      Share
  2. While it isn’t as flashy and javascripty like Engadget, I like it.

    It is a very clean and simple design that is easy on the eyes. Plus, the content is the main focus.

    My only tip would be to change the color of the black lines under the headers. They look far too strong compared to the rest of the theme. Maybe go for a dark gray color?

    Other than that, it looks great!

    Share
    1. James

      Thanks for the comment and great suggestion. I will pass this on to the designers. it is a great tip.

      Share
  3. I love the new design, clean and makes it easier for me to scan the whole page and read. Kudos for GigaOm and the designers.

    Share
    1. It is the designers and my team who did the hard work. Good to see that we are meeting our mission of making it easy for you to find, consume and randomly discover information.

      Share
  4. excellent typography. soft colors around the edges too… makes for a pleasurable reading experience.

    Share
  5. Marivi Lerdo de Tejada Monday, November 23, 2009

    I tend to have a knee-jerk reaction against re-designs. It just takes me a while to adjust to a new look.

    But this already feels so much more readable and easier on the eye. Well done.

    Share
  6. Absolutely love it, Om!
    Leave it to you to introduce a truly pleasurable reading experience online…so many of the qualities I love in a print publication, but with the up-to-the-minuteness, and connectedness of the Web.
    This rocks.

    Share
  7. Looks great, Om- and of course, everyone else!

    Share
    1. Greg the intern! Come back to us!

      Share
      1. Agreed.. Can’t wait for next summer to arrive. We want to bring GK back.

        Share
  8. Sweet! I like it a lot. Well done.

    Share
  9. Great job on the re-design. Elegant and content centric. It should go a long way in highlighting the great content on here. Kudos on nailing it!

    Share
  10. It’s beautiful Om, I can’t tell you how jealous I am.

    Share
    1. Thanks Marshall. Coming from you, it is a great compliment.

      Share
    2. Maybe it’s time for RWW to make the jump to WordPress? ;)

      Share
  11. Nice design..kudos to GigaOm team. “Market Stats” feature is really looking great. Simple and effective.

    Share
  12. Congrats to the team! Looking forward to using the new GigaOm. From my initial quick visit it looks great!
    Would be interested in gearing more about the architectural decisions you made and why.

    Share
  13. Very clean interface Om. I like it. One addition (if I may, after the redesign) is you could choose to include interesting articles from your network as part of your main GigaOm feed; much like how TechCrunch does it.

    Share
    1. We are going to surface some, but not all our content making it easier for everyone to find good stuff. Thanks for your comments.

      Share
  14. Love the design. Very clean. Great use of whitespace.

    Share
    1. Well you know it… how much I love whitespace. Thanks Rashmi.

      Share
  15. Looks great. Fantastic layout and type treatment.

    Share
  16. Wow, the site is so fresh and so clean! Great work, Om and team!

    Share
  17. nicely done. congrats.

    Share
    1. Thanks Chetan.

      Share
  18. love this: “white spaces, bigger fonts and some elements that you would typically see in a traditional print publication.”

    Share
  19. Om and Team,

    New site looks terrific. Crisp, clear and done with great vision.

    Well done.

    Jon

    Share
    1. Thanks JC… Well now you know why it took so long :-D

      Share
  20. This is definitely a huge improvement. It’s now much easier to navigate the site.

    I love the new sidebar and the menus for Om/Stacey/Liz/Sebastian’s posts – they look awesome.

    Congrats to everyone who worked hard and made it happen, including Om, Chancey, Jaime, & Jon.

    Share
  21. Can I have the old template since you ain’t usin’ it no mo? :-)

    Paul “looking forward to animated gravitars” Kaps

    Share
    1. We will be open sourcing that soon. After the dust has settled on this one :-)

      Share
  22. @om and team, great work. The new site looks great. Really like the top nav, white space, and highlighting authors over network properties.

    Share
  23. Love the new layout. Simplicity yet makes great use of the real estate. Congrats to all!

    Share
    1. Thanks Charlie. Appreciate the kind words.

      Share
  24. Om – The design is clean but my favorite part is “Across the Network” section near the footer – very well done.

    Some observations – looks like the Facebook connect integration needs some fixing.

    Also, I can see just one ad (from WebEx) on the page. Is it because of my geographic location (India) or have you reduced ad spots with the new design. Just curious to know.

    And would love to see a weekly email digest for “Best of GigaOm”.

    Share
    1. Amit

      The Facebook Connect fix has been sent to WordPress.com for approval.
      we are reducing the # of ad-spots going forward.
      the weekly email digest is being revived as well. great idea for bringing it to the forefront.

      thanks

      Share
  25. I like the new design. Feels very open. I also like having the sites more connected. Well done and kudos to your team.

    One little comment. It would be better if Twitter opened in a new window, so I can stay on GigaOm and retweet.

    Share
    1. Thanks ROb. That is a good suggestion as well and I appreciate it.

      Share
  26. I like it, this is very nice but professional! Congratulations are in order:)

    Share
  27. Congrats on the new look. It must feel great to launch it.

    Nice work on aesthetics, and it’s easy to read, fresh.

    Not sure I’d sort articles by author, though (“Stacey’s Posts”). Too culty, and it dilutes the brand. I’d rather see them sorted by subject matter anyway.

    Share
  28. Wow that is beautiful… it is compact like newspaper … Is this design custom made for Om or available for public at large? Om, Will you donate it to WordPress? :-)

    Share
    1. Just want to say that the new look aint good on blackberry. Usually visit everyday, don’t use images.(Blackberry now too)

      The amount of links between the top of the page and the articles seems to have tripled, and when I click on a ‘read more’ I have to rip down the 30 or 40 again… It burns up my bandwidth cuz I just saw all those links… Also, experience less direct/fun.

      I’m sure the designs are nice, but wanted to give my feedback.

      Share
      1. Hey, just got my first look on a real machine and it’s really a nice remake. I appreciate the aesthetic and readability.

        My other point still applies, maybe you need a m.gigaom.com subdomain?

        Good job!

        Share
  29. [...] I read Om Malik’s introduction to GigaOm’s new blog format today with great interest. Giga is a trend leader, and Om’s post says a great deal about where blogging is headed. Here is the link. [...]

    Share
  30. TeamOM has delivered “A clean, well lit room”. They say that “good design should be invisible”, your current iteration delivers on this meme. Well done.

    One more thing!

    Have you considered trying the real-time ECHO commenting platform from the talented chaps at www. JS-Kit.com ? Seems to me that it would be a great way to harness and promote more dialogue, going beyond simple commenting into threaded conversations. Higher ROA & ROE (Return on Attention & Return on Engagement – i.e. new component metrics of virtual currency) for all participants. Just a thought!

    Share
  31. love it the new all white look! thanks Malik saahb for making things more clearer! it’s not that i didn’t like the earlier look, that was a great one too with readable fonts size and type and thanks for adding wordpress.com connection too

    Share
  32. Nice, clean lay out. Good job team Gigaom

    Share
  33. Nice design, very clean and loads quickly.
    I still prefer to read sites, rather than feeds.
    Feeds give you the information, but none of the site personality or feel.

    The only issue is the “shuffled paper” bit of the design, seems to distract the eye from the content when the page loads.

    • probably just me.
    Share
  34. One other thing – the layout of the comments and replies is simply brilliant. Simple, clear and beautiful. Love it.

    Share
  35. Change Is Always Better
    I like The Style
    Keep it Up

    Share
  36. Keeps on getting better and better… GigaOm made it to my homepage last week (LinkedIn lasted for Two years), what a nice surprise this morning.

    Great job all you, welcome to Liz, and Kudos to Stacy for her promotion (how is your Daughter doing, with her broken arm and all?)

    Thanks Om for all your work.

    Tariq

    Share
    1. Thanks, Tariq. My daughter’s leg healed well and she’s back to tap dancing again.

      Share
      1. Glad to hear that Stacy. Actually I got mixed up with the leg and the arm… sorry about that.
        Maybe I should check on those kindergarten books: this is my hand, this is my leg etc…

        Share
  37. Om: in a word, “magnificent”

    Share
  38. all is good, nice website update and design concept!

    the only thing I cannot get used to instantly is the 1997 “look we can use crazy bullet points” like these:

    http://s1.wordpress.com/wp-content/themes/vip/gigaomnetwork/img/ul-li-bg.png

    change them to a grey round bullet and you’re right on 100%, the overstyled bullets actually go missing within the content and do not make anything stand out.

    Share
  39. all I can say is gigaom just got hotter and sexier ;)
    congratulations are in order for the entire team :)

    Share
  40. OK. Just diving in.

    Primo – for me – is wandering easily through the GigaOm landscape from blog to blog.

    I already know the content is waiting.

    Share
  41. Agree with the others, nice job.

    I’d also take this opportunity to dump the characature avatars, I never cared for them to begin with (cheesy), but now they also seem dated. Simple, no-frills photography for me… you don’t work for Schwab…

    Share
  42. [...] Redesign Launches November 24, 2009 ryan Om announced the launch of the GigaOm network redesign last night. Congratulations to Om, Paul, Jaime, Shane and Peter, and the whole GigaOm team! I was [...]

    Share
  43. I guess I’m the only one that doesn’t like it. To me it seems like content has taken a back seat to design. The recent Engadget redesign has given me the same impression.

    I’m on a 13″ MacBook for the most part and what I see when opening the site is a single piece of content, the gigantic article banner. I can wait for this to slideshow through the items but that defeats the purpose. I might as well scroll down. The hover dropdown over the authors is cool but again, I’m moving the mouse just to see more than one piece of content. Also, I come here for all of the authors, not individuals.

    Scrolling down presents another problem. With the typeface so large each article snippet takes up most of the screen real estate and contains less content to get me interested in clicking through.

    I’m guessing on a big screen these issues go away. I found that to be the case with Engadget as I have a 22″ monitor at home and the new design is much more usable. That being said, I now visit Engadget less often because the content is not as accessible on a small screen. The level of effort is greater compared to Gizmodo, as an example.

    Om, love the content and just wish that was more front and center.

    Share
    1. @Scott, Google is releasing the Chrome browser for Macs next month. Chrome’s look is very spare on top. It’s my preferred browser for a 10″ netbook because of that.

      Share
  44. I find it ironic that the 2 “news” stories alternating in your featured posts box at the top are “Say hello to the new new GigaOM” and “AOL Reveals Lame new look and logo”.

    Pretty interchangeable.

    Share
  45. बढ़िया है भैये !
    पर क्या ब्लॉगर के लिए ऐसी थीम मिल सकती है ?
    बधाई!

    Share
  46. Awesome design. Looks pretty and close to what we all want. A lot of white space to breathe in. Only superfluous thing is the top bar above Blue GigaOm logo with Page behind a Page. Can’t understand the need of it.

    Still it rocks!!

    Share
    1. i thought that was a floating bar that would stay while the ‘content’ scrolled… guess not.

      Share
      1. Rohit,

        Sorry I don’t quite understand what you mean. Can you explain?

        Share
  47. The design is fabulous. I second all the kudos everyone’s posted. Using flat, opaque elements to create dimensionality, space and a sense of welcome is pure design magic — and very difficult to do. The new design reminds me of the delightful spaciousness of Ukiyo-e prints. Fantastic work. And it loads fast! :) The heavy black bar in the title is fine. All the space requires a few eye-stoppers, otherwise the reader might skid off the screen.

    Share
  48. I really like the new design of your site!!. Very clean, easy to read and navigate.

    Share
  49. My compliments to the chef. Excellent design and user experience.

    Share
  50. Great looking site, Om. It’s so clean and welcoming. It screams, sit down with a cup of coffee and read me.

    Christian

    Share
  51. [...] For the past couple months, the primary gig on the Shane&Peter Inc. project calendar has been a major redesign of one of the biggest technology blogs on the net. All of us being geeks and businessmen ourselves, we jumped at the chance to re-envision GigaOM.com, as well as the rest of their very respectable roster of blog heavy hitters over the next several months. You can read a lot more in detail about the redesign over at Om’s post about the project. [...]

    Share
  52. The new design is awesome — just the right amount of content and white space!

    One quick thought on the “Pulse” page… since this is such a great stream of “what’s new with GigaOM”, it would be helpful to see the date/time of each Tweet/post so we can jump into the conversation! Always good to know when the Tweet was posted so we’re not late to join the party :)

    Share
  53. Om…

    Been a big reader of GigaOm, for a long time now… But my first impression (7mts) of this new site design… is not very good…

    a. makes me feel like I have come to a new place… not one where I would check in twice a day.

    b. less content on one page more clicking less scrolling… you trained me to scroll

    c. Seems like content is being prioritized and organized for me…

    d. the banner on top takes a lot of real estate for no reason… looks like a best buy advertisement

    e. speaking for myself I think that the “Giga Om Topics ” and “Across the Network” Sections are good things but they are at the bottom. While I am use to scrolling for content your site I am not use to scrolling for navigation.

    Just some thoughts… only because I really like the content, and I am aware that I have very little understanding of your motivation for change…

    I know its easier to find problems then to solve them so in that sprit my suggestion would have been to make the new version more twitterish… feed me what you got and let me expand for details if I care… this way I can also see cross network content assets being leveraged better.

    I wanted to give you my impression without reading other comments…so if the rest of the world loves it… great…. I could be completely wrong.

    An avid reader.

    Share
  54. [...] so happy to be providing fonts for the newly redesigned GigaOm. As founder Om Malik wrote in his introductory post, “What we’ve tried to do is strike a fine balance between what is a blog and what would be [...]

    Share
  55. I do like the new design. Much more enjoyable on the eyeballs, easier to read, comments look great.

    Only problem is that it’s eerily similar the the Cutline Theme. I see that it is not the same, but it’s close enough that I had to do a double and triple take. Cutline is great (I’ve used it myself), but it is extremely common. Not very original… http://cutline.tubetorial.com/

    Share
  56. clean & neat… way to go!

    Share
  57. So glad this is finally launched. :-)

    Share
  58. Shouldn’t you be at the White House, tonight, Om?

    Share
  59. Liking the new design — like the focus on the personalities of the writers.

    Share
    1. Thanks Airel

      Words are deeply appreciated

      Share
  60. Seemed cleaner to look at, at the same time confusing. Deviations from the standard blog format may repel new users.

    Share
  61. Have been getting used to the new design for the last few days. My reaction to the design is mixed.

    Old homepage was much better. Landed on the homepage and could get much more inputs as to which post one would like to get into first. Many more post headlines with some description could be seen in a glance and a scroll.

    However, the new design is great once you enter the article. Its good. Thums up to the GigaOM team.

    However I have a question for them, hope someone from the team takes it on.

    Gigaom has 1.1+ million followers on Twitter with a corresponding number of 3K+ on Facebook. While aesthetics is an important objective of any redesign, driving traffic to and within the site are also important objectives. Will the site redesign impact the skew in the numbers in any way?

    Share
  62. Love the new design Om. Very reader-friendly. Not as linear as a blog. More interesting to explore. Great work Jaime!

    Share
  63. Good. Very Clean theme, makes the content look more important and readable.

    One quick suggestion…the featured post section takes too long to switch, somewhere around 30-35 secs between each post. You may want to make it faster…say may be 10-15 secs…

    Thanks.

    Share
  64. Can’t say that I am a fan of the new design. While it looks gorgeous, I come here to read articles and can’t find them like I used to. As a casual reader who is here a couple times a week, I miss the big long 20 post format of the home page.

    Share
    1. Chris

      Thanks for your feedback. We will take this into account and go over all our feedback and make sure we make you happy.

      Hey maybe because it looks good, you can comeback more often and not be such a stranger :-)

      Share
  65. [...] po’ boys than I really should have, Om Malik announced the work I did with his team on the redesign of the GigaOm Network blogs, and a variety of new opportunities have [...]

    Share
  66. [...] GigaOM.com. In doing so, we looked to our yesterdays and reconciled them with our tomorrows. As I wrote when we launched the latest version of the site, “What we’ve tried to do is strike a fine balance between what is a blog and what would be an [...]

    Share
  67. [...] products and companies. Lindholm’s visit coincidentally was a few days before we launched the redesigned GigaOM. I wanted his opinion. Instead he offered great insight. Most companies (including web startups), [...]

    Share
  68. [...] we relaunched the brand new GigaOM design in November 2009, I wrote that “we’ve tried to do is strike a fine balance between what is a blog and what would be [...]

    Share
  69. [...] design. This redesign is part of an overhaul of the entire GigaOM network that started back in [...]

    Share
  70. [...] redesign is part of a network wide overhaul — NewTeeVee will soon get a facelift — which is meant to surface content from our [...]

    Share
  71. [...] We launched a complete redesign of the GigaOM Network. [...]

    Share

Comments have been disabled for this post