How to Navigate Improvised Life’s Redesign

IML_4

Improvised Life’s new redesign is quite a SHIFT  from the old vertically-scrolling one. If you’re a long-time reader and you find yourself looking for the old way of doing things, we certainly understand. We did the same thing when starting to think about a redesign. In the early mockup we did (bottom), you’ll see it’s STILL formatted with long vertical-scolling, which we couldn’t seem to break our habit of, until we worked with a designer who brought a whole other view, listened to what we wanted, and “got” some of the feel from our primitive Photoshop mock-up.

The new format is designed to facilitate jumping around to Improvised Life’s wealth of content easily AND to read on just about any device you use. We thought we’d point out some features jumpstart your using the site (we recommend opening the site up alongside this page, so you can click on things as you read):

The Navigation is now all in the words that span the header: Inspiration, Shop, Extras, Follow etc.

Scroll over INSPIRATION and you’ll see a dropdown menu of our many categories, divided into Material and Mindset because Improvised Life covers the inside of your heads and hearts and the outside, more tangible aspects of daily living.

Click on one of the Categories in the Inspiration dropdown — say Floors — and you’ll go to an archive page of thumbnails with titles of all posts under that Category, that is, a lot of enticing floor pictures.

The top image is in a slider. Click on one of the arrows and it will slide through the 3 most recent posts. Click anywhere in the post, and you’ll go to a page where you can read the whole thing.

Recent Posts, mid-size images with text are our most recent posts listed chronologically. You can scroll down to see them, or click on the little numbers under the grouping to see more. Click on any of the images, and it wil take you to the full post. To see All Recent Posts, just click the black Recent Posts sign.

Recent posts clip for post

Popular posts are smaller thumbnails of the site’s most popular posts at any given time.

Laboratory are smaller thumbnails featuring the ideas and experiments we’ve tried out in our Harlem headquarters.

popular posts clip

If you’d like to SEE MORE of any of those posts, just click!

The right Sidebar has some new projects we’re working on, ways to support us, and a link to our Sponsor.

For a surprise, click on the Random button until you see something you want to check out.

Random

The footer. At the very bottom you’ll see a gray line with an arrow. Click the arrow to see more info, including a way to view posts by date.

As with all things improvisational, the very best way to discover the site is just to click on things and see where it takes you.

 

Here’s our primitive, early  “before” mock-up of Improvised Life, which wouldn’t have allowed for all the exploration this new home page affords, and would have taken miles of scrolling to see many posts.

Let us know your thoughts and comments, at the very bottom of this page.

Sally Schneider

Sally Schneider

8 Responses to How to Navigate Improvised Life’s Redesign

  1. Ellen rocco 11.01.2013 at 8:32am #

    Hi there,

    Glad you’re trying new things. Have to say it’s a bit of a challenge for me. I so loved the site as it was and change is… well, change…

    One question: can we still comment and read others’ posts on a particular item on Improvised Life?

    For example, I LOVE the post on the printed constellations (!) but the link took me directly to another website with no opportunity (that I could see) to post.

    Hope this post is making sense. I’m looking forward to fortune cookies.

  2. tintal 11.01.2013 at 7:21pm #

    Actually, I hate it. What a shock to see the whimsical headline title replaced by – a lock-step, tight list in a box, just like the rest of the site…I don’t mind change,but not convinced this type of design,which is pretty common now on other sites, is really an enhancement. I’m used to it so it won’t be a problem but your content seems to be less in the spirit of improvisation, too. Well, I guess it’s here to stay so if I can always delete the bookmark – and it may come to that.

  3. Sally 11.02.2013 at 8:23pm #

    Hi. Comments are still at the bottom of a post, after the thumbnails of related content. There’s a form to write them AND you can read them there. I just tested it out on the latest post, the Friday link-o-lator and it seems to work fine.

  4. Sally 11.02.2013 at 8:27pm #

    Few readers actually used the header to navigate, so it proved largely ineffective, except as a wonderful visual that took a lot of real estate. The architecture of the old site made it difficult to navigate, both for readers and for me on the backend. There are 2000+ posts that lay largely buried.

  5. Jane Dale 11.06.2013 at 9:41am #

    the ‘improvised life new look is, sadly for me, too frustrating to navigate, with too many
    possibles zooming in too many directions…
    Little is sometimes always more.
    Wish I could return to your erstwhile, easily manageable, beautiful pages. There’s inventive,
    and inventive…
    Sad.
    It’s too complexly frustrating for me to enjoy!

  6. Sally 11.06.2013 at 11:52am #

    It would help greatly to know the specifics of what irks you, as we are still working on the site. For example, we are thinking of including more RECENT POSTS, so you can just scroll down as you used to (although in a slightly different form) and not have to click so quickly to see more pages. What is “complexly frustrating”? Please let us know.

    For sure, it is a shift. We will continue to try to make it as user-friendly as possible…for example, now it allows people to read on just about any device, and to find content more easily. And as always, we work hard to keep the content interesting and illuminating.

  7. Jane Dale 11.06.2013 at 12:28pm #

    In answer to your question re my irksome “complexly frustrating” comment…..
    What I meant was that grasping things, for me, [being a dementia sufferer in the early stages]
    is often a visually complex exercise, making understanding the tools for grasping content
    “frustrating.” An open, and I hoped, a constructive thought….
    I have always loved the sense of non-conformity that delighted me
    on your early website. A joy for all the senses!
    It is sad for me personally, sensing the new site nudging into a seemingly more
    mainstream conformity.
    I am an amateur on the internet, but a very enthusiastic, interested, and frequent visitor to the joys
    of wonderful invention, and lateral thinking – all of which are rare on other sites which I’ve visited..
    but plentiful on ‘improvised life’.
    All the best to’ improvised life’ now and in the future!

  8. Sally 11.07.2013 at 4:33pm #

    Thanks so much for this info. We are working to keep fluidity and ease-of-use (some is trial and error). In the meantime, I recommend taking time to check the site out slowly, maybe bit by bit, explore. Gradually, it will become more familiar.

    As for the content, please let me know if you think the level of content and suprise is being compromised. If anything, I am trying to post more examples of invention and lateral thinking…but perhaps less would be more. I value opinions about this!

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