The Redesign Process

Back when Devlounge first launched in April 2006, one of our very first articles highlighted how we put together Devlounge, titled The Design Process. Roughly four months later, Devlounge is back and sporting a brand new, updated design, and what better way to kick off the new look with an article highlighting everything it takes to redesign your site.

Plan, Plan, Plan

Way back in April when DL was just starting, I was already planning what I would want to see come the next version of Devlounge. Prash continued to tell me to slow down, and not think so far ahead, but I couldn’t help it. I wanted to see Devlounge succeed, so much so that barely a week and a half into the launch I had ideas spinning for DL2.

The thing is, there is no such thing as thinking too far ahead. It’s important to plan for the future, especially on the Internet, because many time in order to stay afloat you need to be on top on the days advancements.

The Redesign - Planning with a timeline

Even in April, I planned to launch DL2 in the summer, hoping for a late July or Early August relaunch. But it would all depend on another event, that was looming in the near future.

Public opinion does its part

It all would come down to the results of the 9Rules Round 4 Submission. I made plans with myself to get going on DL2 if I was accepted into 9Rules. If I wasn’t, I would hold off DL2 until the end of the year.

Devlounge was accepted into 9Rules, so I got right into it, putting together my first mocks and ideas in mid May. One thing that was very enlightening was the public’s view on Devlounge. So many people left wonderful feedback on the Devlounge design, that it pushed me to want to make things better, while at the same time leaving the layout somewhat intact, because it has been received so well.

  1. By Maria posted on July 16, 2006 at 1:26 pm
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    Nice read on the redesign process of DL. Keep up the great work. Looking forward to future content.

  2. By Maria posted on July 16, 2006 at 1:36 pm
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    BTW, the subscription services page
    http://www.devlounge.net/subscribe.php (where user enters e-mail address only in a text entry field) has an error.

    After I click the Submit button, this error comes up:

    Warning: mysql_connect(): Access denied for user ‘devloung_mail’@’localhost’ (using password: YES) in /home/devloung/public_html/newsletter/maillist/inc/adodb/drivers/adodb-mysql.inc.php on line 327
    Couldn’t open connect : Access denied for user ‘devloung_mail’@’localhost’ (using password: YES). Please go back and check settings

    Second, I’ve also noticed that one of your previous posted articles got pushed DOWN (basically huge space at the top… then the articles appears pushed down at the bottom). I only checked this on IE 6 though. One example is http://www.devlounge.net/extra/prebuilt
    (Heh, if you haven’t read my previous posts elsewhere, then you won’t see that I’m obsesses with launch of Prebuilt 2.0 – I’ve stalled starting my blog… waiting for P2 for weeks.)

  3. By aj posted on July 16, 2006 at 1:45 pm
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    Yeah, thanks for that, forgot to update that page!
    (Using a different newsletter system now)

    Also, I know the prebuilt page is too large a.t.m because of the image size. That’s why under “features” the link doesn’t go anywhere yet. The whole prebuilt page will be updated with the new Prebuilt. I’ll try to get it out this week. Thanks for the comments :)

  4. By Matthew Anderson posted on July 17, 2006 at 10:26 am
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    I for one, think it looks great! I was very excited to see that you dropped the curved header. It was a cool idea, but I think the rectangular image draws much more attention to the logo and is more respectful to the rest of the design.

    The new layout is stellar. Everything appears to be in an extremely natural position. Although, I’d like to see the search box at the top of the sidebar. Incredible use of white space and the menu is very clean.

    Lastly, I can’t thank you enough for taking the time to write an actual article around the redesign. It is always inspiring to see how other designers approach the creative process. Thanks for the insight.

    Keep up the great work!

  5. By Wuu Shyong posted on July 18, 2006 at 9:50 am
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    This site was done very well, the designer have a very good eye on colour unity as well as design sense. Well done!

  6. By aj posted on July 18, 2006 at 9:55 am
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    Thanks, glad you like my work :)
    Still, the design wouldn’t be the same without the contributions of Dave and Prash

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