A few weeks ago, I got a Twitter direct message from Jay Rosen.
Lauren: got a question for you; would you email me?
DMing with Jay isn’t part of my everyday life. So, naturally, I was intrigued. I responded. And the three-week saga of redesigning PressThink began.
I sat in a dark corner of Michelle Minkoff‘s going away party at a bar across from the LA Times excitedly IMing with Jay about his vision for the new blog design. This was just the first of many late nights of IMing with Jay after his kids went to sleep.
A few things were certain:
- PressThink needed a modern look and feel. (As Jay described it– “to express where web design and readability knowledge are now.”) The blog hadn’t been redesigned since 2003.
- The color scheme needed to be new and bold — we mimicked a palette similar to his Tumblr.
- It needed some of the old and some of the new — which manifested in keeping the blurry PressThink in the background of the header to symbolize the “ghost of democracy”
- The design had to be focused around long-form reading — which is why we included paragraph-level permalinks (shoutout to Chris Amico).
We had a lot of work to do.
A few of my favorite design elements:
- Jay’s glasses in the header image. It’s very signature “Jay.” (We’re also throwing his glasses at the end of each post to signify that *this* marks the end of Jay’s thoughts).
- Paragraph-level permalinks — which are a necessity for such long posts
- “Talks” page, which is a chronological documentation of Jay’s talks, interviews, etc.
- The “bio” page which allows anyone to grab the HTML version of Jay’s biography for republishing!
- The blog is now on WordPress! Open source FTW!
The twitter response has been very positive so far:
I’m glad to have been a part of the new life of PressThink. Happy blogging, Jay! Happy reading, j-world!