With all the back-room stuff done, Think Defence is back online and entering a period of user testing and feedback.
I will be adopting a phased approach to the refresh
The annotated image below shows the major design blocks;
ONE – Top Menu
This might change as we progress through the open testing but the current version is
Home: pretty self explanatory!
last 50 Comments; shows the last 50 comments across all posts. Although the formating does get collapsed and any embeded images/video surpressed the link will take you direct to the post AND comment
Bookstore: Its an Amazon thing, if you are buying a book from Amazon ordering through here will take you to Amazon, be no different from normal but I will get a few percent. Every little helps
Wall of Fame: The top 12 commenters, not attached to this to be honest so it might go
Authors: This is evolving, as the contributing authors list grows a single menu will be a little unwieldy so in Phase 2 of the redesign I will look at something a little more sophisticated
TWO – Search
Erm, use this for searching for stuff
THREE – Latest Posts
A ticker showing the most recent posts on Think Defence
FOUR – Main Menu
The main menu shows the post categories and the obligatory ‘about’
News and Information: Short news items, interesting images, videos and links. These should form the main post rhythm of Think Defence and will replace the open threads, which were getting unwieldy and difficult to follow to be honest.
Analysis and Proposals: Longer posts with more research and analysis.
Culture and Community: Films, charity, welfare and even the odd funny
History: I am hoping to do more in this section but the category is self explanatory
Parliament: Written answers, select committee and national audit office reports
Administration: Anything to do with site updates and administration
About: contains the small print, information on sources, how to become a contributing author and a contact form should anyone want to get in touch
FIVE – Connect with Think Defence
There is more to Think Defence than just the main web site, twitter, facebook, tumblr, flickr, pinterest and of course the RSS feed. You can also enter your email address to receive notification of new posts
SIX – Latest Tweets
If you like that sort of thing
SEVEN – What’s New
Similar to the ticker at the top but static
EIGHT – Last Ten Comments
Think this one is self explanatory as well
NINE – Authors
Select the author from the drop down list and you will be able to see all they have written. Think I have everyone on now but if anyone has written a guest post and they aren’t on the list, please accept my apologies and get in touch.
TEN – Favourite Subjects
One of the recurring problems I have is how to provide easy access to the nearly 1,600 posts and 80,000 comments. By using the tagging system I am going to build this list to include subjects that everyone is interested in. This area will evolve over the next few weeks.
A couple of people have suggested a ‘new to Think Defence’ and I will put it here when complete, it’s a great idea.
I would like to request your help here, what are the best posts in Think Defence?
Once all the reader feedback is in I will use this period to do the big fixes and changes.
The next phase will see further developments with the contributing authors as we are only just getting started with this. Phase 3 will also see a few ideas floated for funding support, digital downloads, donations etc.
I am not going to be making Think Defence a pay to access site
The migration process might take a few days and is not likely to be 100% error free so please bear with me and I know I keep saying this but let me know anything that doesn’t work or you would like to see changed.
Thanks for your patience