Branding and Blog Re-Design

Surprise! My blog has a completely new look.

out-with-old-in-with-newOut with the old, in with the new.

For the past 8 years, I have had the same template on my blog. I thought if it wasn’t broke, I shouldn’t fix it. I loved the design and it worked well for me. Thing is, new people visiting my website didn’t seem to think so. Nobody knew what ‘spiffykerms’ was all about, let alone how to pronounce it.

In a community blogging thread over at Facebook, a friend notified us all about this free website analyser called Peek User Testing. A person visits your site for the first time, films their 5 minute visit to the site, answering 3 questions. First being their first impression. Two, describing their experience. And lastly, if they’d be back.

I can’t stand listening to the first video of my website being reviewed. I entered my website in twice, and both times the new visitors could not tell what kind of site they were visiting. The users equally suggested branding, proper navigation and an about page that was more of what the blog was about — not who I was. Mind you, I did tweak my about page to cater to both.

Upon watching the two videos, I became apprehensive of their reviews. I inarguably cursed on them a few times but it was evident to take the constructive criticism and change spiffykerms.com for the better. Second guy had some valid points to offer, without sounding condescending.

Hence, the branding and blog re-design of spiffykerms! What do you think of it all? Definitely cleaner, and easier to navigate through, right?

Finally I decided to go through and submit my blog for a final review after the re-design. Not impressed by what this woman had to say about my site for the first few minutes. The name sounds crazy and looks obscene? Therefore, she doesn’t know if she wants to continue reading? What?

I can’t win.

Not everyone will like what you have to offer, I understand that after 3 not so positive reviews. Is all this site for criticising? Or do they ever like a website they visit.

The turn-around for getting your site analysed on Peek User Testing is around 2-3 days. Think you’re ready to give your website a try?

This is clearly not a sponsored post. Thought I’d let you in on why I decided to randomly revamp my entire blog.

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18 Comments

  1. Long time follower….those reviews gave me a laugh! I had no idea what Spiffykerms meant either, nice to learn something new :)

    I’d love to hear more about how your big move to CA came about and why did you drive across the country in only 3 days? I assume the move was planned but it seemed like a sudden departure so I hope everything is OK! Are you able to work and how is the cost of living compared to Southern Ontario?

    I’m enjoying seeing glimpses of California, keep up the great work!

  2. @T: Yes! I guess I didn’t really talk about what “spiffykerms” really meant, did I? Also hey thanks for the suggestion. I haven’t really talked much about the move too much because it was just hectic and frustrating getting everything done. I may write a post within the next week or two about it though. :)
    Nancy recently posted..Branding and Blog Re-DesignMy Profile

  3. HI Nancy, I love the look. I don’t think I could handle someone critizing my blog like they did you. Damed if you do and damned if you don’t. I think personally you have to followers so I wouldn’t worry about what those three had to say about your blog. I wonder if they every really evaluate blogs or websites?
    Cindy recently posted..Losing Logan Book TrailerMy Profile

  4. Good for you for getting your site tested! I do a lot of UX, and we learn how important testing is to get the best response from our users… but I don’t think I would have the guts to do it for my own blog! Our blogs are like a piece of us, and it must have felt like they were criticizing YOU, not your blog. I’m proud of you for doing it!
    Courtney recently posted..AllegiantMy Profile

  5. I’m going to give it a go. I love getting critiqued. I take the best comments and implement them. Some of the other issues are just someone nitpicking and I get that. The problem I found with the critiques is that it seemed like they didn’t know what a blog was. I’m a little confused by that however, in the tight little blog community, we all know what we are and what we do. If you take it for what it is though and realize that the majority of viewers are US and probably an older demographic who happen to be searching reviews or food. When the older generation arrive on your website, they might not have a clue what is going on. (Yes, I know some older people are internet savvy but from those on my facebook and friends of their friends, they are lost and always hunting for recipes…)
    candi recently posted..Easter GoodiesMy Profile

  6. Thank you for sharing this. I didn’t know there was a site like that! I’ve always wanted to get some unbiased opinions about my blog as well. It is a bit nerve wracking but I’d like to try!
    I do like the new design of your site a lot. I like the old one as well but I thought the middle section (the main body) was a bit small. I love that it is much easier to read, too! :)
    Lena L recently posted..Review, Swatch – NARS Duo Eyeshadow ViolettaMy Profile

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