Behind Companies 4.0 – Content First

Black, white, and red. Those have been my safe colors of design for over two years now. Its been the color scheme for Behind Companies since the beginning on Tumblr.

It’s time to change that.

Zeldman, when he recently launched his controversial redesign wrote that:

Designers with personal sites should experiment with new layout models when they can.

That’s what Behind Companies has been for me all along. It’s been an outlet for me to design, develop, and write. It’s been a place to experiment and learn, especially before I was doing this UX consulting thing full-time.

So this latest revision is simply a journey on that path.

It all started with awesome mentors. Part of growing in any skill is having people who are amazing at what they do coach you. One of the designers on my team, Ben Jordan coached me through wiping the slate clean and rethinking the presentation of the site.

There is this trend toward extreme minimalism on the web, and I think designers have gotten minimal design confused with content first. Content first is the irony that non-designers lose on Zeldman’s new redesign:

Zeldman is not suggesting that all sites increase their text size exponentially and dispense with any semblance of navigation. He’s making a point that design should emphatically fit the content it contains.

The point of all this bigness is to get the reader to engage with your content, whatever it is. Mobile has indeed forced our hand and made it clear that giving readers too many entry points makes engagement less likely.

I finally decided to get over my fear of adding color and texture to my designs after getting to experiment with a few client projects, and took the leap on Behind Companies.

Will this design continue to evolve? Absolutely. I love writing this site, but it’s also fun to experiment, learn, and grow, while making some great friends along the way.

Along with this update is the ability to subscribe via Facebook, if that’s how you roll.

May 28, 2012