Feedback wanted: New Community Spark blog design

by Martin Reed on 31 March 2008 in Snippets

Community developers should always involve their members in decision making. As regular readers will know, I consider this blog to be a community; therefore I would like to give you all the opportunity to give me your feedback on a new blog design.

A couple of weeks ago I asked for your help choosing a new logo. Now I am looking for your comments, feedback and suggestions for a new blog design.

Below, please find a concept for a new homepage and article page. One of the sets has a white background, the other has a blue gradient background. I would like you to give me feedback and comments on the design itself – what you like/dislike, any suggestions you have as well as your thoughts in general. Please also tell me whether you prefer the blue background or the white background.

Please click to enlarge the thumbnails to full-size.

Homepage with white background

Community Spark homepage white background

Article page with white background

Community Spark article page white background

Homepage with blue background

Community Spark homepage blue background

Article page with blue background

Community Spark article page blue background

I look forward to reading your comments so I can complete the new-look Community Spark!

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James Mann March 31, 2008 at 1:25 pm

First I would like to say that the new look is a good and efficient looking site.

I like both of them but would have to go with the blue background as it shows the nice rounded borders you page has.

If the borders were left squared I would have said go with the white.

The more I see new looks that more I know I have to come up with a new logo and blog design.

Sue @ TameBay March 31, 2008 at 1:32 pm

The white, definitely. I’m not sure I can really justify my feelings, but I look at the white and think “yay!” and I look at the blue and although it’s nice, I feel a bit more “meh”. Too close to default Kubrick, maybe.

Sue @ TameBay March 31, 2008 at 1:33 pm

PS I see it’s two responses, two different opinions. :-D

Chris Guthrie March 31, 2008 at 1:56 pm

I’m glad you decided to go with that logo and I think the matching design from the first selection is best.

Go with the first one :)

Yogesh March 31, 2008 at 3:06 pm

I liked the design with the blue background, it helps differentiate between the background and content area.

Mr Woc March 31, 2008 at 4:24 pm

Hi there

I actually prefer the blue one, but i think that one would be harder to carry thru to the rest of the site and match up with any add ons you might add, so I know its boring but i would go for the while one lol !


Eric Martindale March 31, 2008 at 7:57 pm

I’m theme neutral, both look great! The biggest improvement is the homepage… it opens the door to having a bigger community, with more things than just the blog and these articles (which are great, by the way!)

Zane Friedman March 31, 2008 at 10:02 pm

Go with the blue. :)

Simon Brown March 31, 2008 at 10:08 pm

I prefer the white – although I don’t really like the top part that is the same in both.

Acai Berry March 31, 2008 at 10:46 pm

I definitely prefer the page with the blue background. In the layouts presented, it had the most color (the blue as well as the color from the pictured game pictures). It also was easiest to read because of the columns. These break the info up and make it easier to take in, as well as making the page more approachable.

Green April 1, 2008 at 12:15 am

I like the blue background but also don’t care much for the top. The background tends to set the article and page itself like an inlay which makes it easier to read. Nice look on both though.

Chat April 1, 2008 at 4:18 am

Nice blog designs!

I would recommend the white background through, the blue background distracts me away from whats important, the content. (Or maybe a light blue perhaps?)

Plumbing Course Andy April 1, 2008 at 6:05 am

I like the white background, it looks clean.

Mike April 1, 2008 at 9:10 am

Firstly I appreciate your new book which is well organised. I liked both the designs, but would have to go with the blue colour which differnciates the background with the content area. It’s very remarkable.

Amish Made Furniture April 1, 2008 at 2:37 pm

While both are quite attractive, I prefer the blue background as being more striking.

Simon Brown April 1, 2008 at 3:39 pm

~Mike: What book?

Michael April 1, 2008 at 4:54 pm

I really like both designs (they are the same), but the blue background wins it for me. I was drawn for to the center of the page when I looked at the blue one.

I am a little curious about what grey boxes on the article pages are for.

Simon Brown April 1, 2008 at 5:18 pm

~Micheal: It is simply an image to accompany the writing.

Clothing Girl April 1, 2008 at 7:18 pm

I like the one with the blue background best!

Kevin April 1, 2008 at 7:37 pm

I think there isn’t really much difference between the two, they both look good. The difference is a subtlety, it would have been better if the two choices were markedly different, you would have more specific comments.

Søgemaskineoptimering DK April 1, 2008 at 9:13 pm

I’ll vote for the white background – definately! It seems more sophisticated somehow..

Martin April 1, 2008 at 9:44 pm

The blue, definitely. It’s more easy on the eyes.

Thanks for all the posts btw. Even though I have been creating communities for a long time there were lots of good pointers to learn from. I have just launched a new community and will make use of some of you tactics.

Furniture Store April 2, 2008 at 5:14 am

I like the blue background design, mainly because i like contrasting shades and which i think makes a page more reader friendly by differentiating between separate areas of a page.

Webtacs April 2, 2008 at 4:43 pm

I like the blue one, just makes it look really clean.

Martin Reed - Blog Author April 2, 2008 at 4:48 pm

Thanks for all the feedback guys. OK, so I understand that overall you prefer the blue background! But what do you think of the actual designs? Do you like them? Any feedback on them? At the moment it seems you all like the design and as a result I will probably be going ahead with the coding in the next few days.

Domaining April 2, 2008 at 9:09 pm

The design is stunning – I really like it.

I think the white background is better than the blue. The blue sort of frames it in and the site does not really gain anything by it. The white looks fresher and cleaner.

I dont like the blue ‘popular posts’ block. The solid colour draws your eyes – better if that section follows the same format as the rest of the page – white with blue border.

Is it worth putting the ‘top contributors’ block above the fold where people can see it?

Really nice site!


IM Warnings April 3, 2008 at 7:20 am

Both designs are really good. But I’m a fan of white. If I have to choose between the 2, white is it.

Furniture Store April 3, 2008 at 11:25 am

Not much of an expert on actual design here, but i like what i see so that’s a thumbs up on the design i suppose. All the best with the installing the new design then.

Gerardo April 3, 2008 at 3:26 pm

I would go for the one without the blue frame (THE WHITE BACKGROUND ONE), the absence of a strong frame makes the content seem open instead of trapped… Thats what I think

Nicole Price April 4, 2008 at 10:02 am

I like the blue background. Also need to see what goes better with your chosen logo.

Eva White April 4, 2008 at 12:32 pm

New design looks good and lively.

soccer betting April 6, 2008 at 5:20 am

I’m theme neutral, both look great! The biggest improvement is the homepage.