Wednesday, 27 February 2013

ALTRIGHT 2.0


As you can see, we've got new digs. (And, momentarily, we're experiencing a second "Beta" stage as we transfer over the existing content.)

"But AltRight's original site was so cool," you're thinking, "why the change?" It's true that the site was quite beautiful; however, I felt that there were many factors that justified a change—or rather a simplification and concentration of the site's aesthetics and functionality.

First, as time went on, I failed to see any compelling justification for dividing up the site into multiple blogs (though I still think the names were great: "Malinvestments," "Zeitgeist," "Untimely Observations," etc.). Categorization can be handled with simple tagging.

Also, since I've stopped full-time daily blogging, and the site has settled into publishing longer pieces with less rapidity, there's no longer a pressing need for divvying things up.

When I first created AltRight, I thought of it something like an evil version of The Huffington Post ("evil" in the minds of our enemies, of course); it thus had a myriad of different sections. But as things turned out, readers don't really use the blogs. As revealed by analytics, they read the site chronologically, or else they read a single article that was sent them via Twitter or Facebook. Needless to say, we should have a site whose design reflects how people actually use it.

Secondly, I felt it necessary that AltRight get on board with two pronounced—and related—design trends (which hadn't yet taken effect when the site was first launched). The first of these trends is towards greater simplicity and elegance, and away from the crowded, link-laden, confusing "web portal" type design of the '90s and early 2000s. This simplified aesthetic is, in many ways, a consequence of the fact that people are reading web content on all sorts of different devices, and much less frequently on desktop computers. A site should no longer be optimized for a big a monitor or a 15" laptop; it should respond to tablets, smartphones, and everything in between; and it is the "post-PC" devices that, in fact, now account for most of the web traffic. The redesigned AltRight works equally well on a 4" smartphone screen as on a 27" desktop.

In conclusion, AltRight's new design is still inflected by a certain modernist Gothic, as was the original. But as I get older, I like things to be simpler. I hope you do, too.

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