New look, new features

By Published:

If you’re reading this post on an RSS feed, you might want to click on the link and check out the original entry. And if you’re reading this directly on the site, you can see that I’ve made some pretty substantial changes to Law21.

So, welcome to the new design! WordPress has been a great host since I started Law21 back in January, and Andreas04 was a pretty good look for our first several months. But I figured it was high time to upgrade and renovate the premises, because I really appreciate all the guests who come here every day, and I wanted to spruce the place up for you a bit.

The resulting look is, I think, a definite improvement: stronger colours, sharper contrasts, bigger headlines, larger typeface, an actual banner design, date and time stamps for each entry, and a professionally designed logo. Let me know what you think, by comment below or by e-mail at my new e-address, jordan@law21.ca.

But it’s not just a new look – it’s also a lot of neat new features. The banner across the top and the sidebar box down the right-hand side have been thoroughly revamped with all kinds of cool stuff. Here’s a guided tour, starting from the top:

  • Running along the base of the banner above are the Subscription buttons. We already have a lot of RSS subscribers to Law21, but I’d like to encourage a lot more. You can now receive automatic updates on new activity at this site by e-mail or RSS – just click on your preferred method of delivery. If you’re not familiar with Really Simple Syndication and don’t read this or any other site that way, click on “Learn About Subscribing” to get started.
  • The About page, which you can link to from the blue box on the right, gives you a lot more information about Law21 and about me. As my various appearances approach on the calendar – including my newest one, speaking about blogging for lawyers at a January 2009 Canadian Institute conference – I’ll update the About page accordingly.
  • Latest Posts, Categories and Archives are now grouped together in a tabbed row. To view each individual column, click once on the tab and a partial list will appear; click again on the “Show/Hide Full List” line and the complete list will unfold. Tabbed browsing rocks – thanks, Firefox!
  • Directly below that come Reader Comments, the part of the site that makes Law21 so rewarding for me. You get the first couple of lines of each comment – to read the whole thing, click on the commenter’s name and you’ll be taken directly to the full remarks at the appropriate post.
  • Then come two more tabbed rows, six entries in all. This is What I’m Reading – my blogroll, but broken down into six categories: Innovation, Knowledge, Law Practice, New Lawyers, Strategy and Technology. As before, click on each tab to display the full column.
  • And finally comes my very favourite new feature, What They’re Writing – or as I like to think of it, the blogroll on steroids. We’ve set up an RSS feed for each of the 37 (for now) blogs I’m following, and piped them all into this section of the page. Every time a new post appears at one of these blogs, the first several lines will be reproduced here. Click on “Continue Reading” to be taken directly to that blog post. Even better, there are five slots available for new posts, so that you’ll always receive the five most recent posts from my blogroll on a constantly renewing basis. So whenever you visit Law21, even if I don’t have a new post for you, there’ll always be fresh content for you to review. How cool is that?

The credit for this new look and design goes to two professional designers, one with whom I’ve worked for nearly a decade and one whom I’ve only known a few months. Tony Delitala of Delitala Design in Oakville, Ontario, is the Art Director for the CBA’s National magazine, and has been since before I took over as editor in 1999. Tony is a tremendous talent and an equally tremendous guy, and he contributed both the snazzy new logo at the top of this page and a lot of great insights into the redesign. I’m delighted to be his colleague, and I’m very lucky to be able to also call him and his wonderful wife Vanda friends.

But the redesign, in both look and functionality, is first and foremost the work of Jesse Collins of Moxy Webworks in Mississauga, Ontario. Tony introduced me to Jesse this past summer, and we hit it off right away – we think along very similar lines when it comes to web publishing and user utility. Jesse came up with most of the great new features like the tabbed columns, and even better, implemented my cockamamie ideas, like constantly refreshing blogroll feeds, that I couldn’t begin to know how to do or whether they were even doable. With Jesse, everything is always doable. Without Tony’s and Jesse’s help and support, none of this would have been possible.

So there you have it — Law21 2.0. Ironically, the switchover and this new post will both appear while I’m away for (Canadian) Thanksgiving holidays, so there won’t be any new posts for a few more days yet. But in the meantime, I’d really appreciate your feedback on the new look and feel. This redesign, just like this whole site, is for you — the readers who’ve responded so positively to Law21 and made this such a fantastic experience for me.

So my promise to you, with this new design, is to keep working hard to bring you insights on, and analysis of, the rapidly changing landscape of the legal profession. And just so you know, we’re not finished with the surprises here quite yet – look for something new and pretty interesting in 2009…

Print Friendly

6 Responses to “New look, new features”

  1. Jesse Collins

    Well, appropriately enough, it looks like I’m the first to leave a comment on the “welcome” post. It’s a little self-serving, as I’m also testing the comment functionality :)

    I’ll do this formally on the site somewhere later, but I’d like to tip the hat to Thematic, a WordPress framework of sorts that we used as a springboard for this design.

    Mostly, thanks to Jordan for the creativity and direction; every build should be like this!

    Having said all that — I have no doubt that there are some broken bits (RSS Feeds for example – which I think are now fixed) and some wandering pieces. Please give us some feedback. If there’s something we’ve missed, if there’s something that’s not working properly, our best hope is to hear about it from you so we can make it right.

    Enjoy.

    Jesse

  2. Mary Abraham

    Great redesign, Jordan. You’ve achieved a nice, clean, strong look — a terrific complement to your posts.

    Happy Thanksgiving!

    Mary

  3. Laurie/HaloSecretari

    Wow, the new design is a huge improvement Jordan! I’ve always loved your content, but the new look is definitely better! I particularly like all the neat sidebar features. Very impressive!

Leave a Reply

  • (will not be published)

 

Post Categories