Design Sojourn Version 4.0!

Wishing all readers a HAPPY 2009!

Wow oh wow. Three full years of me being online and ranting and raving about everything industrial design! I have to say it was a bumpy ride from the start and while looking back to see how I can improve I have to say that my older posts were really poorly written. Hopefully the posts are a lot better these days?
With the constantly evolving nature of the Internet, and perfectly reflecting the growth of an individual, I thought it is about time I update this website. This update is also significant as it represents my transition into my 4th year of blogging and also some changes in my personal career goals.
Also dear reader, I have also taken your feedback, synthesized it, and used the best ones that gel well with my goals for this website update. So I like to officially announce the new look Design Sojourn Version 4.0 that contains a number of significantly new features and changes. They include:
1) Full RSS Feeds
This is has to be one of my biggest reader requests to date. The reason why I never had full RSS feeds because I kept on getting my copyrighted content stolen by SPLOGS or Spam Blogs. So I decided to turn down lots of requests my Full Feeds. However recently I better understood my reader’s requests when I got really irritated when sites I wanted to subscribe to did not have full feeds. So I concluded that my readers, whom are so inclined, would feel the same way. Therefore I had to weighed the Pros and Cons of readability vs. thief of content. As my readers come first, I have decided to give full RSS feeds another try and see how we go.
Oh, if you are reading this post by RSS, please do come and visit the site (DesignSojourn.com) and let me know how you feel about the new look?
2) Featured Story
One thing that I noticed on Design Sojourn is that my featured design articles often need some extra time on the front page before I get feedback. Sometimes on a productive blogging week my newer posts tend to bump these design articles off the front page. Not good as I do I spent quite a lot of time crafting these Design Articles. Also with a few reader emails and comments telling me how they missed this and that article, I decided to create a “Featured Article” section up top. This allows me to keep certain articles around a little longer so that I can get additional feedback or comments.
3) Favorite Stories and other reformatting
Occasionally I create Design Articles that receive heavy traffic and lots comments. These “reader favorites” are also often significant posts or articles that really define what this website is all about. Therefore under the “Featured Story” bit I have created a Favorites section for all such defining posts.
The discerning reader would have noticed that these post “chicklets” used to be in my sidebar. But with this new placement, I have the opportunity to reformat other elements, such a a new Twitter cell and creating post excerpts. Overall I think the new blog design has now a better hierarchy and a comes together in a tighter package.
3) Less Ads!
Recently Design Sojourn got featured in a local Marketing magazine. That was cool. What was not cool was the screen shot the magazine took had a butt ugly 480×60 Google picture Ad slot in the area below the post title. Arrgh, never again. Readability and Image before anything else in design. So out that ad slot went.
4) New Blog description and focus!
This blog was and is about “How to do Good Design and Create Clever Products”. Lots of tips and tricks on how a designer can do his/her job better. A year or two ago, I added “Mastering the Business of Design” to the end of the description. This reflected my move towards design entrepreneurship as well as focusing on the ‘selling” aspect of design.
As my blog evolved, my passions moved in the direction of strategic design. I think I have always been a very strategic thinker, it just took a awhile to manifest as I believe I had to acquire the skills first. True to the name of this blog, mine was really a design journey.
Therefore simplify things and make the focus of this blog more meaningful I have revised this Version 4.0 blog description to a more simple “How to master the business of strategic industrial design.” This brings a lot of clarity to this website and also really reflects what I do in real life.
On a personal branding note, this refocusing should be done anyway as more often than not sites like these are can be instrumental in your career as it has been to mine.
5) iPhone viewable
Not much to say here, but if you visit me via your iPhone’s Safari browser, my WordPress backbone should auto detect that and reformat the site to fit your iPhone. I think it should work for any mobile device as well, but I have not confirmed that.
6) 500 Posts!
I like to end this post a little nugget. According to my WordPress meta stats, I have written 500 posts! 500 posts, now that to me is amazing! So this would be my 501st post, and how apt, seeing this is my first post for the new year and all.
———-
I had planned to update a lot more stuff, including a new color, logo and perhaps even a brand new theme. However I was not able to find a theme that I was happy with nor a color that made sense to my personal brand. At the end I decided not to go for a theme change, however I still think I will take another look at a color and logo refresh. So do stay tuned to that!
I like to personally thank you for being part of my design sojourn or journey, and I hope you will continue to enjoy being part of my process as much as I will be sharing it with you! I look forward to all your feedback and still continue tolove receiving your emails. Please keep in touch?
Hat Tip to Pat Law and David Airey for their feedback during my redesign of this theme.

6 Comments
  • Marc Rapp

    January 3, 2009 at 12:03 pm Reply

    500 posts later, and it’s still worth reading. ūüôā
    Congrats.

  • DT

    January 4, 2009 at 9:11 pm Reply

    Hey Marc,
    Awww thanks man! Please keep in touch?

  • RAJ

    January 5, 2009 at 6:58 pm Reply

    Cool Dt,
    great work man….!!!!

  • DT

    January 21, 2009 at 10:22 pm Reply

    Thanks RAJ!

  • david

    June 30, 2009 at 9:36 am Reply

    Interesting, if you want to stay true to your personal brand perhaps you can try a development or a re branding rather than a complete phase change. So many people in the internet age throw away their VI because it’s so easy to create something completely different.

    • DT

      June 30, 2009 at 1:43 pm Reply

      Hi David,
      Thanks for the comments. I don’t think the visual look of my site and how it reflects my personal brand needs to change with my new focus. It is more on the change in content and blog focus. However ultimately it is still a journey, not only in creating designs or products, but a journey in the self. The important thing is to keep re-inventing yourself.

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