Spot.us 3.0: Redesign is out in the wild

Last month I promised that the Spot.us redesign would rock your world. Feeling rocked yet? We soft launched the new design and have been QA testing this week. Now we're proud to announce it to the world. As always, the redesign is a continual work in progress.  We have chugged away at it for a full month, but know there's still much to be done.

sketches2
sketches2

You'll notice the header and footer have been significantly cleaned up. We ditched the old, typewriter keys logo for a simpler, cleaner one. The big buttons from the header are replaced with clear, bold text links.

The pitch pages -- at the heart of our redesign-- are much more usable now. Instead of having trailing sidebars cluttered with links and widgets and sharing options, you have only the important stuff: Donors, amount raised, and buttons for funding or earning credits. The progress bar, unlike the old dinky one, is strong, prominent and awesome. There are tabs at the top right of every pitch that let you navigate through details, discussion, updates and other elements related to each pitch.

From a product perspective, our goal was to simplify. We wanted to move everything higher so there was less wasted space above the scroll. Spot.us is built in rails and the code needed some spring cleaning. There was a class applied to almost every div, too many divs (where there should have be unordered lists) and tons and tons of templates. We cleaned that all up by using a grid CSS framework (not a column-grid system) and cutting down the number of templates. We only applied classes to containers and re-used as many containers as possible.

sketches
sketches

A huge shoutout to Erik Sundelöf, the CTO of Spot.us, who served as a great mentor and teacher to me for learning SEO tricks, CSS efficiency, and the basics of rails. He sat with me on Skype through hours of apache and mysql fails and fixed the Spot.us code when I broke it.

Also a shoutout to David Cohn for keeping us on our toes, pioneering this whole redesign, and making Spot.u into the awesome project it has become.

As for the next steps, we have to take a close look at the profile pages, which are largely untouched from the former design. We plan to make the profile page more interesting and useful, so if you have any feedback to share, fire away.

After you take a look at the redesign, donate $5 to any story for free (i.e., no money from your own pocket, just a few minutes of your time) by taking a survey about how teen pregnancy is portrayed in the media.