Six month redesign post-mortem: navigation bar changes

May 19 2015 | arielmstallings

intrasite navigation improvements

Oh some of you are going to find this very VERY amusing. Remember how when we did the redesign last winter, the biggest bone of contention was with intrasite navigation? Lots of you were like, "Wait, you made it hard for me to browse between the different Offbeat Empire sites!" and I was like "Ack, here I'll try this! No wait, this! No wait, how about this?!"

Well, six months later my stats made it clear that I fucked that shit right up. This graphic shows the year-over-year drop in clicks from Offbeat Home & Life to Offbeat Bride, comparing desktop and mobile:

intrasite navigation

Are you getting it? Long story short, my flailing last December resulted in a 56% drop in clicks from Home > Bride on desktop browsers, and a whopping 77% drop on mobile browsers. HA HA HA! Oops.

After consulting with someone smarter than me, I've made the switch to get the navigation between the sites completely consistent. Now every Offbeat Empire site has all the other blogs listed in the same order in the navigation — both desktop and mobile.

I'm also working with a designer to see if we can get the intrasite navigation a bit more visible on mobile browsers. Yes, it's tucked up there in the top left hamburger menu, same as it was before the redesign… but for whatever reason, y'all don't seem to be into hamburgers (ARE YOU PALEO OR WHAT, GUYS?!) so we need to get that more visible. Oh and PS: As part of the navigation shift, the link to the Tribe on Offbeat Bride has moved up into the top right menu, up there by CONTACT and SUBMIT. That's not ideal, but it reflects larger strategic shifts there.

As always, thanks for both your patience and your feedback.

  1. True story: I opened Bride and my immediate reaction to the new nav was "THANK YOU JESUS."

    That said, good for you for waiting to get data, and then acting on it in a way that's elegant and thematically congruent. Even worse than when a website changes everything is when they then immediately fix it with weird and shoddy patches, like a hole in the wall spackled over with Hello Kitty bandaids.

    • Thanks, but I think I should have probably looked at that data after like a month. Or two. Or maybe three. But then again it was Lovesick Expo season and getting hit by a bus and moving back into my house and… ack, I guess 6 months of data are better than one? Oops.

  2. I got an email notification saying this was up, followed and thought "huh, this must be today's, I should see if OBH has been updated yet too" AND I CAN TOTALLY DO THAT REALLY EASILY NOW!!!

    • Kellbot and I did a "ready, set, GO!" menu update to all sites simultaneously… Bride, Vendors, Tribe, Home, Families, and Empire all now have the updated intrasite nav. It was sort of exciting. I should probably change my pants now. 😛

  3. Thanks, Ariel! It took me near two months to figure out that the Empire blog itself was still here, and I had to go to the very bottom of the page to find the link in the copyright print. Thank you so much for getting it fixed. <3

    • You're so welcome! And sorry for fucking it up… I guess the good news is maybe you have 6mo of Empire posts to gorge on now?

  4. Another thank you here! I guess I'm going to have to get out of the habit of scrolling alllllll the way down the page. My thumb is happy.

      • This is making me giggle so hard right now! Like had to put my coffee cup down out of fear of giggle spillage.

  5. I'm also going to thank you for putting a link to the Empire on the nav bar. I don't have a website, blog or business, but it's always interesting to see "behind the curtain" as to how you make decisions about the Empire, so thanks for making that easier.

    Also, this is the first time I've heard the menu icon being called a "hamburger" in a general discussion. Before that the first I heard of it was on an article on the BBC website last week ( No mention of alternatives though. Paleo? Vegan? Organic? Gluten Free? Maybe we just call it a burger and then the Offbeat inhabitants can pick their own layers!

    Brioche, hamburger, avocado & tomato for me thanks!

  6. Thank you!!! I have been just typing in the Empire URL manually every time, obvs a major inconvenience 😛 this is wonderful!

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