Tuesday, January 29, 2008

The Writer's Round-About: New Design Launch Contest

There is a New Design Launch Contest over at Writer's Round-About! Fabulous blogger, award-winning poet, freelance writer, and novelist Rebecca Laffar-Smith is hosting this contest to help introduce people to her new blog design for WRA. Rebecca offers tips, strategies, advice, and inspiration for the writer and aspiring writer. Learn more by subscribing to Writer's Round-About's RSS Feed.

As for the fantastic contest, you need to quickly head on over and enter! You can win a gift certificate to Amazon for $25 (3rd place), $50 (2nd place) and $100 (first place)! There are some specific rules you need to follow in order to qualify:

  • Must write a post on their blog that introduces the contest.
  • Must invite others to participate in the contest.
  • Must mention the contest prizes, rules, and deadline.
  • Must include a short review of The Writer’s Round-About.
  • Must be a separate and distinct post (not plugged at the end of a regular post).
  • Must be unique, original, and at least 200 words long.
  • Must include a link to the contest with the contest title.
  • Must include a link to The Writer’s Round-About home page.
  • Must include a link to rebeccalaffarsmith.com with my name, Rebecca Laffar-Smith.
  • Must include link to The Writer’s Round-About RSS feed.
  • Must leave a comment on the original contest post sharing a link to your post.
Rebecca has really come up with a great idea by encouraging her readers to review and promote her site through a contest. She's making you work for it, but who doesn't love prizes? It's worth it! Hurry and enter. The deadline is January 31st, 2008 at 11:59PM EST!

Here's my take on the new redesign--

Strengths:
The site has a simple yet sharp header that clearly describes the site. The menu above the header makes for easy navigation. The colors are appealing and do not distract from the purpose of the site or the content of the posts. The pages are fairly easy enough to navigate and read. Content is really key here and Rebecca does a great job showcasing her topics by highlighting the titles with a white text on top of a deep blue background. Because it is a blog, it is hard to not include blog widgets and ads. Rebecca does a nice job keeping them well organized and to the right of the posts which helps with overall readability.

Challenges:
I think Rebecca's header might even be more appealing if the font was changed to something with a little more impact. I am certain that ads are necessary for generating revenue, but I might consider limiting the sponsors and affiliates (maybe rotate them?) to avoid clutter. Although a lovely photo, I would love to see an author photo of Rebecca that is similar to those on the back of dust jackets, or of her writing, or of her in a business setting to help promote her services. For menus, my eye is normally drawn to just below the header or to the right of the page. For improved usability, I might drop the menu to below the header.

Overall, nicely done! I hope you take a look at Rebecca's blog, give her a review, and be entered for a chance to win an Amazon gift certificate! Hurry up! Time is almost up!

2 comments:

MamaGeek said...

Woo hoo, thanks for the info. On my way there next. I love the new blog banner and background too, very cool!!

Rebecca Laffar-Smith said...

Fantastic entry! Yes, the edit fixed the very few points missing. :-) Best of luck! And thanks for your brilliant review.

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