Honing the Design of the FriendStories Blog

This is part of the Bittersweet Book Launch case study, where Dan Blank and Miranda Beverly-Whittemore share the yearlong process of launching her novel. You can view all posts here.

I am a big believer in launching things quickly, and then slowly honing them. Miranda and I chatted last week and came up with a number of ways to improve the burgeoning FriendStories blog. The goals:

  • How do we make it immediately clear what this site is about?
  • How do we immediately engage you in a story?

Here is the before and after of my work with it this week:


Changes made include:

  • Use an entirely new template. The was chosen very quickly,just to get the site live.
  • Create a banner that on a visual level, embodies the goal of the blog.
  • Develop something akin to a logo, though really it is just stylized words at the top of the page.
  • Add a descriptive tagline. We came up with: “Real stories of true friends.”
  • Created a brief blog description and added it to the top of the sidebar.
  • Changed the headlines for each post to quotes from the stories.

Do these changed make the site perfect? Nope! But they are steps in the right direction.