The wait is over.

As a returning visitor to Econsultancy, you’ll notice that things are a little different around here.

So what have we been working on? Here’s a whistle-stop tour of the key drivers for what you can experience on the new site.

What's taken us so long? 

We know it’s taken a long time and we’re more than aware that we’ve been promising ‘live’ dates for the last 16 months, but like many good web projects it’s taken longer than expected.

If there’s one thing you can expect from Econsultancy though, it’s that if we’re going to do something, we make sure we do it right.

The new site has been a project built from the ground up and we’ve made sure that we have the right infrastructure in place to deliver a much improved customer experience not just for now but also for the future.

This is still very much a work-in-progress, one that we will continue to iterate as we gather more and more feedback over the coming months. Please don’t be shy in letting us know how you feel about it and where we can further improve.

As our customer we value your input above all others.

Responsive

If you’re reading this on a mobile device, you’ll no doubt be pleased that you can now ‘actually read this on a mobile device!’ Yes, the new site is responsive, as is the newly designed Daily Pulse newsletter.

Of course we’ve been talking about the benefits of mobile optimisation for a long time, so we should apologise for being late to the game on actually delivering this.  

Part of the reason for the delay is the sheer amount of functionality that’s built into the site, both front and back-end. It’s not just a case of changing the design, but thinking about how people use it.

Long pages, deep content sections, tables, downloads, ecommerce… at each turn we’re trying to solve a new problem.

One of the more controversial elements of the new design was dropping the round logo from the site header (it’s still in the footer). The thinking here is that a round logo with text inside it just doesn’t play well on mobile.

We need to think about the customer experience first and the company second. We’d be interested to hear your views on this too.

Refreshed design

Aside from the responsiveness of the site, the design has been updated to unclutter the pages and create a clearer visual language to guide you around the site.

The feedback from the Foresee customer experience survey we’ve been carrying out shows that an updated design should have a positive impact on visitors’ experience of our site.

As part of this, the tech team have been working with a new UX repository where the language of the site is held. This has ensured that we’re disciplined in keeping a consistent look and feel.

It’s also meant that we have lots of reusable elements to help speed the process up.

Navigation

As our business has matured and grown, so has the range of content on our site. We’ve taken a fresh look, thinking about how the visitor finds what they’re looking for and discovers more about what we offer.

As well as introducing a different main navigation bar, we’ve also brought in ‘mega-navs’. Previously, our navigation had been more of a glorified filing system, reflecting on how the back-end system was built.

Here we’ve thought about the visitor and what they might want to do on the site and what content they might be looking for.

The experience for subscribers is also different, as we wanted to make it even easier to access research and data. When logged in, you’ll see a very different navigation on the left, making it easier to get straight into the content.

Search

Do not be fooled by the unassuming search bar at the top of the screen. Behind it lies a beautiful and powerful search machine. The new search functionality can also be seen in action if you visit the (subscriber-only) channels or case studies.

It’s fast, accurate and a generally wonderful experience, even if we do say so ourselves. Please try it.

A lot of work has gone into this and its development underlies a lot of what the site is about. Surfacing content and helping you get to what you’re after. We’ll explore the concept of the editorial metadata behind it all more fully on another occasion.

Work in progress

What you see now, and what’s been outlined above, is all a work in progress. The big lessons we’ve all learnt are to do with discipline and focus. The list of what we want to do next is probably longer than the one we’ve already implemented. And there’ll always be a string of fixes to make and bits to be tidied up.

All the teams at Econsultancy have contributed to this project. This really works for us as it ensures that we get as close to the right balance as possible between customer, commercial, technical and editorial interests.

Keeping that under control has been a major job in itself. There’s probably another post in that too.

Anyway, we’ve waffled on for long enough. Please explore the new site, make yourself at home, tell us what you like, tell us what you don’t like… enjoy the experience. It’s for you as much as it is for us.

Clare Laurie

Published 23 November, 2014 by Clare Laurie

Clare Laurie is Head of Marketing at Econsultancy. You can find her on Twitter

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Andrew Nicholson

Andrew Nicholson, Founder at The Guku

Very proud of you guys. It's been a long time in coming. Now - let's see if I can break this bad boy! ;)

almost 3 years ago

Doug Kessler

Doug Kessler, Director at VelocitySmall Business Multi-user

I like it! Congratulations.
You spelled Econsultancy wrong.
Kidding.

almost 3 years ago

Graham Charlton

Graham Charlton, Editor in Chief at ClickZ Global

Thanks Andrew, let us know if/when you succeed in that.
@Doug, you had me for a moment there...

almost 3 years ago

dan barker

dan barker, E-Business Consultant at Dan Barker

I like the site a lot & am enjoying reading it on a phone now! Here are 2 things I've noticed that may be helpful (actually, one that may be helpful and one - the first - that is just utterly pointless):

1. my eyes are really bad & so I'm using a plugin to turn the grey text black on desktop. I'd like to be able to do that on mobile, but I don't know of any plugin. (vaguely related to this: on most posts it's fine, but on posts like this where you mix screengrabs and text, it's tough to see where one starts & the other begins as the images have no border).
2. i've noticed the whole site seems to have also leaked into google under 'direct.econsultancy.com', including canonicals pointing back at that subdomain from there. It would be very much worth fixing this before it causes any issues.

Hopefully these are useful & not seen as criticism - I very much love the update!

Let me know if any other feedback would be useful.

dan

almost 3 years ago

mike wayman

mike wayman, Chief Cook and Bottle Washer at Viachannel

Nice site. Food or thought. If I am on my mobile do I really want to just see a reformatted site, My navigation / usability changes a lot when compared to Desktop. In other words, I found the home page on mobile confusing.

Also, why does everybody put the nav button on mobile on the right?

almost 3 years ago

Matt Owen

Matt Owen, Head of Social at Econsultancy

Brilliant, thanks Dan, we'll definitely look into the direct. issue right away. Any feedback is good feedback at this point - as Clare says, it's a work in progress so I'm busy compiling a 'DAY 1' list now so will add this to it.

almost 3 years ago

Natalie Ratcliff

Natalie Ratcliff, Head of eCommerce at HSS Hire

Good to see you've finally gone responsive. Search function isn't implemented well though, the field is knocking out your whole template, so part of the content is cut off rather than fully fit to screen. iPhone 6 and 5s issue.

almost 3 years ago

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Depesh Mandalia, CEO & Founder at SM Commerce

Finally I don't need to use the browser zoom on mobile, thanks!! The site feels like it's making better use of space. I do like the big bold image layout from the homepage, though would have used this a little more around the site on key topic areas to add impact.

Interesting use of the slower scrolling right column in the blog. By virtue of the slower scroll it draws subtle attention here. Be good to see how this fairs once you have some data and of course, you go through your own conversion rate optimisation plan :-)

A minor annoyance I have, is with the top of the site; directly below the browser toolbar is full of on-hover mega menus. Once a page loads, if the mouse is in that area, you need to navigate down without moving over the menu links (ie over the logo or the small space in-between) else you'll load a mega menu which you then need to come out of to click a link elsewhere in the body.

almost 3 years ago

Matt Owen

Matt Owen, Head of Social at Econsultancy

Thanks Natalie - it actually seems like we might have some issues with iPhone this morning, Team Tech are looking at it now for us. Hopefully it should be fine going forward.

almost 3 years ago

Matt Owen

Matt Owen, Head of Social at Econsultancy

@Depesh - thanks very much for that, yes agreed they are a little 'sticky' currently, will see what we can do. Thanks again and glad you like it :)

almost 3 years ago

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Nicolas Lefevre, E-marketing Manager at PDC BIG

The previous design was a lot better, at least on a desktop screen.
Now the content is full of unnecessary white spaces making it more difficult to read on desktop.

Honestly, I don't understand why so many websites like yours are turning to responsive design...

almost 3 years ago

Alex Ashman

Alex Ashman, Head of Mobile Fun UK at Mobile Fun Ltd

I'd suggest a stronger lightbox effect on the menu, some of the menu content looks like it merges into the page content, they need to be clearly distinct.

almost 3 years ago

Alex Ashman

Alex Ashman, Head of Mobile Fun UK at Mobile Fun Ltd

Also "normal" usability would expect a cursor for text on hover of the search bar, not an arrow for a link. Minor, but a little confusing.

almost 3 years ago

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Depesh Mandalia, CEO & Founder at SM Commerce

Just noticed a few other bugs:
1. The 'comments' link at the top of the blog post doesn't seem to work
2. the 'this blog post' link from the comments email notification is using relative not absolute URL "A new comment has been added to *this blog post*, that you are tracking."
3. The logo is missing on those emails

almost 3 years ago

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Chris Colby, Product Manager, Mobile at Which?

Good to see the site responsive!

However, that share button that flashes in every time you scroll down on the article is really annoying and distracting, particularly on mobile. If you simply must have it, you could *possibly* fix to the top of the visible screen, but even then it also overlays the content on certain screen widths. I think people are familiar enough with sharing to decide whether they want to do it or not and visual cues at top/bottom are sufficient to avoid having something distracting them every scroll.

almost 3 years ago

Clare Laurie

Clare Laurie, Head of Marketing at B2B

@Alex - All feedback is worthy, and it's often the minor things that matter. Will take a look at these issues.

@Depesh - we should've got you into the pre-launch testing! We'll go and fix.

almost 3 years ago

Alex Ashman

Alex Ashman, Head of Mobile Fun UK at Mobile Fun Ltd

The logo is now broken in the email you get saying someone's replied to your comments too. Good luck, looks like a fun project to be involved with!

Will you be posting stats post launch on the success / failure?

almost 3 years ago

Pete Austin

Pete Austin, CINO at Fresh Relevance

Like the cleaner design with less chrome. We're planning similar changes for our site soon. Also now I'm not the only person with a circular picture.

Two suggestions: I don't see the point of having almost invisible border lines (Firefox on Windows 7). Either make them properly visible, or get rid of them. And I'm with dan barker in *really* not liking grey text for useability reasons.

almost 3 years ago

Clare Laurie

Clare Laurie, Head of Marketing at B2B

@Alex - yes, we'll certainly share what we've learned along the way - both pre and post launch.

almost 3 years ago

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Chris Monkman, Web Developer at E-Dzine

I second the mega menu. Having to do the 'L' move with a mouse is annoying every time (that and damn thing buggers off instantly if you move outside of the menu). It's generally easier all round to have it open onclick. Works well for both desktops and mobiles.

On a different note, the white righthand menu boxes seem to be a couple of pixels to the left on chrome (as well as having broken images in the recommended reading boxes).

Otherwise looks decent enough and seems to work well. Give it a little time to work out the final niggles and you should be golden.

almost 3 years ago

Stuart McMillan

Stuart McMillan, Deputy Head of Ecommerce at Schuh

I'd be curious to know if site speed has been a consideration at all?

almost 3 years ago

Matt Owen

Matt Owen, Head of Social at Econsultancy

Hi Stuart, it's definitely been factored in, we'd actually done quite a lot of optimisation on the last version of the site, so it was fairly low on the list of user concerns (as the chart in Clare's post shows), but it's something that we'll be tweaking _ along with everything else no doubt - as we go forward.

almost 3 years ago

Clare Laurie

Clare Laurie, Head of Marketing at B2B

@Pete, @Christopher and @Chris. Glad we're heading in the right direction. Borders, grey text, flashing shares, broken images, annoying L moves are all noted and on the list.

almost 3 years ago

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Chris Monkman, Web Developer at E-Dzine

On an interesting note, novel use of parallax scrolling on the righthand menu.. That's one I've not come across for a while.

almost 3 years ago

Parry Malm

Parry Malm, CEO at Phrasee Ltd.

Much like when Facebook re-vamps its UI, I'm going to hate it for the first couple visits, whinge about it, promise that I'll never use it again, and then will continue using it, forgetting what it used to look like.

So here goes:

"How dare you Econsultancy? I was so used to the old layout. Now, I have to spend at least 72 seconds learning my way around the new UI. I'm so over you. I'm never coming back."

Fast forwarding 72 seconds:

"I'm super used to the new site. What did it used to look like? Can't remember. Hey, who's turn is it to make teas?"

almost 3 years ago

Bill Billington

Bill Billington, Ruby Developer at Econsultancy, Centaur Marketing

@stuart Hi I'm one of the tech team on econsultancy.

Just to let you know performance was definitely a consideration for us. You should find that the experience gets faster with repeated visits to the site.

With so much changing and so much existing functionality to cover, we focused on the mobile user experience and creating a solid groundwork that we can make iterative improvements on.

You can be sure we'll be optimising this area, and many more, in the near future.

almost 3 years ago

Stuart McMillan

Stuart McMillan, Deputy Head of Ecommerce at Schuh

@Matt, just throwing it out there, but I wonder if the survey answer on site speed was more to do with its lack of usability on mobile previously; that is, the poor layout on mobile far eclipsed the site speed?

@Bill, one thing worth noting is that I have a bookmark for the site, and as you've slightly changed the URL, your redirect time was massive, perhaps worth looking at? Also, on a mobile connection, assets seem to be taking a while to download. Search for my test on webpagetest.org to see what I mean.

almost 3 years ago

Bill Billington

Bill Billington, Ruby Developer at Econsultancy, Centaur Marketing

@stuart Thanks for the feedback. Assets optimisation is at the top of our list.

Our logs suggest that redirecting itself isn't slow on the site. If you're on mobile where the network can play a big part I'd recommend updating the url in your bookmark. If you are experiencing persistent issues id recommend logging a bug on our contact form.

almost 3 years ago

John Fox

John Fox, I help public bodies to be more effective and efficient at delivering their services through digital transformation. I'm currently assisting the government of the States of Jersey. at Muckle Flugga Services Limited

Very impressed with the new look!

almost 3 years ago

Jon Setty

Jon Setty, UK MD at Eyeview

New site seems great - As I've always said, content sites (vs. transactional) will usually always achieve better UX and performance when using RWD. (RWD is also effective for transactional sites but there's a greater need to be more careful with designs CSS layers)...

Anyway my post was more to ask:

Did anyone else notice the ironically non-responsive email sent this morning "Daily Pulse - Econsultancy's new responsive site: what do you think?"

...this certainly wasn't optimised for mobile... at least not my iPhone...

Shame - but a timely reminder to all businesses who will be emailing Christmas promotions to their existing loyal customers - don't just focus on the website; but your eCRM will be adversely affected if email comms are not optimised for the mobile user (considering c.60%+ of all emails are now opened on mobile devices)...

almost 3 years ago

Bill Billington

Bill Billington, Ruby Developer at Econsultancy, Centaur Marketing

@Jonathan Thanks its been a labour of love.

We are using a responsive a email template for the daily pulse (you can see it by going to https://econsultancy.com/daily-pulse on mobile) but we got caught out by this issue that seems to be affecting the mail client on iPhones. A fix is on the way

almost 3 years ago

Graham Carroll

Graham Carroll, Director at The Friday Agency

Well it was long passed being ironic... reading about the pro's of having a responsive / device friendly website and not having one yourself.

I really like the new site, I'd agree on the home page being a bit gappy across different resolutions, on the iPhone 6 it would be nice to make use of the extra screen width. The main thing I'd check would be the CSS on your main copy text, it would read easier if a little darker to bring up the contrast. Top work though.

Also, getting a login pop-up on some of the pages: https://www.dropbox.com/s/fn1cnm5z9pq4ru4/Screen%20Shot%202014-11-24%20at%2014.17.01.png?dl=0

almost 3 years ago

Matt Owen

Matt Owen, Head of Social at Econsultancy

Thanks Graham, and yes agreed, it took a while but in our defence there was a lot to cram in! Good points about iPhone 6, something to add to the list - will check up on that login pop-up as well for you.

almost 3 years ago

Will Rogers

Will Rogers, Head of Digital Marketing at VocaLink

I like - right menu scroll is a new one on me too. Nice idea keeping topics front of mind when pages are longer.

almost 3 years ago

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Peter Kelly, Senior Content Strategist at Critical Mass

It's looking very strong so far. The only thing unbalanced I find is the weight of the right rail. It could use some narrowing and stronger content prioritization. But overall, a massive step forward.

almost 3 years ago

Ailsa Illingworth

Ailsa Illingworth, Online Marketing Manager at Citation Ltd

I'm loving the volume of feedback the Econsultancy team are getting on the re-launch!

I can't think of another business who have a loyal following who'll easily debug/test/report on any website issues, *without* it impacting on revenue or loyalty? You've got a fantastically unique audience for launching a new website to.

My initial thoughts? Looks better on desktop, works better on mobile. Thumbs up so far!

almost 3 years ago

Simon Woolf

Simon Woolf, developer at PersonalSmall Business

@Graham:

> Also, getting a login pop-up on some of the pages

Looking at your screenshot, you're trying to access direct.econsultancy.com, which shouldn't be publicly accessible (it's an endpoint without external caching). This is completely our fault: for a brief time after the newdesign launch (until Dan Barker pointed it out above -- thanks Dan!) it was mistakenly left accessible, long enough to be indexed by Google.

If you followed a link from anywhere to get that pop-up, could you let us know so we can get that corrected. (If from google, it should disappear from their index over the next few days). Thanks, and sorry about that :)

almost 3 years ago

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Depesh Mandalia, CEO & Founder at SM Commerce

@Simon I clicked the link (the one that works) from the comments email and got the direct.econsultancy.com pop-up

almost 3 years ago

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Jeroen Bouserie, Data driven marketeer at The Reference

Did you try printing an article ? Seems there's no print css at all ... very annoying!
Luckily I try to print to pdf or complete woods would have been chopped by now.
Please fix

almost 3 years ago

Stuart McMillan

Stuart McMillan, Deputy Head of Ecommerce at Schuh

The emails for "replies to a post I commented on", the CTA "Click on this link to view the comment", it's really hard to tell what "this link" is, it's not a clear CTA

almost 3 years ago

Simon Woolf

Simon Woolf, developer at PersonalSmall Business

@Depesh Thanks -- would you mind forwarding the email (with the link to direct.econsultancy.com) to help@econsultancy.com ? Cheers :)

almost 3 years ago

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Depesh Mandalia, CEO & Founder at SM Commerce

@Simon it seems intermittent, the email doesn't have the link, didn't happen just now, email sent anyway.

almost 3 years ago

Simon Woolf

Simon Woolf, developer at PersonalSmall Business

@Depesh Thanks, and you're right, that email you forwarded is correct. Feel free to email us directly if you do get an email with that problem again.

almost 3 years ago

Graham Charlton

Graham Charlton, Editor in Chief at ClickZ Global

@Stuart commenting on this so I can see what you mean. Thanks for all the feedback btw.

almost 3 years ago

Graham Charlton

Graham Charlton, Editor in Chief at ClickZ Global

Actually, thanks to everyone for the feedback. We have a few issues here and there, and this really helps us to identify them.

As @Ailsa says, we're lucky to have such a following.

almost 3 years ago

Graham Carroll

Graham Carroll, Director at The Friday Agency

@Simon I came in by email too, but the popup stayed when I came back in via the Blog home page.
Maybe a cache issue, it's sorted now.

Again, you've done a great job, impressive.

almost 3 years ago

Elliot Ross

Elliot Ross, Email marketing design at actionrocket.co

looks great!

on some pages I have a slight 10px or so additional bit of page on the right - looks like the overhang on the black bar above the footer is pushing the layout out a touch, but that's so minor

can't wait to see where the site goes from here!

almost 3 years ago

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Chudi Onyekwuluje, Marketing Assistant at Clarion Events

Great changes to the site, well done! My only sticking point is the different speeds at which the main content column (left-hand side) scrolls alongside the right hand side. It would be easier on the eye if the column on the right was static. Other than that, really good improvements.

almost 3 years ago

Jeff Rajeck

Jeff Rajeck, Research Analyst at EconsultancySmall Business

Nice!

Looks like we're no longer constrained to a 200 pixel thumbnail on the blog posts then?

almost 3 years ago

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Vaibhav D, Marketing Strategist at e-Intelligence

Great layout! Just a small note...

When viewing the home page on mobile or tablet, 320X480 / 360X640 / 768 X 1024... etc., the section with the world map (Global Reach. Local Knowledge) appears to have a non-responsive image. Tried checking if it were a cache issue, but could see the same result upon checking it on different devices. So thought of bringing it to your notice. Love reading econsultancy daily pulse! Good luck with the revised site. :) Cheers.

almost 3 years ago

Clare Laurie

Clare Laurie, Head of Marketing at B2B

Thanks for the continuing feedback. Team Tech had a busy day yesterday and we'll continue to work through the rest.

Beyond the bugs, the blog's right rail seems to be the hottest area of discussion. @Chudi @Will - afraid we're only go to be able to keep one of you happy on the parallax scrolling! But we will be keeping an eye on how well the user experience goes in this area.

Couldn't agree more with Ailsa and Graham - we really are fortunate to have such a helpful - and expert - community.

almost 3 years ago

Stuart McMillan

Stuart McMillan, Deputy Head of Ecommerce at Schuh

it's maybe just me, but I feel that the border around your blog "flyers" (as they are marked up) seem a little too light (currently #e7e7e6), I think it adds confusion to the layout, as it's visually harder to associate the masthead image and the text. While there are some principles of Gestalt grouping in play, I think they could be stronger.

almost 3 years ago

Andrew Nicholson

Andrew Nicholson, Founder at The Guku

Reading the daily pulse on on my Samsung galaxy mini and he ad creative seems to be throwing out out the the responsive alignment. Let me know know if you want a screen grab

almost 3 years ago

Ben Davis

Ben Davis, Editor at EconsultancyStaff

Well done, chums!

I wanted to comment to say how much I'm enjoying the site. Also, social embeds don't seem to be formatting properly on the blog.

See this post for examples: https://econsultancy.com/blog/63632-the-complete-guide-to-creating-compelling-marketing-tweets

almost 3 years ago

Ben Davis

Ben Davis, Editor at EconsultancyStaff

Also, Clare, just a note that all Econsultancy commenters' company name will display as 'Centaur Media plc'. So I'm listed as 'Editorial at Centaur Media plc'.

This is drawn from the org address in the backend. Perhaps someone should update that to avoid confusion. I've changed mine individually, as you can hopefully see on this comment.

almost 3 years ago

Bill Billington

Bill Billington, Ruby Developer at Econsultancy, Centaur Marketing

@ben Good spot! we're working on a fix for the twitter embeds now

almost 3 years ago

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Elite Marriott, Consultant at Digital Heart

Is it possible that the Daily Pulse has changed in terms of content? I used to get mainly UK based articles into my inbox, and now it seems to be mainly USA. Is there an easy way to get UK stuff?

almost 3 years ago

Clare Laurie

Clare Laurie, Head of Marketing at B2B

Hi Elite, Looks like you should be receiving the UK Daily Pulse - though there is a US version as well. We'll check to make sure the content is being pulled through to the right version. If you want to send me what you're seeing my email is clare.laurie @ econsultancy.com

almost 3 years ago

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Elite Marriott, Consultant at Digital Heart

Thanks Clare, other than my personal issue, the website is looking really good!

almost 3 years ago

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