Adrants to Re-Design, We Want Your Input

So it's been what, over two years since those cute little bubbles and that martini glass graced the pages of Adrants? Have you had enough? Are you ready to physically stick a pin through your screen hoping those damn bubbles will pop and disappear forever? Down a case of Hendricks gin so there's none left to fill the glass?

Yes, friends, we are going into re-design and, in a stunningly brilliant realization, we figured we'd ask our readers what they think of the current design and content since, you know, you guys do this sort of thing for a living. It's not often every website can ask it's audience for input and have that input come with a bit of expertise as opposed to some other people we're familiar with who can't seem to come up with any other than, "can you make the logo bigger?"

So, what sucks about the site? What's great about the site? We know it's getting lame looking but the last thing we want to do is slap together some big button, Web 2.0 thing that's all trendy and shit...unless, of course, that what you want..

Regarding content, rest assured the tone and style of the editorial will not change at all. Not at all. It's what we do. It's what we're good at. We'll polish but we'll never pretend to be Advertising Age or AdWeek. But everything else is up for grabs.

There's a lot of content we'd like to better incorporate into the site. Videos, photos, forums, groups and member profiles (only if the profile is public) from AdGabber. Job listings. Creative portfolios. And more.

So let us have it. Here's your chance to influence your favorite site. Adrants is your favorite site, right? No, we're not asking you to do the work. We have a designer for that but we'd love to give you the opportunity to express your thoughts. The comment section awaits. Thanks very much.

by Steve Hall    Jun- 2-08   Click to Comment   
Topic: Announcements   

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So, yeah, good idea - I'm no designer but thought you'd like to hear about our experience with this.

We decided to ditch our old Cunning logo and asked visitors to the site to make their own and upload it.

Not a bad result so far:

PS - I hope you keep your cocktail glass.

Posted by: Floyd Hayes on June 2, 2008 12:46 PM

Functionally, everything seems fine. I'd just like to scroll less to get to the comments when I want to read them. In its current form, there are multiple rows of sponsorship and links you have to get through.

Posted by: Nik on June 2, 2008 12:46 PM

Just avoid sans serif typefaces and sans serif reverse....look at the typeface the Library of America uses....
then with that discipline...anything is possible and readable

Posted by: Tom Messner on June 2, 2008 1:25 PM

Please, just don't go with mono-column full of ad...

I think the logo contest is a great idea.

Posted by: Olivier on June 2, 2008 1:49 PM

I would suggest keeping your readers in mind when designing the site - what are you trying to convey? What do your readers want? etc. Mail me if you want more info

Looking forward to the re-design

Posted by: Lolly on June 2, 2008 1:54 PM

it seems too often y'all will send out the daily email adrants and put in a great subject line... so i click thru and hope to read the article that corresponds to the subject line.

instead, no such luck. the article is not at the top of the newsletter -- it's hidden somewhere in the middle or near the bottom. why?

not cool.

the first article in the newsletter should be the article that corresponds to the subject line. if i'm going to click thru, i don't want to search for the main article hidden somewhere in the newsletter.

a quick scroll -- half of one second -- is all it takes to lose my attention. with a hundred emails to read, i am quickly bored with scrolling and searching for the thing you promised in your subject line. so i click delete and move on to my next email. i'd rather read yours! help me out! love your work, thanks for the laughs

Posted by: dan k on June 2, 2008 2:10 PM

I love the martini glass & bubbles. In fact why not take it a step further and show Angela drinking martinis surrounded by bubbles.

Posted by: Dan Murray on June 2, 2008 2:28 PM

I love the martini glass & bubbles. In fact why not take it a step further and show Angela drinking martinis surrounded by bubbles.

Posted by: Dan Murray on June 2, 2008 2:29 PM

I gave up on subscribing to comments on this site, since all it did was tell me to re-visit to see that Dan Murray posted the same comment twice.
Please change the e-mail to actually include the comment- so it's up to me if I want to return.
I realize this will cut your traffic down, but you might not piss off your audience as much.
It is all about us, isn't it?

Posted by: David Esrati on June 2, 2008 2:32 PM

Well, here’s hoping the revamp takes care of the very slow response time on comment submission, which allows is to see the impatient people’s comments repeatedly.

(Here’s also hoping I am granted some linkage in the new model. Smiling, winking emoticon!)

The martini glass is very McMahon and Tate. How about a tumbler instead? Half full of a brownish or amber liquid. And a bucket of chicken.

Oh, and no more ads!

Stupid ads.

Posted by: Jetpacks on June 2, 2008 2:35 PM

I love the martini glass and bubbles...
Doesn't branding wisdom say if you're starting to get sick of your image the general public is probably just starting to recognize it as you?

Posted by: Maria on June 2, 2008 2:38 PM

A *very* good information architect should be able to do wonders for your redesign. The trick is finding one - a VERY GOOD one. They're few and far between, but make all the difference. Don't skimp on this and you won't be sorry.

Posted by: Nick on June 2, 2008 3:13 PM

Love the 50's kitsch and the martini glass now offers brand awareness - oh, but you knew that. And it honestly aligns well with your editorial style so hang in there!

Posted by: Keith on June 2, 2008 3:14 PM

It would be awesome if you had a little "group comments" window always displayed, not attached to any particular topic. This way people could participate in one long conversation, and the prominence/persistence would make the chat more interesting and less "comment" based.

I think that if AdGabber is more integrated into AdRants that people will use the former more, as well. I never really use it but would if I remembered/there were lots of other people on there chatting and moaning about things.

Posted by: Sean on June 2, 2008 3:59 PM

When I first saw the bubbles and Martini glass I almost clicked else where. Until I read the content. I can also say I check you out everyday and if asked randomly what was on your page just now after 4 months could I tell you.

My suggestion would be something MOD (DWELL) to instantly catch you as something worth reading but Modern Day Hippie to keep up with your cool flair. Clearly definition of my vision right???

As far as function goes.... I am always all over the place and click happy just goes with the Gen Y in me. A few minor changes wouldnt hurt but overall I can live with it.

Posted by: Dena on June 2, 2008 4:11 PM

I love the martini glass, don't ditch it, do something fun with it, make it 3D or have Angela's legs tipping out the side of it.

I like the site the way it is, simple, the ad rants copy being the focus not the pretty graphics. (and I like graphics)

Posted by: Heather Turner on June 2, 2008 4:19 PM

You guys have great headlines, need to see that headline 1st when you open the newsletter.

The martini glass is good.

Posted by: Rinzler on June 2, 2008 5:26 PM

Improvements in your search tool and tags would be really helpful. Coming here and searching is always one of my very first steps when starting a project.

Also, hate to complain, but I can't stand when I have to click "more" to finish reading a story. Going to a new page to find out it was only to read one more sentence always irks. Maybe if you add one of those preview tools that pops up a little bubble when the cursor hovers over "more" and shows the rest of the content so I don't have to leave the page.

Lastly, the more photos the merrier.

But great stuff as always.

Posted by: sam on June 2, 2008 7:31 PM

Wholeheartedly agree on the improved search tool. I have come to you guys numerous times with a specific question in mind (eg, "Who was it that did that one thing that one time ...") and have sometimes struggled trying to track down what I'm looking for.

Also, sometimes I wish you would more clearly demarcate your entries - maybe put darker lines between stories? I dunno. Skimming through the stories and trying to discern where one story ends and another begins kind of wearies the eyes a bit. Perhaps a small design sacrifice in the interest of eye-comfort is in order here ...

Otherwise, you are perfect and fabulous. Cheers.

Posted by: Brina on June 2, 2008 8:30 PM

Well, your site already loads fast, and it doesn't take forever when leaving a comment. The way the videos are totally separated from the actual content is great, and search works perfectly.

So, I'd say focus on design and the UI. This site is a great resource — one that I use all the time:

Posted by: Edward on June 2, 2008 10:20 PM

Bubbles? What's a bath without Bubbles?

Anyway, one word of advice. For some reason, videos from adgabber don't launch well when viewing Adrants content in a feedreader like Netvibes.

Get on Ning about that.

Posted by: Ian Schafer on June 2, 2008 11:53 PM

I love the current logo, design and all that is Adrants.
Don't you DARE change a thing!

Posted by: Deepti Bose on June 3, 2008 1:35 AM

To reflect a common theme in AdRants, the answer is obvious. Tits. Lots of tits.

Posted by: FishNChimps on June 3, 2008 8:33 AM

Yes, F&C - and ass. Lots and lots and lots more ass.

Posted by: Jetpacks on June 3, 2008 12:23 PM

Consider submitting a survey to gather feebdack

Posted by: Patty on June 3, 2008 2:00 PM

Yes the Martini glass is key. And the bubbles. And the boob stories.

What about a "crappy ad design contest" like Fark does with photoshop contests, only we can all make terrifyingly offensive ads just for fun with "voting enabled".

Posted by: Sean on June 3, 2008 6:08 PM

I love the videos that ya'll feature. The Truth commercial had me cracking up before I ever saw it on TV. The more recent Bob Ross video was hysterical yet insightful and inspiring.

What about including a video player on the page? It could be 'the greatest video of the week', or 'the lamest video of the week' and so on, depending on the video content.

i love reading the blog and part of that is clicking on links with in the content, but it would be great for a little more- in your face -here is the favorite/worst/grossest/hottest etc. video that Steve and Angela picked for the week . . .

Posted by: Allie on June 4, 2008 10:26 AM

I've always loved adrants since I first stumbled upon it, but I will admit that I have had problems with the way it reads. Sometimes, it just seems like huge blocks of unnecessary text that is hard to read through. It's like you really have to sit there and focus before getting the (good) information!

looking forward to the redesign!!

Posted by: kim on June 4, 2008 11:49 AM

Be reluctant about removing the martini glass and bubbles. You have invested much, and have much equity, in that imagery.

Posted by: Steve McNamara on June 6, 2008 1:16 PM