Monergism.com Needs Your Advice
Thank you for reading this. Monergism.com is due for a major overhaul. We are writing to ask for your advice about going forward in the functionality of the website. As you may know, Monergism is something I designed in 2001 mostly as a hobby and it has grown in content and traffic more than I could have possibly imagined ... to the extent it is now a full time endeavor with 80,000 unique visitors a month. Although it is bulging with 1000s of essays and information, one of the key factors of its success, I believe, is that it is not a data dump. Our society is now overwhelmed by the amount of information we intake every day. Our brains hardly know how to process so much data, nor which information is important enough to store, but at Monergism.com we have tried, by God's grace, to cut through the clutter and useless information, and rather, focus in on that which we believe is worthwhile, meaningful and God-honoring. Hopefully we have succeeded to some extent in doing this though we could do it much better.
I am writing to you this morning to elicit your comments about the functionality of Monergism.com. Something designed five years ago on the Internet, as some of you know, is ancient by technical standards. It serves its purpose but it hitting up against its limitations and so needs to change functionally in order to grow and continue to serve its purpose with excellence. Please help us consider how we can improve the site and tell what you would like us to keep or throw away (functionally). To do this it is going to cost no small amount of change on our part but we think it is worth it if we are going to continue providing the caliber of materials that you are used to. Personally and above all, we would like the website to have more consistency, to be even easier to navigate and search so you can find what you are looking for. These all speak back-end functionally which are beyond my own technical ability so I have someone with a technical background to work with me to help put this together. We will take into consideration any of your suggestions, though in the end we may or may not implement them. Remember that we aggregate content from all over the web so the content is not ours. We cannot therefore add components such as "print page" and the like. Copyrighted material must stay on the server we point to. But other ideas are welcome.
I suppose among the questions I have for you as visitors is as follows which you can answer by commenting on the blog below:
(1) Would you like to see a completely new look and feel, new colors etc.. i.e. would you like us to do a complete overhaul of the sites' look or would you prefer only a partial change of look? The reason I ask is because some persons have told me that we should maintain the overall branding look and feel ... but I want to see if this is the broad feeling of visitors or not. The cosmetics is not as important as usability and archtecture but we do want to know what you think about this.
(2) When you surf the Internet, is your browser open all the way so it fills your whole desktop or do you surf with many windows you can see open on your desktop. This I ask because currently the site is optimized for 800x600 resolution. If you open your browser all the way then you are likely to see a lot of white space on the right side that goes unused. This is real estate we could use to have more content on a page. Should the site be wider to use this space?
(3) What would make monergism.com a better experience as a visitor?
(4) What would you like to see different? How could the site better serve your interests from a functional standpoint?
Thanks, and feel free to offer constructive criticism.