Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Big Changes at Associated Content

It's a big week for Associated Content! We just celebrated our 5th anniversary in online publishing, and we're ushering in our sixth year with a bold set of changes to the look and feel of our site. We hope you'll be as excited about the new Associated Content as we are.

Big Change #1: We have a new logo!

Gone are the days of the big, blocky AC. This company is powered by your content and your voice - and with this new logo, we're shouting about it from the top of every page!

Big Change #2: We're launching a new article template!

Our design team is always looking for ways to make the visitor experience richer and more engaging. With 2009's Halloween and Thanksgiving themes, as well as the brand new Movies theme, we began testing a new article page layout that we're ready to bring to the rest of the site. The new pages feature more prominent images, better ad placement, bigger share links and opportunities to bring complementary content onto each page (like movie details next to your review of Avatar). We'll be rolling out more custom themes for individual Associated Content categories - from Automotive to Travel - throughout the coming year. Stay tuned!

Big Change #3: Our first AC Labs experiment was a success... Say Hello to your new Account page!

For over a month, our community had the opportunity to test out a variety of new features, including a stats-rich dashboard, an enhanced payment queue, better content controls and a shared image library. With your input, we were able to improve the interface in a number of different ways, and now we're ready to flip the switch on all of these upgrades. Thanks for all of your help!

We hope you like the new face of Associated Content. As always, if you have any feedback or ideas, don't hesitate to leave a comment here or email


Kenzy England said...

Love the new look! Very nice. It really captures my attention and I think it'll capture our readers attention as well. Great job, AC!

Just noticed our profile pages reflect the change as well. Awesome!

Marilisa said...

nice job, but why am I getting 'forbidden access' on my display only articles? Maybe just a short term thing until the dust settles?

Nancy Tracy said...

Crazy about the new logo... it's credible but fun! Overall, the changes are a vast improvement, and the articles are more of a visual treat. Love the larger photos, too!

Jan Corn said...

I like the new look and appreciate the update about it.

Linda Ann Nickerson said...

Very nice!

Looking forward to checking out the IMAGE LIBRARY source.

jackwellman said...

AC, congratulations on the new look and new logo. I love it. It looks so professional and I am so impressed. I've written for about 7 different websites, & this is the cleanest, most well designed I have ever seen anywhere on the web. Great going AC...the skys the limit. I'm so glad to be a part of the AC team. Looking better than ever! : - )

Carol Bengle Gilbert said...

It looks great!

viscomi said...

I used to be able to print out my content page daily, so I could look at each article and compare it with previous days. Now when I tried to print it out, I can only print one page, and only about 9 articles. Any ideas? I don't want to put them in excel; just print them on a regular sheet of paper!

Unknown said...

Love the new look! Looks cool. Glad to be a part of the team. Go AC!!!!

Elena H said...

I love it-when the bugs are fixed-it will be a huge improvement. Looks very professional-the avatars could be larger. Also, the little icons for print/save need to be larger. Some are upset about the two "related content" blocks-and if you take one of them away-please replace it with "more content from this writer" instead of an ad. Also, am I missing something or do we have to access messages by clicking on the tab on acct page now? Love it that the ads are no longer in the middle of the articles.

Elena H said...

Could we get an indicator on our acct page to let us know we have an email (when out personal email is not open) since we now have to go into "messages" to see them?

Sheri Fresonke Harper said...

Love it, too!

Julie Sadie said...

I like the new look of my profile page especially the comments section. However, the underline on the isn't pleasing on the eyes. Could you possibly remove them?

But over all, it's a nice change and I like it. :-)

William Browning said...

Love the new look!

Cassandra James said...

Well after initially hating it and realizing soon after it was a problem with my browser :-), now I absolutely LOVE the new look.

Bright, colorful and with the photos now being so large, the whole article pops.

Good job AC. Really enjoying reading even more AC articles now :-)

Enlighten said...

I like the "new" look...but my opinion is...
1- Word "View" should be made "bolder"..
2- Selected article takes "much too long" to load.
a)Article photos too large, slowing load.
b)Too many graphics operations.
c)Statistics are: No one will wait for article (and ad) access.
d)Should set upper limit to article photo(200k).
e)Bottom of article photo cut-off.

Sheryl Young said...

Hi AC - The look is nice and modern. Good overall. However, with the "Related Content" box occupying the top center of the page and the Contributor's actual Article and Title off to the left side, it is harder for the eye to fix on the main article and the information it has to offer. People might click on a related piece before even reading the one that's open!

Also, is "Most Commented On" gone for good? There seems to still be plenty room at bottom right. I liked going to those peoples' articles. Perhaps, with Related Content occupying such a prominent position at the top, it does not need to be repeated at the bottom left, which could make room to bring Most Commented back.

Or, I agree wth Elena H who said to take away one of the Related Content blocks and replace it with "more by this writer".

And - I know it's a necessary evil - but it's a drag that advertisement has to take up soooo much space!

Anonymous said...

AC used to be easy to use and navigate, if a bit slow page loads.

I have been unable to read any of my subscription articles. The start of the article is a narrow stripe and using the scroll bar gives me nothing.

A pop-up ad covered the top of the screen with no X to close it.

I tried to leave a reply comment on one of my articles yesterday and had a lot of blank space, both white and black where the article and comment section used to be.

I can not upgrade system because I use a public computer.

If things do not improve will just cancel all my subscriptions despite enjoying reading many AC writers articles.

vivasuzi said...

I think the comment section and associated comment box are way too small. It's tiny width and height wise, way too small for even a sentence. I also don't like that the current comments disappear when you go to write a new comment b/c often I want to read and reply to people, but this doesn't let you read and reply at the same time.

Overall, I like the articles and the bigger pictures, but I do not like what happened to the comments section.

Julie Sadie said...

Been enjoying the new look of AC!

However, I agree with what Enlighten said, the article photos are too large and the bottom part are cut-off. And like Sheryl Young, I miss the "Most Commented On" portion and Elena H's suggestion about the "related content" is perfect! :-)

Catherine Spencer said...

I love the new look and logo, account page, and all, but where's our "Most Commented" list?? This list gives contributors a chance to shine and lets us meet other contributors that we may not otherwise notice. It is a great motivater for many on AC and its absence is a shame! Hope you can bring it back.

Chinmay Chakravarty said...

Great look indeed!

Cassandra James said...

Just wanted to add, I love the new big photos so much that, although I also write for, I haven't written anything for them since AC put up the new template. Articles now look as pretty on AC as I used to think they did on Examiner :-)

Very, very pleased with this new format.

And, also, very pleased 'Most Commented On' articles have disappeared. They were a waste of time and often some of the worst articles on AC, which didn't do much for AC's reputation, IMO. Happy to see AC got rid of them :-)

Kimberly Cummings said...

I wonder if you can put something back up so we can see our performance payments as the amount grows each month.

I still can't find it if you have it somewhere. I think you just left that out and I looked forward to seeing my performance payments grow each month before I got them.

Overall the pages look good and it has some good points while being a little confusing in some spots however I give it a thumbs up definitely.

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Catherine Neal said...

I love the new look, especially the movie section. The one thing that is a major improvement to me is the public picture folder.

It really cuts down on searching for a photo that a person wants to use fo their article.

fusgeyer said...

Love the new look. The graphical page views are great. The new logo is much classier.

Janey Falk said...

When it comes to posting your articles on Facebook and Twitter, AC automatically posts a generic link to AC instead of your articles. (with the new templates)

We used to be able to post links directly to our articles but that ability is no longer available.

Looks like there are still bugs in the new design.

Anonymous said...

I have been unable to confirm payments on the account page. Is there a problem with the software?

L. R. Laverde-Hansen said...

I must say I really like the changes AC has made. It does look snazzier and livelier. Even more than the Account Page, I like the presentation of the content (which is what readers see first anyway). It has definitely been streamlined, and the relation of content to the advertisements has been refined.

There is one thing though still missing: an archive tab. This would keep records of the Estimated Daily Views from the moment one became a Contributor.
I'd like to be able to chart the course of my progress since I started, to see where and when I received more page views. This and a few more royalties, and AC would be perfect!