In With The New

I’ve been meaning to post about the new USAF newsletter for the past week or so. So here goes:

I like it. A lot.

My thoughts, briefly. In terms of presentation, I’m a big fan of two column layouts. To me, three columns can end up looking busy, especially if the third column is composed of advertising or (shudder) affiliate links. Thankfully, that’s not the case here. The new format, with the column on the right, is clean and has a nice visual flow.

I also appreciate the lack of chrome throughout the site. No distracting drop shadows, or other ornamentation that draws attention away from the content. The design cues are very Web 2.0* — which is a good thing.

Of course, the redesign follows some other high profile redesigns in our corner of the Aikido world. The newsletter visually references the main USAF website, and shares a similar design sensibility with the recently redesigned New York Aikikai website. There was some serious thought and talent, (not to mention resources), that went into each of these makeovers, and in my opinion it’s paid off in spades.

It must have been a huge undertaking to revamp these sites, some of the more highly trafficked Aikido sites on the web. My hat is off to the designers, webmasters, and of course USAF newsletter editor, Laura Jacobs Pavlick.

Well done.

*I don’t particularly care for this term, but it is a handy reference for what I consider best practices in website design.