AT on: The New Design #1

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Yesterday was weird. Although we've been working on the new design and the new functionality for nearly six months, it was so odd to finally shift over and be working and reading into a totally new layout. And I'm responsible for it all. So, in light of this, I wanted to just take a few moments in this crazy, bug filled day, to answer a few questions that have come up from readers in the open threads, and to thank you all for a. your feedback (keep it coming) and your patience....

1. Where did these new names come from?

When I finally got to the point where I realized that Apartment Therapy was not going to be a big enough umbrella to cover all the sites we were playing with AND that the four subject sites were really different animals and deserved their own distinct name and the room to grow locally (which we are planning), I went looking for new names.

Boy was that hard.

I took ideas from all the editors and we ran names through domain search until we found names that a. conveyed the sense of the site and b. we're actually available. THERE ARE NOT A LOT OF NAMES THAT HAVEN'T BEEN TAKEN (don't own your name yet? buy it now). Our old names were all taken.

The Kitchn was as close as we could get to the original name. TheKitchen.com was too expensive.

Ohdeedoh was unique enough for us to easily get the URL and rather than just trying to get a trendy, designy name, I decided to just go off-road and find something childlike, playful, balanced and memorable. I love the name of the store Kid-O and this is a sort of homage. Ohdeedoh is also Ursula's favorite word (and many other preverbal children's as well).

Unplggd and Re-Nest were the toughest. Tech and Green names are scarce and all of us felt that "green" anything was too trendy. While there was a lot of division among the editors, Plggd was a popular and we changed it at the last minute to Unplggd so it wouldn't sound like a constipation problem. Unplggd as well fit in with our thinking about eliminating wires and using design to make tech look better in the home.

Re-Nest has a hyphen, which we don't like, but it's one word that really communicates what we're trying to do with this site: rethink how we live at home.

2. Why are there so many ads?

Although I admit the new design DOES have a busy look, we actually pruned down a lot and there are not more ads than before. There are actually fewer. I think the new design will settle in after a week or so, but we'll also be tweaking it and working on it more regularly to make it as airy and open as possible.

You will note that we've made our posts bigger, cleaned up the top of the page and pulled more reader content into the sidebar so that you can see more of what is going on. We are not selling banner ads across the top or our site like everyone else.

My overall goal here is to make the site MORE useful to all of us, readers and editors, as I, too, rely on the information here to get ideas and make purchases. Of course, we'll always have to sell ads (unless you want to go to a subscription system, which I don't), but they should ideally be tightly linked to the "home" and "design" and not always be offensive. Of course, the more readers that come, the more power we have over the advertisers, so we're hoping that this site will work, first and foremost, for you.

More thoughts later. Have a great lunch!

Best, Maxwell

p.s. I know that some posts are not publishing on top and you're finding new ones all of sudden down the line. This is not intentional. Every new post will appear at the top as soon as we fix the bugs....

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Maxwell left teaching in 2001 to start Apartment Therapy as a design business helping people to make their homes more beautiful, organized AND healthy. The website started up in 2004 with the help of his brother, Oliver.

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