02 July 2008

About.com's Redesign

It's official. I can talk about it. Yesterday About.com switched 100% to its new design. The new home page of the chess site is shown in the following screen shot.

What does the 'switched 100%' mean? In June 2007 -- that's right, over a year ago -- the company began converting individual sites to the new design. It started as a trickle, with one or two sites, then ended in May with the conversion of the remaining 50% of the sites that hadn't already been done.

When sites were converted, however, they didn't run only with the new design. Half of the visitors saw the new design, half saw the old design. If you have no idea what the old design looked like, you can see a sample screen shot of the chess site in an old post, Targeted Advertising for Chess, although it's not the home page. About.com staff called it an A/B test. Most other people called it confusing.

Now everyone sees the same design. The photo of me is the same one I use on this blog. My wife took it. Considering I'm not particularly photogenic, she did a good job.

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