A couple of mainstays among the home design and lifestyle magazines have recently launched redesigned websites.
Real Simple remains one of the strongest titles in Time Inc’s stable and their commitment to keeping things “real simple” has literally extended to their new website. Our initial impression is one of openness and they make great use of white space, especially in the drop down menus which don’t seem crowded or stuffed with too much content. They’ve presented their videos, online calculators, and handy checklists in an easy to use tabbed format and their blogs are summarized and have prominence on the homepage.
We do wish there were more meaty articles instead of pageview churning photo slide shows and we’ve noticed a lack of auto-discoverable RSS feeds on the site. They’ve highlighted RSS feeds among certain features like their Daily Finds but we’d like to subscribe to their latest home improvement or organizing articles. We’re still proud to have been named to their “Best Blogs” list last year. Visit the new RealSimple.com.
PointClickHome originally went live in late 2007 and brought the shelter titles of HFM US under the same umbrella and created a first of it’s kind home design/remodeling portal for ElleDecor, Metropolitan Home, and HOME magazines. In our opinion this melding of such disparate and unique titles never quite worked and this past year the odd one of the bunch, HOME magazine, folded.
With this redesign PointClickHome has now re-focused on the strength of their luxury design magazines ElleDecor and Metropolitan Home which are unmatched in terms of high-end home design for the masses. As with Real Simple, this website is chock full of photo slide shows but we like the larger format and they are displayed elegantly. This is a site that we would visit just to drool over the photos. The quickest way to view the exact photos you want is by using the Room Finder feature which allows you to display photos by room type and style. There is no better way to access instant inspiration for your own home.
Our friend and fellow blogger, Anne E. Collins, is the executive editor of PointClickHome but also writes the Design Daily blog on the site. Unfortunately her blog and the 5 others aren’t as prominent as we’d like to see on the homepage or article pages and relegated to a “blogs” link on the top of the website. Hopefully they will highlight certain posts throughout the website but we’d like them to be featured more prominently as it would be great to see what other offerings PointClickHome has beyond the two magazines and it’s a shame to bury the most fresh and relevant content. Visit the new PointClickHome.com
Congratulations to the teams of both websites. Your hard work has definitely paid off and it’s great to see investment and progress in home design online.