Redesigning Attack The Front

Introducing a redesign of a website that can inspire and empower professionals on their creative journey.

A few days ago, I re-launched a website which I believe will be a valuable resource for creatives, with topics such as creativity, productivity, collaboration, and much more. In short:

The new Attack The Front website is designed to share quick-fire thoughts to inform and inspire creatives daily.

With an effort of 7–8 months of careful re-strategizing, overhauling of content, UX/UI design, ATF currently has close to over 500 thoughts (at time of relaunch), with a number of features that make it more than just a curated quote website—it’s not quite like anything else out there.

The original website

ATF was originally designed back in late 2015 as a means of collecting some of the best thinking and articles from around the web, with a focus on UX/UI and emerging tech.

I wanted to arm myself with quality sound-bites; to keep them in my back pocket whenever I needed them.

It was an exciting opportunity for a side project that I didn’t hesitate to jump into. It was also an excuse to learn and experiment with unique layout, animation and technology.

Attack The Front circa 2016

In hindsight there was probably more focus on those attributes than the utility and content itself. After 8 months of curating and maintenance, it became clear there were some issues. It wasn’t bad, but could’ve been better. There were some problem areas I needed to address in order to make the website more useable and worthwhile—not only to myself, but to others.

The main issues I identified were:

  • Thoughts were often too specific about platforms or technology which could be outdated and irrelevant in the future
  • Too much focus on the article and link-offs instead of the thought
  • Hard to discover thoughts as the list grew larger
  • Lack of clarity on the homepage about the site’s intent
  • Lack of categorization
  • Lack of share functionality

For me, coming to those realizations was an important lesson in self-critique and the process of iteration. I’d made the right decision in just getting started and building the thing, but I also had to make sure that I later analyzed what was working and what wasn’t. The best advice I can give to anyone starting a side project is:

Don’t stress over getting it perfect right off the bat. Launch and do an audit 4-6 months down the line. You’ll have a better stance to make more impactful decisions with which you can re-strategize and iterate.

And why not:

Get it in front of your co-workers, family, friends early and often to gauge some general feedback. You’ll become immediately conscious of key areas you need to address during any form of sharing.

But for ATF, my assessment meant making some drastic changes, not only to a good chunk of the content that was being curated, but to the subject matter itself. Ultimately, it meant updating more than half of the thoughts to reflect the new goals, and revamping the design to support it.

The new website

Fresh off the press

While most of the curated thoughts on the new ATF site are timeless, it’s also designed to be kept fresh by showcasing thoughts that were published or broadcast within the current calendar year. This makes it more interesting for revisits and less likely you’ve read one before. Visiting the homepage or a topic will present the latest.

Homepage (Latest)

Discovering thoughts with topics

The topics menu will allow you to explore thoughts within a particular area of interest. With main topics such as Analysis, Collaboration, Creative Process, Productivity, and Psychological, one can also drill down deeper into more specific sub-topics. Thoughts may be tagged to multiple sub-topics since they can cover multiple areas, but this will essentially allow you to filter thoughts according to your interest.

Topics Menu

Feeling lucky?

The shuffle function will randomly display any thought from any topic and time. This is useful if you want to explore thoughts with a singular, more impactful presentation as appose to via the card listing, allowing you to meditate on one thought at a time. It may take that first shuffle to discover something that resonates with you, or it may take five.

Pro tip: Hit space bar, or the left/right arrow keys on keyboard-enabled devices to activate the shuffle at any time.

Shuffle / Randomizer

Still haven’t found what you’re looking for?

You can use the search to find keywords from the thought, the author’s name, publication name, or title of an article/story.

Search Overlay

Share to your heart’s content

While every thought is tweeted to ATF’s Twitter, you are able to easily share thoughts at any time simply by clicking the “like” button and selecting from your social network of choice: Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.

Share Toggle

To suggest is to contribute

And finally, the suggestion form allows you to submit thoughts you’d love to see showcased on the website and ATF’s social channels. All that’s required is the thought itself and a URL so that the source can be confirmed.

Suggest a thought

Why use Attack The Front?

Here’s the TL;DR:

  • Learn something in a matter of seconds—articles can be long and you often don’t have enough time to read all of them
  • Find that one thought to supplement your article, story or idea (just remember to cite the author/publication)
  • Sharing with others such as your team or followers can impact their mindset and spark conversations
  • Sharing impactful thoughts which resonate with you can instantiate your ideas or beliefs
  • Find ways to become more productive, overcome creative block, overcome psychological barriers, become more collaborative, gain more motivation, be a better leader, become more aware of influences and conditions, and much more
  • Unlock more of your creative potential, or in other words; take steps to become the best version of yourself
  • [Insert a hundred more reasons]

Become involved by following ATF on Twitter