Will's Web Watch: Something looks different...

Let me be a little introspective....

Let me be a little introspective....

The more astute among you will have noticed something this week: silicon.com has had a face-lift. It's been under the knife and in our opinion it's come out looking damn fine.

Hopefully you all agree but if not let us know why - it's not too late to make a few tweaks and changes.

So why do this? Well, most major websites tend to have a redesign every now and again and silicon.com is not alone in this. The BBC has done it fairly recently, controversially opting to change from a design which really 'worked' to one which I've yet to hear or read a good word about (...and I'm not about to write the first).

And therein lies the issue - for every successful makeover is one which meets with the 'I liked it better the way it was' kind of reaction or, worse still, the 'What on earth have you done to your website - it looks bloody awful?'-style response.

But it's not just websites which do this. Think about your local supermarket. Every now and then it'll make changes to its layout, moving things around to get you to walk down aisles you've never visited before, to get people looking around the store again ("Where are the beans... they always used to be here - now it's jams and spreads..." You know the sort of thing.). In many respects this is what websites are doing.

With the real time reporting tools used by most top sites it is possible to tell what people are doing as clearly as a shopkeeper can see there are no shoppers down aisle four. And you make decisions and changes based on that knowledge.

You can tell how long people stay on your site and what they do while they are there and all the time you are looking to make those visits better for them and better for you.

As somebody running a website you know if there is content which will be of interest to your readers and you know if they aren't finding it often enough. That's why the team at silicon.com has made a number of changes.

There is now a Reader's Top 10 on the front page, so you can tell what your peers are reading this week. Most importantly - to us and you, judging by the feedback we received when we dropped it - is the return of the Reader Comments function. This will enable you to post your comments on any story or issue and read what other readers have to say.

Also, the images across the top of the homepage are there to 'big up' pieces of content which are fresh and, we believe, of most interest to you. They are signposts pointing to articles which previously, because of the old design, passed through the inbox unread. Not so any more. In truth some of these changes, most notably the return of Reader Comments, are to rectify omissions with previous redesigns - at least I'm being honest.

But most importantly the redesign has all been undertaken for the sake of you, the readers. The toil was partly because we're nice like that, but also - obviously - because without you we'd be nothing.

So if you do have any comments to make about new look silicon.com, please email us at editorial@silicon.com and let us know what you think (especially if you like it).