I have been writing for Asian Correspondent Since October 2009. After being “discovered” from my old “Living in Hong Kong” blog, I was invited to become one of the online magazine’s blogger/writer. I am not a prolific writer, at least in my outrageous standards, but I am not surprised I was asked to write for AC. Part of the agreement I entered into is that the decent traffic to my Hong Kong blog will have to be redirected to the website. Fair enough, I would instead want to consolidate all visitors to one site than maintain two websites that compete against each other.
The first version of the website doesn’t look pretty, though. Inside and outside, I wish there was much more thought put on how we, as writers, make use of the content management system. More importantly, our end users should be able to get the message where they want to read it. Until the makeover (See “New site” image below) was done, it was the worst blogging platform I have used. I could only stare and appreciate at Global Post, the site I wish Asian Correspondent’s design would draw inspiration from.
I came across different sorts of problems: auto-generating URLs that leave spaces between words, poor placement of images, redundant social media icons, and so on. The whole experience was a bit challenging, but somehow, after a year of writing, I got used to the interface. When we were notified that the website is undergoing a design overhaul, I felt relieved the poor user experience would soon be over.
This morning, I woke up to find out that the new version of the website has rolled out. It looks good and entirely up to what I was expecting to see. I like the precise placement of content, proper margins, font, and color selections. Since the platform uses WordPress, I am quite familiar with its strengths and weaknesses. I have yet to explore what other features are included, but so far, the guys behind Hybrid News, the creator of Asian Correspondent, made the right choice of partnering with Pallian Creative.
Postscript: I wish I kept the Hong Kong blog and did not accept the AC offer.