If you haven't stopped by Ning.com in the last week, take a look — we've rolled out a new Ning design with a new Ning Network discovery feature. The new Ning look strives for a clean, simple and elegant design with pops of beautiful images to represent the many diverse interests and passions across the Ning Platform.
Given our own recent design inspiration, this second edition of Ning Now focuses on effective Ning Network design. We hope the examples and tips in this edition will give you creative ideas to refine the design of your Ning Network. For example, what does the design of your Ning Network communicate to your members? Do new prospective members understand why they should join and what they should do after joining your Ning Network? Visit Ning Creators to let us know what your favorite Ning Networks are or just to get a bit of inspiration for your own.
5 Tips for Styling Your Ning Network, courtesy of Design Democracy
Who better to ask for design tips for making a stunning Ning Network than Arnold Dela Cruz, the Network Creator of Design Democracy? Design Democracy is a Ning Network for graphic designers, web designers and those involved in the creative arts. It also happens to sport a beautiful custom design. Here, he offers up his top five tips for styling a Ning Network.
1. Have a plan Before you build a house, you need a blueprint.
The same goes for styling a Ning Network. Use a test Ning Network, and keep regular back-ups of your CSS.
2. Focus on content and usability
Focus on the content and usability of your Ning Network, keeping your audience in mind and thinking about how the different components will work together.
3. Style communicates more than just looks
Style or the lack of it subconsciously tells a user what your network is about. It sets the tone, voice and character of the community. Whenever possible and feasible, use a professionally designed logo instead of the default web fonts in your header.
4. Test and test often
Don't rush through your design. Take the time to make sure your code is clean, there are no typos and that you've covered everything you need to, before going live with it.
5. Be open to feedback
Wait a while between major revisions to your design, and listen to your members when they offer feedback and suggestions regarding the network's design.
For more explanation from Dela Cruz, head to Creators for his complete set of tips.
Three Examples of Great Design
The Decemberists Fansite (http://fans.decemberists.com
Simple and easy to navigate, with a look that plays off their brand and official website
Presents lots of information with a clean layout that conveys business
National Marriage Boycott (http://marriageboycott.ning.com
The use of strong color and type make a statement, while the use of photos make it personal
Ning Feature Release Digest
We've been busy rolling out new features for your Ning Network. Current highlights include:
• A New Ning.com and network discovery
• Branding your Ning Network's tweets with a Twitter App
• Revamping search functionality on Ning Networks
• Integration of Twitter with your Ning Network & new pagination
• Updates to profile information, sign up flow, and more
Join Ning Creators to get email alerts for Ning product releases and give us immediate feedback!
World Economic Forum: Issues Spotlight
With so much happening in the world today, we want to take a minute to reflect on what's important to you for 2010. We encourage you to join the World Economic Forum's Ning Network and post a comment to the blog post titled "The Growing Influence of Social Networks" about how social networks are changing society. We'll send 50 Ning t-shirts to members who comment on the post.
Join the discussion on Ning Creators!
Center your network logo
Posted by James Bryan in Tutorials and How-Tos
Use rounded corners
Posted by JP in Designing a Ning Network
Add content to the footer
Posted by Jen in Tutorials and How-Tos
Tips on critiques
Posted by Ernie in Blogs
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