As of December 2017, Oregon Catalyst has been running continuously for 12 years. The site has been built up with many long years of work by people too numerous to list. When I became editor in January 2017, I had two goals for the site:
- Find more great writers and post more great content for conservatives.
- Work with our team to redesign the website.
I believe we’ve made significant progress on the first item and the second item has just been completed. I focused on these two things because they are cornerstones for the future work I and anyone who comes after me might seek to accomplish.
More writers means we can cover more subject areas and discuss more of what conservatives Oregonians want to see. A new design makes us more accessible on mobile which is where more Oregonians are spending their time.
About the Design
I wanted to do a brief overview of the redesign in the event you need some help with the transition or are curious about some of the choices we made.
Our previous logo (which is still beloved by many of our readers and all of us here) depicted the dome of the Oregon State Capitol being struck by lightning. Our first attempts at a redesign were simple updates of this old design. We quickly realized that Oregon Catalyst had developed a more statewide focus in the past few years. We decided to strip down the logo to its core.
While we will continue to focus on the state legislature, we’ve covered many local issues in the past year and will continue to do so. We also have dispatched our contributors to various speaking engagements and events over all over the state. The lighting is no longer focused just on Capitol politics but everything about politics across Oregon.
The header contains the logo and links to RSS, Twitter, and Facebook just as it did before. We used the redesign as an opportunity to add more traditional navigation to the top. Specifically, we sought to highlight “How to Submit a Guest Column” so that guests can quickly submit articles and press releases for our consideration.
The most substantial change is our switch from a list view to a grid view. The list view only allowed you to see two or three stories without scrolling. Now it’s possible to see as many as six (depending on the size of your screen).
With this design, we’ve debuted a brand new feature called Top Stories. Since it’s inception, Oregon Catalyst has only shown the most recent articles at the top of the page. As we started writing more, we quickly found that essential stories would buried swifly by items that were less time sensitive. Top Stories allows us to highlight relevant articles that might be a few days old.
Another notable change is the switch from one right-aligned sidebar to two sidebars. We’ve moved the archives and information links to the left sidebar while keeping the email sign up and search on the right.
Typefaces & Blockquotes
I am likely the only one who cares but I would be remiss if I didn’t mention the site is set with two excellent typefaces: Josefin Sans (headlines, headers, and metadata) and Domine for text.
Additionally, the new design for blockquotes is probably my favorite thing ever. Here’s a quote from the most popular article on my blog, What is the Proper Viewing Order for the Star Wars Movies?, so you can see how they look:
There are a number of Star Wars fans who don’t like Luke Skywalker as a character. Personally, I am a big fan of Luke and appreciate the fact that Machete Order blends the new (now old-ish) Star Wars prequel films into Luke’s journey as the original movies intended.
That about covers it. I hope you love the new design as much as we do.
Reagan Knopp is a digital political consultant and Editor in Chief of Oregon Catalyst.