The new

Hi all, it's been a while since I've blogged, and there has been good reasons. Liferay is taking off and we are growing like crazy, and as such, I've gotten less time to blog.
But there has been a special occasion for this blog, and that is the official release of, and I wanted to talk a bit about it.

So, back in May we started talking about our current website internally amongst a few of us planning it out. We have long known internally that there were some issues with our different sites that no matter how much Bmiller would polish it up, they wouldn't go away. And this wasn't Bmiller's fault, always gave us more than we asked for, but there were always limitations of time and resources that would keep us from making deeper changes.

So back in May, there wasn't any internal pressure to get a new website out, and we were content with the branding for the site, and instead of waiting until we HAD to redesign the site, Alice, Bmiller and I got on a conference call together on a cloudy May day and hashed out how we would design the site.
One thing we didn't like about the old site was that it would hit you with a lot of information when you first visited, and a common complaint was that people would visit and not quite sure what our company provided.

Part of this was due to information overload, part was due to just general information architecture issues.

So out of that first day came our initial wireframe for the front page.

We knew we wanted to be direct and to the point with our message and branding, and also consolidate our the amount of pertinent information on the front page. In fact, we wanted all top level pages to be succint and concise, and to help navigate most users to where they would like to go, but also make the deeper areas of the site discoverable.

So, in short order, Bmiller delivered this to my inbox to show me the progress:

A little after this, Bcheung and Cecilia got involved and we started getting all sorts of pressure to make all kinds of changes.

So one little tangent here that I'd like to touch on: Conflict is great.
In a lot of companies, organizations and even personal relationships, conflict is looked at as a bad thing, and avoided quite often. Let me just say Liferay is not that kind of company. Conflict can be constructive or destructive, depending on how it's handled.

And for this site, there was a lot of (good) conflict. There were literally days where we would argue for a couple of hours over the tiniest of details, each of us representing a different opinion, each of us having our own unique perspective.
And what came out of it was a truly superior product. I know for a fact that I argued for different things that, had they been unquestioned, would have kept the site from being as amazing as it now looks.

Or as Bchan told me during my interview almost 2 years ago: "The best idea wins."

Bcheung and Bchan both really pushed this version of the site and without their constant driving and pushing for improvements and changes, it wouldn't be a fraction as great as the final product is. It's because of their leadership, patience, high standards, and determination that we were able to get this site done.

Bmiller outdid himself again. Liferay is so blessed to have an art director on his level, and his passion for what he does is inspiring, and his patience with the rest of us whose eyes are less refined has made this process go so much smoother than it could have.

Alice deserves a TON of credit. She has been pushing us for the longest time to improve the site, and to do it right, and her input and marketing chops really provided so much to the site's development. She worked incredibly hard on the site's IA and put in a ton of time making sure the site's content was easy to find.

Ryan Park is a machine. I think he knows how to use Liferay's CMS better than most of us internally, and he has cranked away. Thanks so much Ryan for your hard work, insights and always upbeat attitude no matter how much IE6 was trying to beat you down.

And of course, there is so many more people to thank, and so many contributed ideas, opinions and constructive criticisms that truly brought out an amazing site.
If I'm forgetting to give proper credit, please let me know.

All I can say is awesome job everybody, this truly is the best version yet, and I am blown away with how great it is :)

Congratulations Nate and everybody!! the site looks amazing... great job! emoticon
Nice work! The site looks really good.
Following admin guide errata page is looking ugly in IE.
Congratulations, Nate. The site looks really good. Now that you have laid the ground work with your site, I get to go through it and figure out how you did some of the cool layouts!
The new Liferay site looks amazing! Nice Work!
great job, guys!
Thanks for the behind the scenes...just like a dvd extra!
Hey Nate - Could you provide some insight on how the dock is handled in this theme? I really dig how unobtrusive it is, but I can't figure out how you went about doing it.