"http://www.w3.org/TR/xhtml1/DTD/xhtml1-transitional.dtd"> urbanMamas

Ta-da! A new look for urbanMamas

Have you noticed some of us have been a bit distant lately? We miss you, and it's not just the work of parenting that we love, it's because we've been spending lots of hours on... this. Ta-da! The new urbanMamas logo and web site design went live this evening thanks to the logo design work of Linda Diteman and the web design work of Blue Mouse Monkey.  We know there are plenty of bugs to work out. If you find one, email us with deets. We'll do our best to respond and fix the problems.

In the meantime, please do let us know what you think. We told the designers that we wanted an earthy, simple look -- and then they asked us to define our community here in words. These are some of our responses:

  • respectful, inclusive, savvy, ecologically-conscious, velaphilic, hard-working, multi-tasking, supportive, communal, resourceful, fit, active
  • busy, juggling, simplify, nonjudgmental
  • passionate, spirited, community-minded, creative, sustainable, bikey, committed, activist, exuberant, generous, inclusive, stripey
I think the design came out a lot of those things. One suggestion that "our logo should look good on a stripey t-shirt" was meant a bit as a joke, but I think it actually might! Later this week we'll offer new organic urbanMamas tees for sale. In the meantime, I already feel more peaceful and energized ... and earthy ... just looking at our site.

Comments

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I love that "inclusive" is on there twice. Thanks for that Mamaz, the new site looks great and I'll be the first in line to buy one of your "stripey tees" so I can spot allies (and they can spot me) when we're out and about!

Since it's treated like a database, this info can be presented to users where its most relevant - at a manufacturer site, in a shopping search engine, discussion forums or a merchant page.

what is "velaphilic"

No offense guys, but this font is awful. So very hard to read.

Looks great!

It looks great, but very hard to read.

Looks very nice! But I miss the "recent comments." I've found many great posts and comments that are old but revived by recent posts, that I woudn't have otherwise seen.

Love the new look up top! Cute little birds, nice earth-tone cityscape. Agree that it seems harder to read (not font-savvy enough to define why). And yes, please bring back "Recent Comments."

Oh, and where is the Exchange? I love browsing through there, seeing what folks are up to.

Looks great, except the searches are hard to read and where is the childcare section?

I'm so glad to know that you all were "absent" because you were working on revamping the site. I was beginning to wonder if our little online community was dissapating. I'm so glad it's not. Yea!

I like the new look, and I will second the calls for a more readable font. We mamas are likely too tired to work very hard to read.

Very pleasing visually - looks great!
But recent comments are essential!

I like the font, it's very readable (reading on iPhone - it's where I spend the majority of my Internet time). And the new look is slick and modern without being douchebaggy. :)

Looks good but I really need the "recent comments" to come back!

Great look and logo! Ready to order my tshirt. I like the font on computer and iPhone. Calendar is hard to read.

Hi Mamas! I really like the new look - I think the font is great and is easy to read. I also wonder where the child care section is... as both a mother and early childhood teacher, I know this was a GREAT resource for both parents and small schools to find one another! I would be really upset if this was gone from the site forever!

we're listening to your feedback! we'll figure out what to do with the font (I love it, but everyone's machine is different :) and never fear, nothing's going away -- the child care forum is still here: http://www.urbanmamas.com/childcare/

and we'll figure out a way to bring back recent comments (I agree, it's great: don't know how we missed that it wasn't in the design).

Maybe you could tell us more about what the redesign was meant to address (problems or perceptions of needing a new look, etc.?). It's hard for me to see what is gained. I really liked the old look at the bright, cheery colors. The font is hard to read. I also think the birds-on-a-wire thing has been used a ton lately. Sorry to be a partypooper/killjoy/rainer on parades, but you asked!

I liked the look before and I think it looks great now! The font looks fine to me...maybe it depends on the computer or search engine?

...And I'm psyched about the tees!

Could the Categories be organized/written differently? It's hard to read what they are, yet that seems like the major way to find content. Could the Childcare and Exchange sections be added under Categories, or better, given their own headings again?

On a separate note, will you guys be continuing to post weekend activities? That was a great feature.

I couldn't find the childcare section until I read the comments - where is it from the main page?

Ditto on the absent childcare and exchange tabs. As a mama to the under-3 set, I frequented both those spots quite a bit

Overall, I like the new look, though.

I think it looks lovely, and I find the font to be just fine. I do agree with adding the childcare section back to the top, though.

And, in the "since you asked" category...I have to chime in again (as I've written y'all about this before) to say that while you were changing the site I SO WISH there was a message board feature where we could control our own posts. I came from Wash, DC and into our fourth year here, I still visit DC Urban Moms Forum (http://www.dcurbanmom.com/jforum/forums/list.page) every day because it gives me something key that urbanMamas doesn't - which is immediate access to parenting questions/answers through their message boards where I can instantaneously post my own questions and get answers within seconds or minutes...or read and learn from the many other posts. For example: The other night my son suddenly developed this strange peeing issue...he was going every other minute. We had no idea what was going on and were concerned. I posted to DCUM and even though it was around midnight there, within five minutes had four or five responses of what it might be and parents who had this problem with their preschoolers in the past. From that, we basically could tell it was a weird behavioral thing and stopped panicking that night (though I did take him to our ped anyway, who confirmed that it was just behavioral). So very helpful.

The couple of times I've had a local question where I obviously couldn't get an answer from DCUM...most recently desperate for a periodontist recommendation...I sent y'all an email requesting a posting and never heard back and my question was never posted. Sigh. I know you all are super busy...thus why the ability to post queries ourselves would be so awesome. I've thought on many an occasion about starting a DCUM-type message board for Portland myself, but don't feel I have the technical expertise or time to manage it on my own (DCUM has literally grown to have thousands of users...GULP.)

Anyway, I really like the look of the new site and I'll still always peruse and look for opportunities to learn and respond to posts. I do also really appreciate the opportunities for get-togethers that this site provides. Thanks for the opportunity to provide feedback!

Another vote for adding a child care tab to the main page. I wasn't able to find a way to access that link from any where on the site and I don't know how any one new to urbanmamas might know that that link exists! Thanks!

The calendar is way too hard for me to read! I would also love the Exchange page back. It would be great for the exchange and childcare pages to be tabs on the main page, so they are easy to get to. I have to say that I think I liked the old look better, but I am sure I will adjust! I think it just takes a while to get used to a new look on a website.

Looks great! It's a well-done (and, really much-needed) update.

I really appreciate this site and all of your work! Here some of my initial thoughts on redesign:
--column layout is improved esp. on phone (using phone now, what I read with most often these days)
--I would prefer a bit lighter/brighter color scheme
--I would prefer a different graphic than the birds. Initially I see the two in the circle and I think love birds, not mamas talking. Then my eyes cat the other birds and I think birds circling over something dead? Just overall not feeling like 'hey it is mamas gathering to talk!'
Thank you and thank you again for this great site!

One addtnl comment:
A text mention of Portland at the top may be useful for some visitors
Thank you

I miss having direct access to the exchange and childcare forums, like several other users have said.

thanks again for your feedback. we'll add in the links to childcare and exchange as soon as possible. someone asked, why did you want to change? simply, we were tired of the old look and we didn't love the colors; we specifically told our new designers, 'not pink, not candy colors.' beauty and the beholder's eye, right?

while feedback on the new logo is interesting, we won't be going back to our designer and asking to change it, so while further criticism won't be deleted, it won't be super constructive :)

and we've been working on the forums. stay tuned.

I second the comments about the over-used bird graphic and the font. Like others, I really relied on the recent comments function to quickly check in on conversations I was following.

The new look is fine, if a bit autumnal in the color scheme. I find the font okay.

While I'm here, though, I wanted to mention that the schools sub-site has an issue where all the comments are listed last to first, as opposed to the first-to-last style on the front page. I think it confuses some commenters.

Thanks for all the great resources of this site!

I am finding the font really hard to read. It seems to shimmer, and it's making my eyes feel strained. Seems that it could lead to a headache. I have a Macbook, not sure what difference it makes, but noticed people saying that it looks good on their phones, or other devices. Wonder if some alternatives could be tried?

Yay for the Exchange/Childcare/Schools and Recent Comments coming back! Looks great.

I would like to second someone's comment about having Portland in the heading somewhere. I've always wondered why it wasn't more clear that this is a site for pdx mamas. If you didn't know, you'd think it was just a generic "city living mothers" website. If you don't plan to add that, I would be interested in hearing the thinking behind that decision.

Also, I'm super excited about the possibility of forums. That would be great. Thanks so much for considering it!

Love the new look, but agree the font is not great, it seems blurry to me and I don't wear glasses!

would you please bring back the links to portland mama's blogs?

The search is fixed; and still working on the "font" issue. On my laptop, the font looks great but on the netbook & work computer it looks blurry so we are still troubleshooting. Keep the comments coming and we will try to do our best to address it! As always, thanks for the support.

I'm missing the "Blogroll" as well...are there plans to bring that back? It was a quick spot for me to go on occasion and check out a few of my favorite PDX Mama Blogs...

You put a bird on it and now its art!

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