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by Brian Sun, Senior Manager, Content Marketing, Autopilot
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The 2017 Autopilot Blog Redesign: Why We Did It and What’s New

We launched Autopilot in March 2015. In preparation, we re-built the product from the ground up, introduced a whole new brand, and embarked on a mission to bring customer journey marketing to the masses.

What we didn’t do was update our blog design. That was two and a half a years ago. Since then, the web has changed, reading is more mobile than ever before, and clear visual communication is a non-negotiable to stand out from the crowd. Our blog design needed to catch up with the times. Today is that day.

So without further adieu, we’d like to introduce to you the redesigned Autopilot blog. Here’s what’s new.

A better reading experience for you

Our driving question throughout the redesign process was “How can we make the experience better for readers?”

The reason behind this is because even if you invest time, effort, and money into creating great written content, visitors may underestimate the content’s value if a bad design gets in the way. It’s like food. If something looks unappetizing, you have your doubts about how it will taste even if it’s actually delicious.

In our new design, we addressed a number of hindrances to the old design’s reading experience. Now you’ll notice…

Journeys you can actually see (and replicate)

Journeys are Autopilot’s bread and butter. We love to shout from the rooftops about the journeys our customers create as well as their results. Instapage’s $30,000 lead nurturing journey, Xplenty’s event-based free trial journey, and Skimlinks’ retention journey come to mind.

The best part about these examples is they are real-life journeys. You could literally look at what Instapage did, and go and build the exact same thing in your own Autopilot account. In the new blog, high-res journeys are baked into the design—click on a journey image, see it at full size and scroll around to your heart’s content.

Clear typography

Our old blog design featured gray text on a white background. The lack of visual contrast drew attention away from the main reason a person was on the blog in the first place—reading the content.

Better typography

To maximize readability in the new design, we changed the text from gray to black, bumped up the font size, and increased line spacing. Simple changes. Big difference.

Responsive design

We paid close attention to how the blog displays on desktops, tablets, and smartphones. A huge part of this included creating a custom grid for different-sized visuals that adjust to any screen size. As a result, text is automatically resized for readability, images scale without losing clarity, and the reading experience—regardless of the device—is as smooth as butter.

Responsive design

Frictionless subscribe

We’ve made it even easier for you to stay up to date on journey marketing content, with opportunities to subscribe in the upper right corner as well as at the end of every post. Once you join our savvy crew of marketers, you’ll receive the latest trends, tactics, and tools straight to your inbox every month.

Subscribe

More ways to share

We’ve improved social sharing so you can give your community easy access to helpful content.

Improved social sharing

Slack and Facebook Messenger are now added into the mix. You can also highlight any text to immediately share your favorite quotes and snippets. Try it!

Takeaways for your own redesign: How your content is packaged is as important as the content you create. Use “how can we make the experience better for readers?” as your guiding light. Prioritize readability when making design decisions, and provide plenty of opportunities to opt-in and share on the platforms your readers use most.

Easy access to categories you’re interested in

Our previous blog categories were “marketing”, “case studies”, and “company”. The problem is those three buckets could apply to any marketing company from SEO agencies to marketing software startups and everything in between.

We needed a category set that was distinctly Autopilot and made finding relevant articles an easy-as-pie process. Here are our new categories:

New categories

1. Journeys. Deep dives into actual journeys—their structure, messages, and results. You won’t find this level of transparency anywhere else.

2. Acquisition. Insights into getting more customers. Expect topics ranging from lead generation tactics to explanations of customer acquisition cost.

3. Nurture. Once contacts are in your database, how do you stay top of mind with them until they’re ready to buy? Nurture is the untapped secret.

4. Growth. Everything you need to keep your existing customers happy, paying, and buying again.

5. Customer Experience. Creating a wow customer experience is the key to building a great company. Hands down. We’ll explore what this means and looks like in real-life.

6. Tools. We marketers love our tools. From the best growth marketing tool stack to landing page builder reviews, we’ve got you covered.

7. Research & Trends. What’s next for the marketing industry? We’re always researching to help you stay on the cutting edge and ahead of the competition.

8. People. Every marketer has a backstory. Clair Byrd was a chef. Aaron Orendorff lost everything. Shayla Price was The Scholarship Queen. You’ll get to know the people behind the marketing industry.

9. Startups. Lessons we’re learning from startup to scaleup.

10. Product & Updates. We’re always making Autopilot better. You’ll be the first to know about product news and the latest launches.

Takeaways for your own blog redesign: How can you structure your categories to make sense to readers and align with the core topics your brand wants to own?

An expertise-driven content roadmap

As part of the blog redesign, we’re taking our content game to the next level. You can expect to see top-notch insights from industry influencers like we’ve already been doing, not just in one-off articles, but also in series that take deep dives into marketing topics.

On deck we have Alex Birkett from ConversionXL to walk you through running growth experiments, Claire Suellentrop on the ins and outs of user onboarding, and Autopilot’s Guy Marion on how to be a modern CMO.

Long story short: you’ll learn from the best of the best to sharpen your marketing knowledge and practical skills.

Takeaways for your own blog redesign: As you re-design your own blog, brainstorm how you can redesign your content strategy. What can you create that’s valuable for readers while also distinctively tied to your brand? Who are influencers you can partner with to grow both of your respective audiences?

There’s even more to come

“Don’t judge a book by its cover” is a famous phrase seared into our minds at an early age. But if real-life experience is any indicator, we definitely judge books by their cover. The same is true for blog designs. A bad design can tank engagement, but a remarkable design can make a reader’s experience smooth, enjoyable, and memorable. In our redesign, our hope was to execute the latter. Enjoy.

Let us know what you think in the comments, and keep an eye out for the before and after metrics in the coming months.

5 Comments
Author Brian Sun, Senior Manager, Content Marketing, Autopilot

  • Your journey to sky-high growth starts here.

    Subscribe to join a savvy crew of journey marketers and learn the latest trends, tactics, and tools.

    • congrats, its looking great!

    • love the idea of focusing on journeys from real life examples

    • Lee Wei Rong Shaun

      The part on journeys would excite anyone!

    • Pete

      Love the new design. Yes, larger font size, dark texts over white background, and bigger line height definitely help with readability. It boggles my mind why some sites still use light gray texts. What’s the point?

    • Tyson Quick

      Awesome update guys! I love the replicate journeys concept.

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