Welcome To The New One Mile At A Time!

As I posted about earlier, today was the “big day” for the blog switchover. While there was (hopefully) no downtime, there was a period of a few hours where you couldn’t comment, so if you posted something earlier and don’t see your comment you may want to repost.

Well, I’m happy to report that while the transition took a bit longer than I was hoping it’s now complete!

Welcome to the new One Mile At A Time!

You can now resume commenting, and I can resume posting.

Let me start by saying that I’m a really risk averse person, and generally subscribe to the philosophy that “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” However, after well over six years of blogging, I do think a refresh was long overdue.

I know a lot of people won’t like it because it’s different, though please give it a few days before hating it too much. I know it will take me a while to get used to it as well, though I’m confident it was the right decision.

One Mile at a Time
Goodbye, old friend…

If you still don’t like it by the weekend, give me a holler. ;)

A few other things to note:

  • I’d absolutely love to hear what y’all think, though ideally give me a few days as this isn’t the “final” product. There are a lot of things to update over the coming days, both aesthetically, functionally, and on the back end of things. So all feedback is awesome, and once we’re operating at 100% on this end, I’ll make another post soliciting feedback. Really appreciate the help you guys have provided in this process!
  • If you have this blog bookmarked, you can continue to access it through the onemileatatime.net URL. However, if you have the direct link to the blog bookmarked, be sure you update it to onemileatatime.boardingarea.com.
  • As I mentioned earlier, the functionality implications of this transition are huge. Not only do I have the ability to do so much more on the backend, but the “Ask Lucky” page is finally paginated, pictures will appear larger on the blog (since the “width” of the actual blog has been increased), etc.

There are several other functionality improvements we’re planning over the coming weeks, which we can now do thanks to this new theme. So you will see more transitions with the Trip Report section, and eventually a better long term solution for the Ask Lucky page as well.

Thanks again for your patience! I know the past four days the blog has been the equivalent of the on-time rating of a regional carrier, though it should hopefully be smooth sailing from here!

Comments

  1. Erik says

    A big dislike to the auto playing advertisement with sound – ya gotta fix that. Someone will click on your blog to escape a boring conference call and get busted, LOL

  2. lucky says

    @ Erik — Didn’t realize that was a “feature” and agree that would suck. Mind telling me what ad did that for you?

  3. Geoff says

    Already miss the index on the right side, was very convenient and unique. Also I know it’s your income but I’m not a fan of the “Hot Deals for June” that just list CC referral links.

  4. Santastico says

    Nothing against changes if they are for a good reason. Maybe this is just the first post but it seems to plain and too much black and white for me. Loved the other background since it was very easy to move from one post to another.

  5. Jonathan says

    Header is pretty busy, especially with the white text superimposed. Not very crisp or clean. I would put the One Mile at a Time logo above the photo/graphics with just white space beside it.

  6. lucky says

    @ Geoff — If you click on the “Categories” it should open a drop down menu. Everything is still there, just trying to streamline the sidebar.

  7. astrophsx says

    Really dislike the side “toolbar” on the left for the social media that scrolls with the page.

  8. Mike says

    Sorry to say….not a fan of the new masthead and most especially the white background behind the black text. There was something calming about the old site – this new version feels like you’ve just broken into the blogging game and have taken the default settings from your provider. sorry this is so harsh but…can we trade in the new car for the old one?

  9. Upperdeck744 says

    While I will miss the old site, I think the new one is pretty slick. The content is what is most important at the end of the day so keep the good stuff coming. Congrats!

  10. Donald says

    I really like the new look Lucky! Congrats!

    Are you ever going to finish your Etihad trip report though? I’ve been on the edge of my seat for weeks!

  11. Nick says

    I actually think I like it. But I prefer the other colors instead of the white background.

  12. Matt Damon says

    I liked the old site better because the guy looking out the window in the header of the old site for some reason reminded me of Matt Damon. And I love me some Matt Damon!

  13. says

    I’m kind of in the middle seat here. The old theme definitely looked dated. It was usable, but dated.

    The new theme looks a little *too* crisp, if that’s the right term. Black, white, corporate feel. A little more color would do a lot of good. I know color pops up when you hover (going from black to blue) but from a usability (and attracting readers to click on things) having a color first (blue to black) would go a long way.

    It looks fresh, just a little dark/corporate. And your posts aren’t dark/corporate.

    Whatever comments you get, including this one, can mostly be ignored. :) At the end of the day if you look back and say “Wow, my old theme was… old!” — a valid point — you might still notice how many people flocked to the blog.

    Why?

    Simple: your content. As long as you keep up your unique content you should expect continued rewards from increasing readership.

  14. A. S. says

    @Lucky — Congrats on the new layout. Just a quick note about the “Ask Lucky” page: it’s great that it’s finally paginated, but I’m not sure if you noticed that the order of the comments is counter-intuitive. While the newest “page” appears first, on any given page the older comments appear first. Example:

    Page 1: (Today)
    – comment at noon
    – comment at 1pm
    – comment at 2pm

    Page 2: (Yesterday)
    – comment at noon
    – comment at 1pm, etc.

  15. Sameer Sultan says

    Congrats on the new blog. Everything new takes time to get used to! The new mast head is cool with the airplane window views. In the old blog on the right side below the Hot deals link the links to your recent posts would appear and was very convenient to jump from one post to another. In the new blog can’t find the recent posts links hope those will be incorporated.

  16. A. S. says

    @Lucky — Also, if possible, I think you should put numbers next to the comments. It makes it easier for people to track their own comments and where they left off when they come back to read updates on a given post. It might also be necessary (or easier) for if/when you “pick a winning comment” for whatever swag giveaway or something. :)

  17. lucky says

    @ A. S. — You’re right, but unfortunately that’s the best option for now. Otherwise we’d have to have all the comments on the site in reverse chronological order, and that’s just downright hard to read.

  18. lucky says

    @ astrophsx @ LeeInDC — Still looking at alternatives to that. I don’t love it either, but the plugin I used to use kept breaking the comments.

  19. Greg says

    Congrats.

    Like that you used your own photos out of the windows.

    Also like that there is no Lufthansa Miles & More cent per mile valuation. Too high to disclose :) :) :)

  20. lucky says

    @ A. S. — Hah, I think we’re very much on the same page! Will have numbers eventually, but it’s going to take a bit more work. They kept resetting on the Ask Lucky page, so every page had numbers 1-50. :(

  21. lucky says

    @ Sameer Sultan — Good point, was thinking more about how many more posts would show on the front page. Added that back in, and will see if I can add previous/next posts to the bottom of each entry as well.

  22. elteetrav says

    The updates look amazing. The new look is very clean and sharp. Thanks for all your work on this.

  23. Kelly says

    Generally like it, though have to agree the title and related graphics get a little busy at the top. What might have been kind of cool is if your blog title header appeared like an airline’s livery on the fuselage of a plane, then with the windows below. Let me know if you use that so I can charge you my graphic artist fee! :^D

    Sometimes, change is good!

  24. Reine says

    I like it!! Great job! I’m glad to see the rollover drop downs are working. I’m a UX copywriter and web content strategist and I flip my lid whenever a site has less-than-intuitive, confusing navigation. Overall, very good. My professional, user-experience opinion- I like how you’ve laid out your info. Cleaner, easier to navigate and more modern. UX people *like* “pretty” design, but more than that, it has to be functional and easy to use/navigate for the user. You’ve accomplished that for me ;)

  25. Kevin says

    OMG – the white background is a nightmare – miss the beige already. Top and Right side is way more busy now. :-( Now your blog looks just like everyone else (TPG, VFTW, etc).

  26. Seth says

    I like it so far Lucky, it loads quick on my ipad and isn’t overly graphic intensive. Good choice in format I say!

  27. Ivan Y says

    @ Lucky – congrats on the new design! Links to previous/next posts would be great but what happened to being able to subscribe to comments? That was such a time-saver!

  28. Karl says

    Ich wünschte, du hättest einen besseren Graphiker/ Designer für dieses Projekt engagiert. Dein neues Logo ist schwer zu entziffern und sieht aus wie alle anderen. Schade, es wäre eine gute Möglichkeit gewesen, etwas zu entwerfen was adäquat wäre zu deinen Inhalten/ blogeinträgen.

  29. chitownflyer says

    Lucky, the general layout looks good, but would it be possible to have the categories appear as a list rather than a pull down menu?

  30. James says

    I like it! That said, I would really prefer a serif font for the body text. The new sans serif one, while more stylish and attractive at first glance, is harder on the eyes when reading larger blocks of text. It also has less weight and is a bit smaller than your old body text, I think, which hurts readability. (Looking at it closer, I think the lack of weight is what really makes this one harder to read.) My eyesight is pretty good (I’m in my 20s, have never needed glasses) and I still notice the difference.

  31. says

    Ben, I think it looks great, the text is easy to read as it’s black on white. What I really like is the trip report index as it’s really easy to scan. A definite improvement.

  32. James says

    Believe it or not, I actually miss the blogroll, too. Yours is always the first blog I check; then I’d click on a few others (not always the same ones) from the list on your menu if I had time.

  33. Jon says

    While I think your old site needed anice facelift, at the end of the day it was functional. This site has too much whitespace and requires more scrolling. Reminds me too much of TPG’s re-designed blog, must be the same platform…

  34. Chris says

    It’s not too bad, definitely a step up though there’s too much whitespace. I also very much dislike the ask lucky page. Yes it was a pain to scroll through 3k+ comments, however the format allowed for a way to quickly do a ctrl + f and key on specific keywords. There’s no way I’m going to click on the more comments button 50+ times to load all the comments then do a ctrl + f. Maybe you don’t mind duplicate questions since I’m guessing you get them quite a bit, however I think you the frequency of them is going to increase.

  35. says

    Looks okay at first glance. Not crazy about the gray text during the comment entry phase. I would strongly prefer black. Not sure what else to say just yet as I’m still getting used to it.

  36. Carl P says

    Should Amex really get top billing – even before your masthead? I’ll see if the new masthead grows on me. It seems kind of busy to me now.

  37. Romer says

    It’s a good start. Please note that these are just thoughts from a Branding guy and take it with a grain of salt (or a margarita).

    Top Header Graphic – This is pretty busy, you have a busy logo on top of a busy picture. Hard to read. Keep it simple and have your face on the graphic. It helps give your blog a more personal feel and makes it feel that we are actually in your world. The airplane windows are quite expected and the graphic doesn’t reflect your nuances in the way you write and communicate. You have created a brand, capitalize on it.

    Overall Design – I don’t mind the white space although I think the content area design need to be tighter and visually separated from each other. When people say there is too much white space, they usually are trying to communicate the elements on their screen feel like they are “floating” and that means content areas are not defined enough visually. You don’t have to use color to define the areas, just better design.

    Content Areas – Although I sometimes don’t read your blog everyday (I know the horror right?), it would be nice to have the current and important items above the fold. If you have a long post, then I have to scroll down quite a bit to see “More from..” or the sidebar area “Recent Posts.”

    Text – I have to agree with James on the earlier post. The sans-serif thin font is HARD TO READ. Please make this a serif font. When you have dark headers and background with stark white areas and san-serif bolded headline, you need to use a body font that doesn’t disappear and can hold it’s own. Although this is the digital world, reading text still needs to be old school.

    Comments – As I type this comment, it is very hard to see. The lack of contrast of the gray type on the lighter gray background doesn’t make for a great experience.

    Okay, I’m done. Olé!

  38. BallardFlyer says

    iPhone rendering is not good. Your CC promo above your masthead is blowing out the whole template. On iphone it looks unfinished. Hopefully this is just a kink. Good luck.

  39. Danny says

    Some nice looks but you need to fix “MORE FROM ONE MILE AT A TIME” as it shows very old posts like US Airways and AA miles purchase promotions from 2013. It isn’t relevant for today.

  40. Norman says

    Your logo at the top should be of higher resolution, looks terrible from an RMBP, especially compared to the beautifully rendered texts. Also I’d hate to read long posts with a nearly white background that you have right now, very unpleasant for eyes. Am missing the good old green background, can you at least provide options.

  41. 100K says

    New header can be better esp if you change the window scene sometimes. Might be interesting. Otherwise, as others have said, I loved the color scheme before and now this just feels like another blog.

  42. Charlie says

    I really like the new layout, I must say. Very clean. Only (minor) problem is, as others have pointed out, the banner. It really doesn’t fit in with the rest of the look. Too busy, although really nice pictures!

  43. Erik says

    It was the first AdChoice box that is usually occupied by an Amex credit card ad. Not sure if it was an actual Amex commercial because I immediately closed the browser after the sound kicked in (one of my kids was sleeping in an adjacent room).

  44. Zach says

    I like the new look. Very clean and simple. 3 months from now no one would believe what the blog used to look like.

  45. Laurence says

    Hi Ben,

    The new blog looks great, the only thing that I would like would be the return of the previous and next buttons to navigate in between the posts. (Or maybe a list of recent posts) so you can easily navigate between posts without having to return to the homepage.
    Also, I think it would be better if the comment section was minimised on each post so that you don’t have to scroll past 62 comments so that you can actually comment on a post. Or maybe just put the commenting box above the comments?

    Anyway, great new look

  46. Laurence says

    Hi Ben,

    The new blog looks great, the only thing that I would like would be the return of the previous and next buttons to navigate in between the posts. (Or maybe a list of recent posts) so you can easily navigate between posts without having to return to the homepage.
    Also, I think it would be better if the comment section was minimised on each post so that you don’t have to scroll past 62 comments so that you can actually comment on a post. Or maybe just put the commenting box above the comments?

    Anyway, great new look

  47. Patrick says

    Just a thought to tweek something…

    On your trip reports… any way to have them listed alphabetically? For instance on the Airlines… they are just all “there”. They may be listed by date but if they are you can’t tell. There is no reference to the date. An alphabetical listing (option?) would be nice.
    Thanks

  48. Ang says

    The new site looks amazing! I love the colors! Do you think it’s possible to have your hotel reviews be sortable by country/city? Example – all the Tokyo hotels under Tokyo/Japan. I think that would be helpful to your readers that are coming to your site to look reviews.

  49. Ang says

    I think it would also be helpful to your readers if you can have the ability to sort your airline lounges reviews by airport so someone can see all of the reviews for the airlines lounges in a single airport (ex: all the lounges in JFK). Perhaps you can also have sorting capability to clump together the airline reviews (ex: all united together). I understand why you did it by year for the hotel, airline lounge and airport reviews, but you can make it more user friendly. I think having the sorting option will help us find what we need faster.

  50. Soltatio says

    Call me crazy but I like it! It looks fresh and crisp. My only gripe is that I can’t ctrl+f the “Ask Lucky” page but as long as you don’t mind answering a question more than once I don’t mind asking. It looks great on (Android) mobile as well and I have had no problems reading it through Feedly so kudos to that! Should the social media icons display 4 next to each other and the Twitter button below it in its own row though or should all 5 be next to each other?

  51. Denis says

    lucky, what I miss is the link to the next and previous post. I liked being able to open one single post and then navigate to the next, and to the next…..

  52. Adrian Wattamaniuk says

    Missing are the subscription options to follow up comments and new posts.

  53. CraigTPA says

    Generally like it, but have a few minor quibbles (sorry if these duplicate anyone else’s, didn’t read all the comments):

    * Not a big fan of the logo – not entirely sure why, it just doesn’t look very polished. Like the windows though!

    * The grey text while typing comments is VERY hard to read.

    * I generally like the simple, high-contract black and white body. The white could be a little too bright, though, perhaps could consider going to a slightly “softer” white background or a really pale beige.

    * Navigation looks good, not sure why there’s a break near the bottom.

    Overall, a definite improvement!

  54. Alex says

    Mobile on iPhone sucks as the ad banner along the top makes it wider than the screen size. The header and menu along the top of the iPhone screen also takes up the whole screen before the blog post starts. Other than that, everything looks great on a computer!

  55. Patrick Mc says

    @Lucky, been reading your blog for 2+ years (and I was the reason you were at the bar at FTU Tampa until 2am the night before your presentation, haha). Love the new blog look and functionality. It is definitely different and will take a short adjustment period for a lot of long time readers but everything is very simple and easy to find which is especially great for those new to your blog. Also a big fan of the beginners section being easy to get to for newbies and the way things are broken out into different sections/categories. Hope it makes things easier on you too! :)

  56. Nick says

    Ben, overall, I think this is a great new look! The one thing that I don’t like thus far is the row of 5 old story links/thumbnails “More from One Mile at a Time”: not because there aren’t good older posts, but because it promotes old AND obsolete posts (e.g. from 2011 “Hilton offering 750 points for liking them”). Some posts are eternal in value (Pyjamas! Sweaters! Hello Kitty!) but others, especially those dealing with pre-devaluation redemption opportunities, can be rather misleading.

  57. Eric G. says

    Logo fix idea: 6 is too many airline windows. Try cutting it down to 3 and just move the text over to where the other 3 windows were on its own. That should clean things up. Could you maybe rotate the pictures in the 3 remaining windows? That would be very cool!

  58. Carlos says

    Lucky, I’m missing the tags list on the right, where I could see the posts related to the main airlines and hotels programs. If it takes too much space on the page, you could do one cloud like, where the tags with more links are bigger than the others with less clicks.

  59. gilbert says

    great job, as always. best of luck working the kinks out of the new site…

    at least you are staying in 4 and 5-star hotels, so you will be working while enjoying yourself… :)

  60. Adam says

    Loving the new site, very modern sleek design to match the super-insightful blog posts.

  61. Meegabroad says

    The new design is great, except I miss the airline review list. It’s much easier to find your reports listed by airline than scrolling down a chronological list.

  62. Jana says

    Sorry Lucky – tried to get used to this site for a couple of weeks, and still dislike it. Either I can’t figure out how to find stuff, or this is poorly structured:

    I have to run half way down the home page to find the latest posts. It took me three days to find the latest posts and then I couldn’t find the posts past a day or so since there is no longer any kind of chronological list.

    Have to go past all the comments before being able to comment.

    The “More from the Top” section has some fairly old posts connected. Should be updated.

    The new look is too busy with all the airplane windows at the top.

    Generally finding it more difficult to locate useful info.

    I’m sure this cost you lots of time and money, but I cannot “like” the new format.

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