New Year, New Plans

Hey guys, been a while since I have written an article for the site, but the reason for my hiatus is that I have been quietly trying to give the site a bit of a redesign and add some amazing new features for you all. I have probably completed about 50% of the new site and so I thought to myself, “why don’t I run my ideas past the most important people… the readers!” before I go off and create everything that is important to me, but might not be so important to you.

So today I am looking for FEEDBACK. Any ideas for new features, topics, design changes or even criticisms are welcomed and hopefully it should enable me to put together a great plan of action for exactly how the new site should operate in order to please the majority. I can’t pretend like every suggestion will be implemented, but they will definitely be considered and if I have the technical capabilities then they may just be included.

PLEASE LEAVE ALL SUGGESTIONS/WISH LISTS IN THE COMMENTS BELOW.

New Features

So it makes no sense just asking what you want without showing you my vision for the site and the new features I would like to implement. So without further ado, this is the preliminary list of features due to be included in the site:

  • A Forum - Yes I have wanted one of these for a long time now and hopefully it will prove worthwhile if we can get a community together helping each other out and discussing fashion and style. I have already purchased the forum software for this and am now looking to redesign the existing template in order to have it looking like the main Fashionbeans site.
  • Street Style Photographs - Another section which is a natural evolution for a fashion magazine, street style photographs can often be great sources of inspiration when it comes to putting together a new outfit or seeing how your existing pieces can be worked into a new look. I am currently on the look out for interested photographers who would like to contribute these photos regularly (IS THIS YOU? Get in touch if it is), as well as hoping to collaborate with some of the major independent street style blogs on the internet to have their work submitted in order to form a coalition or collaborative effort.
  • Fashion/Style/Lifestyle News - We often get inundated with press releases, new collection launches, limited editions etc. which just don’t contain enough information in order to create a full blown article out of them. We are looking to now launch a news section alongside our feature articles which will be updated more regularly (2-3 posts a day) showcasing all the latest collections, look books, store openings, limited editions and the like so you are bang up to date every day.
  • More Interaction - The comments section on each article has been completely redone so that you can now reply to individual comments and form a thread underneath, making the conversation easier to follow and allowing individuals to have their questions answered in a logical format. We are also introducing gravatars which is a completely free way of using your email address you usually comment with to put an image of yourself next to your comments. This means we can put faces to the names of our regular readers/writers and encourage more of a community feel. You can get your COMPLETELY FREE gravatar at http://en.gravatar.com/ in preparation and also see how the whole concept works. Along the same lines, we are going to allow readers to subscribe (and manage subscriptions) to articles when they comment so they can get an email notification every time a new comment is added to the story if they wish.
  • Voucher Codes Section - This has been a pet peeve of mine since I launched the section. It doesn’t get regularly updated at the moment due to the way that it works. However I am now taking inspiration from the larger voucher code websites and completely redesigning it back and front in order to make it a sustainable part of the site which will actually prove of use to all our readers. We often get exclusive voucher codes offered to us but do not take them up due to the workload it takes to list them and keep them up to date right now.
  • Galleries - I am hoping to find a way of including a gallery section on the site – similar to how the street style section would work – but for subject areas like men’s hairstyles, facial hair styles etc. These could be regularly updated and provide inspiration for men when it comes to changing their personal look beyond clothing.
  • More Fashionbeans Writer Interaction - All the team here will be given their own biographies with more personal information included, galleries, twitter feeds and ways to contact them direct with your dilemmas. We will also all have our own gravatar and comments shown in a different colour so you can interact with the whole team personally a lot more.
  • Ask a question - This might be more suited to the new forum but the option to ask a question via a contact form and have your question answered by either a fashionbeans member of staff or the readers is something I would love to have implemented. It would work a lot like the GQ style shrink whereby we answer a percentage of the questions each month but then let the readers help each other out for the other percentage of queries.
Suggestions

Honestly I would love to hear your personal suggestions about what you want to see implemented, and any comments or queries about the above. I will be heavily involved in checking this article regularly and responding direct to you all so please just drop us a line below.

FINALLY… I would like to say thank you to all our readers and staff who have made this site what it is today after starting out as a simple personal blog back in 2007. We are going to go to the next level now with all these new features, and we hope to become the destination for all things fashion and style.

Regards,
Ben
Founder & Editor-In-Chief