Medium’s latest redesign could help the platform be the blogging tool it promised it could be.
Though beautiful, the site hasn’t always been easy to navigate. It relied on the curiosity of the user to sift through content, follow writers, and create new collections of content. Its latest iteration attacks this problem head-on with a new homepage, a panel with a list of top stories, and a navigation bar divided up into seven digestible categories: Culture, Humor, Tech, Design, This Happened to Me, In My Humble Opinion, and Long Reads.
The site also does more to encourage users to post their own content — something that blogging platform Tumblr has long focused on. In the upper right hand corner of the new homepage, users will find an avatar icon where they can start a new story, access drafts, and see post stats. Medium is also incorporating notifications, so writers can see when readers recommend, leave notes, or add them to a collection more immediately.
Founder Evan Williams’ latest writing platform has stumbled along its path to reinventing the way we blog. This has especially been true of its pay-per-click policy for paid writers. That said, Medium has done a good job fostering community content as well as commissioned content in a single, well-manicured platform. It’s also doing a decent job of exploring new revenue streams.
Over the summer, Medium dove into native advertising with a design-focused collection of stories sponsored by BMW. The site’s latest redesign doesn’t seem to directly link to Medium’s experiments with monetization, though it may indirectly link. Making the site easier to traverse will certainly help get eyeballs on promoted content like BMW’s, and may ultimately make it easier to onboard other brands down the road.