The new Australian INfront arrives, but what it’s all about?

Tuesday, 12 January, 2010

Australian INfront blue logo

The long awaited new look Australian INfront arrived, as promised, on Sunday 10 January.

And in addition to a much needed visual overhaul, a number of other changes – which are detailed here – have also taken place:

  • The core, or admin, team (previously referred to as “founders”) now consists of just three people.
  • While the original founder Justin Fox remains, long time member Damien Aistrope has taken up the bulk of the workload. In fact it seems the project survived solely as a result of Damien’s enthusiasm and passion for the concept.
  • Zann St Pierre rounds out the core team and was largely responsible for creating INfront’s new backend.
  • A “news” team providing regular updates, and a “talk” team, who supply feature articles, have also been created.

Other changes and features unveiled so far include:

  • Membership registration. While not required to access the site and most of its content, it is necessary to use many of the new features including the directory, job postings, commenting on posts and articles, and participation in the (yet to be launched) new forum.
  • Australian Design Directory: a directory of Australian web professionals and design studios.
  • A pay-to-post jobs board.
  • Last, and no means least, INfront comes in from the cold with a RSS feed and a Twitter account.

All up this is a promising new start, and it is very clear the crew are determined to restore INfront to its previous standing in the Australian design community.

The only drawback I see at the moment is the website’s lack of definition, and to an extent, identity.

There is very little information telling anyone – especially those arriving for the first time – what INfront is about. This even includes the site’s name, which only appears in the web browser’s title bar, something not everyone may spot.

To learn anything more new arrivals have to click a none-to-obvious “about INfront” link at the foot of the main page.

Obviously this isn’t a problem for those who have been along for the ride for years, or since the beginning, but it is something that needs to be addressed if INfront is to become the major Australian design resource and commumity it is aiming to be.

A more obvious site title and a brief outline – even simply a short summary sentence – at a prominent location on the main page, would remedy this.

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