It’s a bit hard to believe that we launched Honolulu Civil Beat just over 100 days ago. So hard to believe that I couldn’t even remember what the site looked like when we went live. So I dug into the Civil Beat archives and found a screen shot of what the site looked like on May 4, 2010 (see it in the related media section). Wow. Yup, not the prettiest site you’ve ever seen. We’re certainly not sitting by the phone expecting a call telling us that we’ve been nominated as one of the best-looking websites in the world.

I’m sure there were probably a handful of folks out there wondering how people with a supposed background in internet, commerce and community could have launched such a site. In fact, I only need to look at my folder of e-mails from people who didn’t quite care for our site to know that those people exist. If that was you, no hard feelings — we welcome that feedback.

If you’re interested in knowing what we were thinking, there was a method to our madness. Our plan was always to launch and quickly iterate. We could have sat in a room theorizing about how things would work and how people would use the site. But we’re trying to build something new and that approach would have only led to unnecessary wasted time and effort. Instead, we decided the prudent path was to put Civil Beat in your hands as quickly as possible, get feedback and innovate from real user experiences. So we always knew we would want to redesign the site about three months after launch.

Well, it’s been three months and it’s time for us to update the Civil Beat site. We’ve gathered all your feedback (e-mails, tweets, comments, UserVoice, etc.) and used them to guide our next version of the site. Our goal was pretty simple: make it easier to read our content and connect with others. This meant making sure that readers are aware of all the content that Civil Beat offers (articles, topic pages, discussions) and that they can easily find that content.

We’re planning on launching the new website in the coming days. We plan on posting a mockup of the new site for you to see soon. So stay tuned and I’ll update this post when it’s ready for viewing. We hope you like what you see and look forward to hearing your feedback.

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