Well I've made a start on re-designing the English Raven website, and realised why it's taken me so long to give it a good red-hot update... Really hard work, especially when you consider the hundreds and hundreds of public pages on a site that has grown rather organically over a period of more than a decade.
The image at the top of this post shows a re-design of the overall interface, applied to one of the oldest resource pages (the Animal Flashcards page). I've cleaned up the menus and overall design, retained Google ads (but kept them well to the side and out of the way of the main content), and put in a rolling ad space for targeted ELT products that I've reviewed on this blog. Later that targeted space will be tweaked so that it features ELT products of potentially direct relevance to the resources or learning activities on a particular page on the site.
I've also gone beyond just listing, illustrating and describing the resource, adding three quick activity applications (in this case, for a young learner resource, describing teaching activities that might be suitable for learners at starter, mover and flyer level, roughly corresponding to the levels represented in the Cambridge YLE Tests).
Later, I'll look to insert a screencast or video to introduce the resources, what went into the design, and how I've used them in actual classrooms.
Still grappling a little with the usual compromise between attractive visual design and functional design, but overall I'm pleased with the progress!
And, erm, I'm pretty sure this is a big improvement on the current appearance of the page (the basics of which were done 10 years ago, adapted a little later to squeeze in Google ads to help generate a little income from the page -- see my thoughts on this and new thinking about using advertising on resource sites here):
Huge task ahead... The English Raven site is so huge, I think it could take a good year to update and redesign the whole thing (even if I cut off a certain amount of dead wood on the site).
Back (and beak) to the grindstone, it appears!