Planning a Community Redesign (After Having the Same Design for More Than a Decade)

Chris BowyerIt can be a big challenge to redesign an online community. Our members visit on a regular basis, and they become accustomed to how things look and where they’re located. To the point where they can become resistant to change.

Chris Bowyer has managed for almost 16 years. After using the same design for more than a decade, they launched a comprehensive redesign that the community embraced. On this episode, we walk through the steps he took to achieve a successful launch and the unique experiences you gain when you manage a community for so long, plus:

  • Could you see yourself managing the same community for 30 years?
  • The right way to do self-moderation
  • Community culture and how quickly it forms

Big Quotes

“Whatever a community is, it becomes more of. If it’s filled with thoughtful people, it attracts more thoughtful people. If it’s filled with vulgar or combative people, it will attract more people just like that.” -@chrisabowyer

“You and I, we’re not Facebook. We’re not these conglomerates, so we have to think differently. We have to figure out, what is it that I can do that they can’t, that’s interesting? What does my size and flexibility allow me to do that they never could?” -@chrisabowyer

“The best [form of] moderation is one that slowly creates a culture where people don’t want to break the rules. Because if they do, you’ve already lost.” -@chrisabowyer

“The single best tool you have, as a moderator, is a personal relationship with [your members], so that they want to help you moderate. They want to make your job as a moderator easier. There’s just no better way. No spam tool in the world, no CAPTCHA, nothing is going to be more useful than that.” -@chrisabowyer

About Chris Bowyer

Chris Bowyer is a web developer and television producer, who’s been building communities for 16 years. He is the owner of, which has around 1.5 million posts.

Related Links

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