Editor's Desk

Power in the Details

How do you like our new look?

[Note: This article refers to changes in the print issue. Slight design changes have been made to the Web site to reflect the print issue style, but the differences have been minimal.—Editor]

If you’ve met me, you know I’m no fashion queen. I still wear the same style of clothes I wore a decade ago—jeans and Hawaiian shirts—and my hair style only changes from long to short and back again, depending on how much time I have in my schedule to get it cut.

But one thing I do pay attention to is magazine style. There’s something satisfying about hitting the local rack to steal cool ideas from those publications with budgets 50 times ours and twist them to our own uses.

Yet, you have to be careful when you’re in charge of a magazine. The desire to tweak it with each issue is irresistible. Readers like their comfort. When I pick up my favorite publications, I like to know exactly what I’m going to find. And maybe that’s why magazine redesigns tend to be so dramatic when they finally happen. Editors and art directors stack up all their little changes and save them for the day when—surprise!—the magazine has a new look. I suppose the theory is that if we feed them to you all at once, you’ll be stunned into ready acceptance.

If you like this redesigned issue, thank our talented art director at [email protected]. Like me, Michele Seibert-Singh loves magazines. She enjoys working with artists to create that special combination of pictures, colors, type and layout that visually spell out “MCP Magazine.” Plus, thank our publisher Henry Allain ([email protected]), who pushed for the new look for business reasons. (These days, serious sells.) If you don’t like it, blame me. I held veto power over everything we’ve done.

First, we’ve moved our product and industry coverage up front. In the past 12 months, we’ve reviewed more than 300 third-party solutions, utilities, books and technology training tools among the pages of our magazine, Web sites and e-mail newsletters. We’ve brought those reviews up front. No, we don’t run a multi-million dollar testing lab. We rely on the expertise of people who use the equipment and software on the job and whose reviews share their experiences as honest-to-goodness humans managing the network.

Second, we’ve given a new look to the columns. If you’re trying to track down your favorite writers, not to worry—they’re still here; we’ve simply moved them to a dedicated column section.

Third, you’ll notice our covers look different. We hope you’ll see yourself reflected in the pictures of people like you that we choose each month. And we hope you’ll appreciate the minimalist approach to text. The fact is, we have enough confidence in your loyalty that we don’t believe we need to shout to get you to open the issue. You’ll also notice a new logo and a new tagline. Managing the Windows network is what you do and Microsoft is the company that makes it. That’s where the emphasis should be.

So how stunned are you? One thing that hasn’t changed is my e-mail address: [email protected].

About the Author

Dian L. Schaffhauser is a freelance writer based in Northern California.

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