Kaizening the Lean Blog


Updated: Changed the title to better reflect what the comments have turned into — general ideas for improving the blog. Thanks for your feedback!

Reader feedback time — I just changed this back so comments (reading and entering) are done in a pop-up window, instead of loading a new page.

Anyone have a strong preference one way or another?

While I'm opening the door for reader/customer feedback — any other formatting, page layout, structure issues I should work on to make reading my blog easier for you?

Updated: I took Marc D.'s suggestion and changed the format where the main “headline” now links to the “permalink” for each post. Previously, that went to the article I was linking to and commenting on, but that link will always appear directly below the headline for your clicking.

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Mark Graban
Mark Graban is an internationally-recognized consultant, author, and professional speaker, and podcaster with experience in healthcare, manufacturing, and startups. Mark's new book is The Mistakes That Make Us: Cultivating a Culture of Learning and Innovation. He is also the author of Measures of Success: React Less, Lead Better, Improve More, the Shingo Award-winning books Lean Hospitals and Healthcare Kaizen, and the anthology Practicing Lean. Mark is also a Senior Advisor to the technology company KaiNexus.


  1. I like the comments as a pop up window, so that was a good change.

    Also, there are times when I come to the blog looking for specific subjects and information. You do a great job of adding labels, but unless I am missing it, there is no location to see a list of the labels that links to the articles for the labels.

    Did that make sense?

  2. I prefer the pop up windows as well, but I’m a newcomer so take that with a grain of salt.

    I think matt is essentially asking for a tag cloud. Well, I think he’s asking for a list of labels, but why not make it a tag cloud, it’d be a fun and easy way to see what your favorite topics are (if a little froofy).

  3. The list of links not being there — I’m on the “old” version of the Blogger platform (for a number of reasons). The new version platform (which I’m thinking of switching to) offers that as a feature.

    I think I can add a 3rd party “cloud” as a standalone for the side column – any recommendations?

    There’s the search box in the upper left and a google custom search at the bottom of the main column that can help find old posts. I apologize for the archives being somewhat tough to navigate, I’ll try to improve that.

  4. J – thanks for the link. I deleted the comment because long links mess up my formatting on the main page (a problem with blogger… maybe I should switch to wordpress like everyone else).

  5. I’ll remember that and use tinyurl in the future. :)

    WordPress comes with built in tagging features – but, I don’t know, I’m a fan of blogger.

  6. J – tinyURL is great, or you can use HTML hyperlink code (a href) if you know that, when posting links.

    Welcome to the blog, I hope you’ll keep commenting.

    I think I’m going to use “zoomclouds,” as I had that on here once before. I hope that helps folks.

    Blogger is OK… eventhough I think about switching, I’m pretty locked into blogger after 3 years and so many posts. So switching platforms probably isn’t the best VA use of my time.

  7. Mark, I think it would be great if $5 were automatically deposited in my bank account every time I submitted a comment. Prob’ly not gonna happen, though, is it? Just kidding, I like the new pop-up style, too.

  8. As a freelance web developer, here are my observations for improvement.

    1) Re asses the need to have “Previous Posts” in the sidebar. The current setup is a bit odd as the sidebar only shows the previous 10 posts, but the front page shows twelve. Other blogs have used the sidebar to show “Page 2” articles or “Popular posts” to reduce the need to view the next page.

    2) Article titles not linking to the Lean Blog article entry. This is frustrating to me because the behavior of this item is not consistent with other blogs I visit. When I am viewing a post, I am accustomed to clicking on the post title, and having it go to a page with only that post, and its respective url. This easily allows me to copy the link or email it to others. Sure the Permalink is there, but the difference in behavior is where the confusion is.

    3) The link to the main blog page at the end of every post is odd, mainly because if you are viewing a post, many people are used to clicking on an upper image/banner/logo to return to the home page.

    4) If using Digg to help spread awareness, work it into the template for each post, so that specific articles can easily be submitted.

    There are a lot of little tweaks and changes that could be made to speed up the blog, but these are only my opinions. I would seek the input of more blog readers to best organize the display of information.

    Love the blog!

  9. Marc D. – thanks for your suggestion. I already implemented #2 in your list. Thanks!

    For #3 – those links are there for the sites that take and republish the RSS feed. The links are superfluous if you’re on the site, but I don’t want people taking my RSS content without attribution and this was the best way I could figure out to do that.

  10. The headline change was a great change. On the pop-up issue I actually think the pop-up is better usability (it is one of the few good uses of a pop-up window).

    The problem is many people have pop-up blockers setup on their browsers. And a significant number of those users can’t figure out that it is being blocked. Now maybe your users all can, in which case that wouldn’t matter :-)

  11. I like when the comment form is on the same page as the comments. That is, not in a pop up or on a new page.

    I’ve mentioned it before, but I wish the comments rss feed titles showed the post title so I could tell which post the comment relates to.

    So my suggestion is to switch to WordPress like everyone else. That will take care of both of those problems.

    Thanks and keep up the good work.

  12. The “recent posts” is redundant if you’re reading the main page, but for someone who has come to a single post page via google), I think it does add some value, so I’ll keep it.

    I am also tweaking the top banner to hopefully be a bit cleaner and less cluttery than the old graphics. The new banner has rotating lean quotes that I might update from time to time.


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