To distract myself from peeking at Christmas gifts, I pushed ahead with a new design. You might need to refresh your browser, to see it.
From the start I decided to do it a little different. First I did a site map, figuring out how all of the content was laid out in my site. I figured out that a few sections were extraneous, so I excised them, and consolidated others.
Then I did a wireframe. I figured out that I wanted a 4 column layout. I wanted navigation to be a vertical list on the left. I wanted a side “ad” or high attention section like before. I also wanted a fixed layout. I need to brand on to my hands “You don’t design liquid layout sites that you yourself like” so I stop trying to do one.
Once all that was done I started working on a design. I started first by letting go of all of the previous colors in the site. Instead I looked for a pretty neutral palette. (I’ve been watching too many home flipping shows.) Once I had something I liked, I went back and added some color.
Finally, I decided on fonts, specifically, I picked Calibri to be the main font of the site. I know it’s a Vista font and most people don’t have it yet, so I’ve gone back and made sure it looks okay in Verdana and Helvetica. One thing I don’t like about Calibri is that it’s decidedly smaller at a given font-size than Verdana, or Arial. I’m sure someone who knows something about fonts could tell you exactly why. I am not that person.
Once the design was done, I found that I could do a few other things that I had wanted to do for a while:
- I incorporated Google Co-op powered search. Which is awesome if you haven’t played with it.
- I added my latest blog content to the static sub sections of my site. RSS rocks.
- Got the download footprint of the site to be next to nothing.
I have few other things left to do, like prune away all the old sections of the site, but for the most part I’m done.