New Design Done

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.

6 thoughts on “New Design Done

  1. I like it. Three quibbles:

    1) On my LCD screen, there’s not a lot of contrast between the main text section background and the adjoining columns. I’d bump the other columns a smidge darker to make it easier to read the main text — which is presumably of higher interest than navigating.

    2) Purely esthetic, it weirds me out that your headline ARGH is flush aligned with the olive background. I’d prefer to see it floating over a few extra pixels of space. (For that matter, it could stand to be larger. It’s kinda lost at the moment.)

    3) You gotta bring back the screaming man.


  2. Jeff: I’ll make some of those changes. I have to figure out the whole whitespace thing, because it is supposed to respect whitespace.

    Dan: Thanks for pointing out. It should be fixed now.


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