Tech Life, Writing Misery has been used

Chaos Complete

The new design is officially live and in the wild. Whew.

Briefly, I had four design goals going into this redesign.

First, I wanted to remove the sense of linear time from the site. While this is certainly a weblog, I want to give visitors every chance to find entries/essays which were published awhile ago, but are still relevant. The new toolbar makes sections of quality content very accessible. It’s also orange… which rocks.

Second, I wanted to remind everyone that words are paramount on this site. I really wanted to include Flickr integration or any number of other visual elements in the design, but I write words. If I’m going to be successful, it’ll be in words. The new BIG FAT headline (which is only used on the first article of the front page) is a tip of the hat to both words and to newspaper headlines… which I also love.

Third, I wanted to give visitors more reasons to return to the front page. I’ve added a Popular section which lists what I consider to be the ten best articles on the site. I’ve added a links section which uses my del.icio.us as a back end — it’s updated hourly. I’ve also added a recently commented section which lists articles that are currently generating buzz on the site.

Fourth, and lastly, I want to fix a pet peeve of mine… the archives page. In three prior designs, I’ve done the absolute minimum with this page, so I spent a good amount of time thinking about what was actually useful about an archive page and tried to design to that idea. The result isn’t fancy, but it’s nice and clean. Oh yeah, it’s also a linear timeline which, yes, is a direct contradiction to goal #1. Oh well.

I’ve got more to say about the tools I used for this redesign, I also have some thoughts on what doesn’t work in the design… and design ideas I had to abandon for various reasons. For now, I’d like to hear your feedback as well as any problems you see. I’ve tested this design on good many browsers/platforms… I’ve also bowed repeatedly before the validation gods and they’ve let me live… so far.

Thanks for reading.

19 Responses

  1. Looks good so far.

  2. well, comments are working — that’s a start

  3. OtisMcGrover 12 years ago

    Nice. Very clean and professional. After a brief moment of doubt, I think I like the orange. One oddity I encountered: the “about” page hasn’t received the new look yet.

  4. steph 12 years ago

    Is that your picture up there? I like the beard.

  5. Klaatu 12 years ago

    “The more I look at it,

    the more I like it.

    I do think it’s good.

    The fact is..

    no matter how closely I study it,

    no matter how I take it apart,

    no matter how I break it down,

    It remains consistant.

    I wish you were here to see it.

    I like it.”

    -King Crimson, Indiscipline

  6. My only gripe about the layout (and it’s a small one) is that the layout keeps going after the content stops at the bottom of the page.. Also it’d be nice to see the orange used a little more in the body.

  7. Nice. Very nice. I’ve been thinking (just thinking, given my apparent lack of time and energy, not to mention talent and skill) about a redo of my own blog/site in a way that would integrate but still separate my biz stuff from my life stuff. Your layout inspires and informs further thinking 😉 about that.

  8. I really do like this design, bro. The big headlines are easily my favorite design change but I’m excited to start digging around to see what else I can find.

  9. You probably meant you bowed repeated*ly* before the validation gods. You’re missing a single alt text (kind of a remarkable thing to be missing).

  10. I dig it. It was time for a change.

  11. Jan-H 12 years ago

    Orange is good for you. Good job.

  12. Very nice. Standard web-log-y-ness with a few distinct features like the big headlines.

  13. Christo 12 years ago

    The new color is saffron, not orange!

  14. I love it. I especially like the idea of moving away from a chronologically-based content hierarchy. I think that too often we use whatever default settings exist in our blog software – like date-based entries – irrespective of their relevance. Nice job breaking the mold.

    And it looks fantastic.

    Did I just say “chronologically-based content hierarchy”? Someone shoot me.

  15. Nice. Only bug I see is the page not ending when the page… ends. Might be an IE bug, but I think somebody already mentioned it above.

    The orange really does work for you. I also like the general newspaper feel. Very comfortable to read. I find the subtitle above the title to be a bit confusing, but I obviously wasn’t *too* confused (I did figure out what was happening)

  16. My reaction when I first saw it was wow. I like the top banner.

  17. PeterL 12 years ago

    Nice. The little URL icon (whatever its called) is still blue a la the old design.

  18. The favicon is actually updated for the new site. I haven’t figured out why, but browsers tend to aggressively cache this sucker.

    It’s here: http://www.randsinrepose.com/favicon.ico

  19. Pretty sweet, man. Nice colours, elegant layout. The only thing I’m not sure about is the Times Roman with -1px letter-spacing for the h4 headlines…. Maybe it looks better on a Mac, but on the PC it looks too dense in places, yet too spaced out in others. In the “Use Your Misery” headline, for instance, the Y and the o are hardly kerned at all, while other characters are starting to run together at the default zoom level. I suppose that’s just the way Times goes, though…

    Anyway, nice one!