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.