As you can see, structurally the site isn’t that different from the previous version. But many of the existing design elements were tweaked to meet the new goals which I set for the site. These goals include:
- Updating more frequently. The addition of a tumbleblog allows for short, timely updates (every other day or so).
- Posting more pictures. I’ve always had a surplus of pictures – the addition of the Picture of the Day ensures a constant stream of tasty new photos.
- Focusing entries – free from having to cram three or four weeks worth of posting into one massive entry allows for concise and engaging entries without a ton of fluff.
Despite the structural similarities to the old blog, there are also some new design cues I’ve tried to incorporate, including:
- bigger fonts and more whitespace for an “airier” feel and increased readability
- less overall boxiness with more rounded corners
- a bright, bold colours palette set against lots of white
- simple, large shapes and suggestions of lines as opposed to overbuilt boxes within boxes
More information about the update in the rest of the article…
I put in a lot of work under the hood as well. A lot of time was spent on implementing ways of searching and visualizing content on the blog – I’ve been keeping it for nearly 6 years now – turns out that’s a ton of data! (and much more to come, now that I’ve streamlined the process). Some of the new ways readers have to sort through all of this include:
- an innovative metadata-powered photo livesearch in lieu of a traditional “gallery” – check it out!
- a robust and comprehensive site search that updates dynamically
- the ability to search through comments by date and author
- tagclouds, dynamically sortable graphs and other Web 2.0-ish visualisations
There’s lots of other random improvements here and there as well, including:
- lots of AJAX flash to cut down on page reloading times
- a sexy new links page
- a new, paper-friendly print stylesheet (click through to an entry, then try printing it)
Of course, things aren’t perfect. There’s still a lot of things I have to implement, fix and tweak before I’m happy with the site. For example:
- The entire moblog section has yet to be implemented (it will be up soon)
- The articles section has to be implemented, but will soon be filled out with lots of useful articles, reviews and how-tos.
- I’d like to add greater improvements for commenters and reader feedback including comment threading and avatars
- I’d like to offer more skins and styles to choose from
- Older articles transferred over from my very first site ever are still missing their pictures.
- Tons of other tweaks here and there, including the photo search, rss feeds and so on.
But that’s stuff for another day (or, at least, next week). There’s still some unfinished stuff here and there so kindly bare with me while I try to hack everything up and into place. Finally, while I started out keeping this site for myself, these days I’m trying to keep it as much for you, lovely readers. If there’s any feedback you might have to offer – good or bad, things you like, things you hate, features you would like to see implemented, please, please, please leave them in the comments (or drop me a line) and I will do what I can to make it happen.
But for now, gentle readers, here is the new site redesign for 2009. I hope you like it.
Now listening to: DJ Tatana – Spring Breeze (Martin Roth Summerstyle Remix)