Development

New Website

I’ve been meaning to redesign my website for awhile now. I’ve played around with a few designs before finally sitting down over the holidays to bang out the website you see before you now. This redesign has been long overdue, to say the least.

There are so many inspiring blog designs I’ve looked at over the past two years, and every time I stumble on one, I think “Oh, I want my website to look like that.” I obviously don’t have the time to redesign a wordpress theme every time I see something new, so I created some goals for my site.

Goals:

  • To use elegant, readable  typography.
  • To have a clean design that doesn’t detract from the photos I post.
  • To experiment with CSS 3.0 techniques.
  • To make better use of my sidebar and footer.

Elegant Typography

Recently, I read The Elements of Typography by Robert Bringhurt. It lists, in excruciating detail, every proper rule written about typography. Much of the book is written for print, but most concepts such as a reasonable line length and the golden rule are very relatable to web. Typography-wise, the book itself is a pleasure to read and very helpful if you work in design.

Emphasize the Photos

One of the best things about digital photography is the ease in which you can post your photos to the web. Many of the design elements of my old site (such as the faux wood background and image borders) seemed to detract from the photography. Simplifying the design and keeping the page clean creates more emphasis for the photo.

Pyramid beer selection

More photo emphasis, less filling.

CSS 3.0 techniques

After reading Andy Clark’s Five CSS design browser differences I can live with, I’ve been itching to try out some of the techniques he writes about, including CSS pseudo elements and the border radius property. I can’t wait until all browsers support these features.

Making better use of my side bar and footer

Looking at my Google Analytics, it seems most people who visit my site don’t pay much attention to my blog navigation. More commonly, they click on my flickr badge to see my most recent photos or use the previous/next links to navigate page by page. I moved my blog navigation to the footer to make room for more photos in the flickr badge and emphasized the previous/next buttons at the bottom of the page. This should better support my visitors browsing habits. And no, I don’t mind if visitor are leaving my website to look at my flickr page.

So that’s about it. I’m pretty excited about this current design, but I still have a few tweaks to do. I would love to know what you think about it, so please leave me a comment below.

Barack Obama & Social Media

Another Park&Co blog post from yours truly.

What a refreshing step in communication to the public. By creating content that works with the social media model, he’s [Obama] allowing users to do what they will with his content. They can openly embed, share and contribute uncensored criticism to the content he puts forward, just as social media does with other content. It’s an openness that I appreciate, and one that I’m not used to seeing from the office of the President.

Barack Obama & Social Media

Browser Backlash

It’s about a month old, but here’s my Park&Co blog post on how websites do not have to look the same in every browser. If you’re interested in web development, give it a read.

Unlike other media, in web work we have no control over the end user’s environment, which ultimately determines how the website will render. We can’t control the font size you use. We can’t control your screen size. Most of all, we can’t control the browser you use, let alone which version of that browser.

Browser Backlash