Last weekend I’d decided that I’d had enough with my site’s old design. Although fairly young as all things Internet go (the site dates back to 2008, the design from only 2010), it felt cluttered, occasionally ill-considered, and entirely too much in places like a default WordPress installation.
There was also a Moby Dick quote about a cannibal floating in the sidebar that had gone past its expiration date.
So I had two choices: Turn the site into something for the cannibal whaler community, or open a text editor and get cracking at some new CSS and markup.
About fifteen minutes after sketching some prototypes for blubberandlongpig.com I decided I’d made the wrong choice and went for the redesign option.
I had three basic goals:
1. Reduce the site’s clutter, making it as minimal of a design as I could feasibly manage while preparing for future site features.
2. Make it feel a little more grown-up than the last version. Which is admittedly a funny thing to want from a website featuring a comic squirrel.
3. Make it easy and pleasant to read.
In the end, I’d like to think I’ve managed to capture that. At Mindfly my position involves more coding than pixel-pushing, with the designs I’m working on coming from very talented designer co-workers (my design philosophy seems to be “use the color green” which has its limits). As such, I don’t usually “design” often. In the end, if you were to ask me why I made any choice here, I’d say “Because it looked nice to me.”
There’s still some work that needs to be done. The about page hasn’t been restyled entirely yet (and its content is bound to see some major changes) and comments are a work in progress. I’m planning to replace the old captcha with something less invasive like a honeypot.
Still, I’m rather proud of it. It’s not a responsive or flexible design, but it loads decently in the iPhone and seems to fit well for most monitors. I’m planning on doing some testing to see if I need to add some better support for other small screens and devices (in which case media queries would definitely come in handy.)
I hope you like it.
If any Herman Melville enthusiasts think I missed the boat by passing on that Queequeg fan site, feel free to let me know. For the rest of you, I’d love it if you share any opinions you may have about the new look.