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notes on the redesign

posted by DL Byron on May 25, 2004

We've cleaned up all the lingering bugs (I think) and I just got a big chunk of a project I'm working on out the door (and approved!), so I finally have a chance to make some notes on the recent redesign.

Going in to the redesign Byron gave me a lot of creative latitude - just giving some broad goals, including:

  • Keep the column nav
  • New logo and banner - something dreeping like
  • Migration from a personal site to a more business oriented site
  • Possibly be more liquid

So, we didn't want anything drastically different - a refresh more than a total overhaul...


The big strategic shift was from a personal site (that evolved to serve business needs), to a site more focused on the business side of things (but that retains a personal touch). This was mostly done via the things that aren't immediately apparent when discussing visual design: tweaking the Information Architecture, editing content, etc.


The site is now liquid, so the main content area expands as the browser window grows. For those browsers with decent CSS support it caps out (via max-width) at 1050px.


By design, the image at the top of every page can be easily changed out. In fact, I tried of number of different images but I kept coming back to the clouds and that little plane. Something about the stark (almost abstract) nature of the photograph really seemed to work well, especially in an area that contains navigation and the company name. I have plenty of other photos that I like, but they seemed to fight with the other elements (or they didn't work at the required dimensions). So that image could very well change, as soon as we find one that we like better.


Byron has noted the prominence of what he has dubbed "baby blanket blue" - as previously noted, I found it to be a nice complement to the grey sky in the photo.

Like the image at the top of the page, the colors have been designed to be readily changed. While today is Baby Blanket Blue, green and orange, it might be something totally different next month. Or next week. Or whenever Byron feels the itch for a fresh look. The layout and code have been designed to accept such whimsical changes with little trouble.

The End

There more, or course (there's always more) - but I've gone on long enough.

If anyone has any thoughts or feedback I'd love to hear it.

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May 26  |  -b- said:

See a related post from Asterisk today The Risks Of Web Redesign http://www.7nights.com/asterisk/archives/therisksofwebredesign.php What drove our redesign is the shift to more business and less personal, but this site isn’t a commerical property. To me the design is temporal and we made it flexible enough to quickly change it if we need to.

Jun 10  |  Paul Ingram said:

-B- I really like the new design. Nice photo, but I wonder if it should be one in a series of random shots since it doesn’t seem to be tied to the brand, but rather a style of the brand. Thoughts?

The navigation is more useable than before. One column. Nice.

That shot of burnt orange in the logotype is nice. I almost want to see a little shot of that every once in a while to call attention to important or meaningful items.

That’s my initial 2cents.

Jun 10  |  benish said:

“…I wonder if it should be one in a series of random shots since it doesn’t seem to be tied to the brand, but rather a style of the brand.”

You are right on about the photo being in a style of the brand rather than the brand itself - changing it out is definitely something we’ve pondered and plan on doing in the future. You bring up a good point in that randomizing it will help reinforce the fact that it is not the end-all, be-all photo.

It’s just a matter of us finding time to find some other photos that work up there. We’ve been busy getting the re-design up, working on paying work, sending Clip-n-Seals around the world and prepping for some upcoming speaking gigs.

Jun 11  |  -b- said:

maybe it should be an animation that flys by with a plane sound! just kidding, no, Scott is right. We got a look down, built it out, and we’ll keep working with it.

Thanks for the comments.

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