Blog design old and new

26 October, 2004

The current ‘design’ is actually just a sample layout I was putting together a year and a half ago and decided to test on my blog. And, as it turned out, that’s the way its stayed. Certainly not the intention!

So I need to design. Normally you’d expect people to say “redesign”, but that’s not what I’m actually starting from :). I’m powered by Blogger but I don’t think this actually restricts me in any way as all it’s doing is holding my content and pouring it into the container I provide (which can, of course, be PHP or JSP or anything)

It’s interesting to see just how widespread the vertical drop-shadow has become since the Blogger templates adopted it (of course it’s only in the templates because it was just picking up when they were written), and how used to it I’ve become – when I saw the first few blogs switch to vertical shadows I hated it, but it’s a reasonably effective and inoffensive way of bounding content. Not that I’ll be using it ;).

If used properly we all know that a dropshadow can add another dynamic to a website, but do you ever get that “copycat” feeling when you use them? I am sure it’s just an ego thing with me but I try to avoid them now because I know everyone has done them to death and I don’t want to be the guy that creates a site that everyone has seen before. I might just be paranoid though.

Jon Hicks’ recent redesign is worth talking about for several reasons. First of all, it’s open – a stark contrast to every other website, which is centred, fixed-width and bounded by vertical drop shadow borders (of course this is a sweeping, generalisation and hideously untrue, but it’s certainly the way it feels); next, despite the content being fixed width, it actually provides something extra to those with larger monitors by way of an image on the side of screen more of which is displayed the higher your resolution (a trick I first saw on Haiko Hebig’s site – check out the image in the top left). This is actually very important as it means Jon’s site actually fills the entire screen, no matter how large your resolution or monitor. It’s bright and airy, using colour very effectively. Compare and contrast with Paul Scrivens’ Whitespace.

It’s certainly food for thought, especially given that I can’t design for toffee. God knows when I’ll actually get around to it, too 🙂

See other posts tagged with general and all posts made in October 2004.