8.0

equivocality 8.0 has arrived. Though arriving with little fanfare, I felt this design update was important enough to have it’s own entry.

8.0 is an evolution in the design of this blog. I wanted a layout where the information was presented with less clutter, while maintaining the minimalist feel. There’s a reason behind every margin, every line, every shade.

Wide load

The most prominent change from past designs is the move away from a single-column layout. I decided to go wide because the large blank spaces on the sides were bugging me. It’s rare for people to be running resolutions lower than 800×600 now anyway.

The right (main) column has been kept 480 pixels as before, but with meta data and other relevant information on the left. Dimensions for these two columns were somewhat based on the golden ratio.

Everything is aligned along these two columns. I don’t like vertical rules, so I’ve used content and varying-weighted horizontal rules throughout the body to define the edges.

The shelf

With Trolley’s generous assistance, a shelf for the archives has been implemented in the header. It’s still an extra click to get there, but no loading a separate page this time. The Scriptaculous effect continues to mesmerize me. Included is the search box for handiness. The shelf is broken in Opera, but I’m not too worried about that.

Icons and optimization

The field edit icon

Also updated are the icons, though my favourite one isn’t public; the administration editing icon only shows up when I’m logged in. I love that little text-entry field.

Much of the graphics are optimized to be in the same CSS sprite. This cut down my server requests from 16 to three for the most commonly used graphics, and as we all know, return server requests usually take the longest to load.

Twitter

I’ve also added my Twitter feed in a bar at the top, my first foray into the world of Web 2.0 (that lasted, unlike Facebook). Since I generally do long posts every other day, Twitter offers me the opportunity to update on the little things on a more frequent basis, as well as letting my friends know what I’m up to. The other option offered by Twitter is updating through SMS messaging or Twitterific for Mac OS, which is very handy.

no-WWW

Yes, the www. is deprecated. I’ve added an .htaccess rule that redirects all traffic to the domain with the superfluous prefix for consistency’s sake.

More content

A bottom bar has been added to provide space for more content. Related posts have been added to every entry since I have such a large body of work. There’s also a section for popular posts, a link for a random post (which I occasionally spend hours nostalgically clicking), and recent comments.

Screenshots

The field edit icon

The field edit icon

I’m in love

After much tweaking and playing around, things finally match up in IE 6, IE 7, Firefox, and Safari (though designing around Internet Explorer’s much-flawed box model still taunts my sensibilities). There are lots of floats to this layout, even floats within floats. I also used a little design trick of having the post title an extra pixel higher than the post meta title. This is because the horizontal rule is thicker above the post, which makes the title seem further away than it actually is. I’ve since become privy to the world of design, and how good designers trust their judgment instead of following the rules.

Yes, I’m in love with this layout. It’s probably the most satisfying one I’ve done, just because of how difficult it was to make a complicated structure look simple.

3 comments

  1. Love 8.0! I am a sucker for minimalistic designs, and I love this one very much. I wish you would release this as a WordPress theme someday. Great work!

  2. like the new layout, crisp and crystal clear. I do like facebook though, and since I’m not good at html coding and such, I’ll stick with it.
    the new look is good, though!

  3. @AsceticMonk — Thanks! Releasing this as a public WordPress theme is an idea I’ve flirted with many times, but I’d like to keep something that’s uniquely mine. Perhaps when version 9 comes out, I’ll do so.

    @amy — I deleted my Facebook account a couple of weeks ago. It wasn’t serving any purpose for me, since a blog offers much better control of communication.

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