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A new design for - again

Posted on 9/10/06 by Felix Geisendörfer

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As I already mentioned in one of my previous posts, I decided to work on a new design for this blog again. Even so I liked my previous atempt, I found it was to agressive and didn't focus on the most important thing - content. So since two sites that I really like in terms of providing an elegant design while making the content stand out are A List Apart and Robert's talk, I decided to steal err take inspiration from both.

The result is a cute squirrel that is going to look over the articles I'll write in future. Hopefuly it will catch some spelling errors for me ; ). If you wonder why I decided to pick a squirrel: they are my favourite animals. To an American that is probably going to sound rather odd since they are all over the place, but here in Germany we have very few of those cute animals left over and I liked them since I was a child. So please don't bring up any rat jokes ... ^^.

Anyway, I would be happy if you guys would take a look at this early draft and let me know what you think and where improvements should be made.

--Felix Geisendörfer aka the_undefined


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jtreglos  said on Oct 09, 2006:

I like it ! I find this new layout much easier to read than the actual one (but maybe this is because of the absence of ads...). Very restful color scheme too. Good work !

Daniel Hofstetter said on Oct 09, 2006:

Yes, it looks good. But it is too bad that you cut off the squirrel ;-)

Felix Geisendörfer said on Oct 09, 2006:

I'm glad you like it jtreglos. Well the ad layout is going to change. Most likely I'll start to rotate between different layouts with the option of assigning individual ad layouts / post. But since I'll also go back to full RSS, you won't have to come here any longer if you don't want to. However, the squirrel is going to miss you ; ).

dhofset: What do you mean with cut off? You see more of the squirrel/image as your browser width increases ; ).

m3nt0r said on Oct 09, 2006:

I dont like the squirell, but everything else (colors, layout, navigation) is very cool. I would like the see the php elephant instead ^^ .. but what the hell do i know.. hehe.. Don't hestitate.. get it online already! It's fine how it is :)

Daniel Hofstetter said on Oct 09, 2006:

Well, the feet of the squirrel are not visible.

Felix Geisendörfer said on Oct 09, 2006:

Daniel: Uhm, the squirrel has to be blamed for that one. It was hiding in a box. So since it sort of looks like a balkony when cut out, I decided to take it for the right column. That's how the whole shot looks like:

Walker Hamilton said on Oct 09, 2006:

That's awesome. I like the new one alot!

Dieter@be  said on Oct 09, 2006:

I think your current layout is nicer then both your early (blue-ish) draft and your new squirrel one
The combination of "fresh" (light green & orange) colors on a less-is-more themed (did i say theme? i meant empty white page without decoration except for the green bars at the top and bottom ;-) page is the near-perfect (really!) solution for me.

Also pictures like the squirrel draw my attention (away from the content)... (remember i complained about that too when you introduced the graphical ads ;-)

also, i don't like the brown color of the image and of the icons on the right, it feels like going back in time

in fact, i think your whole right-block looks like a layout from the nineties :) i like the menu on top though, also your post-title looks very pixeled

... just give me some variable to pass in the url that gives me this layout and i'm happy :-)

Felix Geisendörfer said on Oct 09, 2006:

Dieter@be: I'm sorry you don't like the layout, but there is going to be no way to escape the mighty squirrel. Well no way to keep the green layout that is. I could offer to provide a squirrel-less layout where the navigation jumps right on top, but the general style will stay.

About your other comments:
- The post title should not be pixelated, maybe you don't have "Helvetica" installed - I don't have specified some fall back fonts yet.

- about going back in time: yes this design looks very retro-ish, but to me in a good way. Probably a matter of personal preference and nothing I could fix very easily ; ).

Anwyway, I hope you'll get along with it somehow and it will still be a while until the new blog is coded, so don't run away quite yet ; ).

Mladen Mihajlovic said on Oct 09, 2006:

I agree. I think the current layout is best. Keep it!

Walker Hamilton said on Oct 09, 2006:

The title could be pixelated if he's on a windows machine and does not have ClearType rendering turned all font look pretty much the same (terrible) when that hasn't been turned on.

sosa said on Oct 09, 2006:

Wow, this new layout is way better, I dig it, but I don't like that color palette because looks a little monochromatic and boring, maybe you need an accent color.

automagically  said on Oct 10, 2006:

I think your writing style is more fun and creative that the serious look of this new theme. Then again, I'm one of those people who likes the web 2.0 pastel happy color style, so what do I know! I would make the squirrel something like this, but less girly: (not mine, a friend drew it!)

And the picture would change, like on holidays, the squirrel might be wearing a Santa Claus hat or sitting on a pumpkin. Also, perhaps add a logo in the top left, it helps to find the menu. I almost missed the menu, thinking they were ads. Beware the squirrels, muwahahaha!

Felix Geisendörfer said on Oct 10, 2006:

Hmm, I like the serious look but I'm willing to give it a little color bust like sosa suggested. Unfortunatly I took the squirrel picture in B & W so I'll have to try some manual coloring. However, creating a comic squirrel is out of my reach, I'm just a programmer with some designing ambitions and no graphic artist after all ; ).

Tom said on Oct 10, 2006:

To be honest felix, i'll come here no matter what pictures and ad's are displayed, i wanna read content. If I wanna watch something cute - I'll watch my gf ;)

So, do whatever you want, it's ok for me ;)

Felix Geisendörfer said on Oct 10, 2006:

Tom: You've gotta be my most loyal reader I think. Let me know when your birthday is, and I'll do a happy birthday post for you ; ).

sole said on Oct 11, 2006:

Yeah, the squirrel one is better. The other proposal didn't look nice to me. In fact (sorry) it looked quite horrible with that title with impact-like fonts, and the diagonal stripes were totally out of place and context.

This one is more relaxing to read, so I would give my vote to the squirrel. Also you could even do an icon to have some kind of little squirrel everywhere. Like the miniicon, it's recognizable everywhere. Am I clear? if not just ask :)

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