The shape of things to come?

Technically, today begins the 7th calendar year of this website’s existence. Which is abundantly surreal, actually. And, as insignificant as that first sentence may be (read: is), I’m marking this anniversary by launching the site’s 3rd official re-design. Bam (that was a not so subtle hint to those who have stumbled on my words in a feed reader, say, to get on a modern web browser and see what I’m talking about)!

And so the current iteration of this blog, rather obviously, leaves the former behind. My point, while my former “skin” was extremely stale (I’d argue, if not right out of the gates, very soon after), it served me very well. Exceptionally well, in fact. Farewell my old friend. It’s been a blast! But, if I might be frank, it didn’t really meet with as many of the design objectives as I’d have liked (way more on that than is even remotely called for in a bit).

And now we have this effort. It entailed much more than a reshuffling for appearance’s sake. It was a complete re-development from the ground up. HTML, CSS, PHP, Javascript, plus some neat little WordPress optimization tricks (does this site seem a tad snappier?) thrown in, for good measure. Or, in other words, I ripped it all out, and started fresh.

With more, of everything, still to come…

As for what I wrote above might lead you to believe, it’s true, I wasn’t entirely satisfied with the previous effort (not that this one is any better, or even finished, for that matter). It employed a pretty big accessibility no-no. Or what I knew was not recommended. But I went ahead with it regardless. That being light text on a dark background. I did, however, give a reader the option to opt out via an inverse colour scheme, being dark text on a light background, but the design lost something in translation, in my eyes. Plus it turned out to be harsher feeling on my eyes. I’ve since come to read — while developing this effort in fact — why that seemed to be. “You want the light being emitted from your screen similar to the rooms lighting environment.” And I tend to work in a dark space, hence the abundance of white overpowered my visual senses. Makes sense to me. Give that post a read, it’s very interesting. I digress.

However, I was convinced, the old design, communicated much of what I wanted to say at the time. Yet, as I said, giving a reader the option to opt out. But now, semantically speaking — through the magic of CSS3s border image property, specifically — it’s possible to have the torn edges display on either side of what you’re looking at and still have it “work properly” — which, oddly enough, is much more inline (read: exactly) with what I was originally intending this site to be.

Content is king, right? Well that is what I tried my best to provide, last time, but this time around, especially. Clean and readable access to my writing. All with help, this time, from a few powerful and very exciting solutions, namely Modernizr and Typekit. Just to name two of a few.

So, in closing, a lot of the above will mean next to nothing for most of you, but this stuff, when I figure it out of course, really turns my crank (so you know). And I’m delightfully encouraged over the shape of things to come, both concerning my writing and designing. Here’s to wishing you and “yours” an exciting and wondrous year ahead!