April 24, 2005 (Style Guide):
I used the structure from the previous redesign for the third revision to the site. When you compare the two, you can see the similarities. Still, I felt this redesign made the site much more readable.
Fonts and spacing. I look back at prior designs and just cringe. How in the world would any want to read the weblog with headlines shoved next to content. Yuck.
The big R. I really liked the R logo. Returning readers might've noticed I varied the background over the year and a half. I will miss the R in the new design although it lives on in the favicon for the new design.
What didn't work:
I continue to pay a tax for poor CSS design. While the site looks fine, the maintenance of the site is much harder than it need to be. This tax continue in the latest design. My layout needs a complete CSS re-do.
The right bar having no right border was supposed to look "artsy". It looked lame.
The archives page continued to be a study in lazy simplicity.
December 30, 2003:
I really was proud of the first major revision of RinR. I cleaned up the mess from the first version and created a design that scaled nicely as new ideas showed up.
Until the last six months of the 2003, I really liked the layout of this version of the site. It was clean and readable. As I added new RSS content to the right sidebar, the appearance didn't appear to suffer.
What didn't work:
Under the hood, I tried to keep the HTML and CSS organized via templates. This fell flat on it's face during the initial design when I decided to continue to use table to organize the layout. Combined with a bizarre indentation scheme, this meant that I had table size information spread all over the place which limited the usefulness of a template strategy.
The content in the right sidebar looked just fine in Windows IE, but lacked on Mac OS X browsers. I initially tinkered with this a few months back and decided that a rewrite in CSS was necessary to get what I wanted.
Personally, I don't think the font and font size on this version of the site are that readable. This is partly due to the fact that I moved to Mac OS X and a flat panel monitor which significantly tweak my font viewage.
July 3rd, 2002:
This very first version of Rands in Repose was originally designed to be maintained by hand which meant that simplicity was an original design point. This was also my first foray into the use of CSS as a means of separation presentation from content. This separation was further beaten into me by moving the entire site into Movabletype roughly a month into the site's existence.
Well, I hit the simplicity nail on the head. The site is easy to read. To a fault.
Under the hood, I've got decent separation of content from CSS. This was a good learning experience for completely redoing the site.
What didn't work:
The toolbar at the top of the screen, I'm certain, confused the hell out of people. The new site uses text rather than icons for access to other parts of the site. I'm a fan of icons, but as my graphical artistic abilities are suspect, I'm at the mercy of the Microsoft's Webdings.
The design does not flow. There are three separate boxes (LOGO, NAVIGATION, CONTENT) which sit there staring at each other when they should be working together. Of particular egregiousness is the LOGO area which is painfully underused. Again, I fixed this by sticking in all sorts of toys into the new LOGO area of the new site.
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