Astheria.com is now an archive and is no longer updated, you can find new writings at kylemeyer.com →


04 13 2008
Please Enjoy

About the Redesign

This redesign was sparked by quite a few things. But what truly set it off was coming across a post on Greg Storey’s Airbag. To summarize, he writes about a moment of nostalgia of the pre-web 2.0 era; back when the visual differences between sites were vast and everyone worked to be unique in some way or another.

I absolutely loved reading the post (even though it is from 2006) and decided to push Astheria.com to be a little different from other blogs. Fortunately, this sat pretty well with me since I wanted to pull the articles out of the mess of lesser posts anyway. This makes things a little different on its own but I hope it will drastically improve the findability of what most people are going to care about. There are no longer sections for metadata or categories, and the archives are a bit radical. It’s still a blog, it still has a relatively conservative layout, but it’s a step in the right direction I think.

I have some interesting thoughts regarding the use of human computation and blogs that I didn’t have time to address in depth, and that’s something I’ll be working on behind the scenes for a while. Look for it in the future.

A Work in Progress

For now, I’m still working on tweaking and fixing for different browsers, but I’d love some feedback. It’s going to take a good bit of polish to bring this to the level of the previous design.

Thirty-nine

Responses

  1. I really like the redesign. The color scheme is great and I love the overall feel. Then again, if I didn’t like it I would’ve told you about it while you were still in the designing stage. That said, I really do dig the design and look forward to trying to break it in various browsers for the next week.

  2. Lovin’ it, nice work.; especially the archives.

    I’d prefer the date (next to the title) be right aligned with the rest of the page, but I’ll survive.

  3. I only stumbled across your site yesterday, and the last design’s what really caught my attention! I’ll miss it.

    However, I like that you’ve added more colour, and made the text more legible.

    Small quibble: the layout is a bit too wide for my laptop screen (i.e. horizontal scroll bar). But like Guy, I’ll survive. Great work.

  4. Digging the new design, especially the gigantic header size. The distance-time metaphor in your archives is totally rad.

    It’ll be interesting to see if your “Related Reading” list for each post will compensate for your omission of the metadata/categories sections.

    If you don’t mind sharing, I’d like to know the reasoning behind the arrangement of plus signs on the right side of the screen. Thanks.

  5. Fantastic stuff Kyle! I really like it, very fresh, and the archives page is very nice. How did you get it to space between posts so it shows the length of time?

  6. The first design was so inspiring and i have to say this one is even more ;)
    Very clean and fresh, good work!

  7. Wow, great job, Kyle. Everything looks great—the grid, the typography, the subtle background—it all works. Congrats on the new design.

  8. I’m totally a fan !
    I liked the idea of dropping donw unnecessary information (such meta datas) and focusing on the most important thing wich is content !

    Good job :)

  9. Nice redesign, although I can’t say I’m a fan of the plus signs in the background. That time/length metaphor of yours is one I may very well steal — in an original presentation, of course.

  10. Going to keep this short and sweet: love it.

  11. Thanks everyone.

    @Yvonne: Can I ask what resolution you’re using? I made sure to fit it within 1024x768 but I’m sure I could squeeze a little more out with some adjustments. My Mint stats showed that less than 1% of viewers were using something lower than 1024 though.

    @Dickson: At the moment it’s just a random pattern I cut out for some visual interest. The reason for having the pattern there is to help guide the eye to focus on just the content. If you have a high res screen (1280x1024 or higher) and you turn off the background image you’ll see what I mean. I also think it works well to compliment the rag on the right hand side of the column.

    @Phil: I plan on writing some sort of brief post on how to achieve a similar affect for time spacing. It’s really not that hard, and the first draft of the code to do it was super simple. Then came bullet proofing it and it got a bit more complex…

  12. @Kyle: Looking forward to it!

  13. Nice one. I love these somewhat minimal and typography based designs. Opinion though. You might not call it typography based, or something. :)

    Keep up the good work, got the feed so I’ll be all set for new stuff. ;)

  14. Too wide.

    Desktop resolution is mostly irrelevant. If everyone had desktop resolutions of 2400px, would you design to 2300px?

    Mine’s 1680px wide.

    My browser is sized to display 960px websites without a horizontal scrollbar. It works for 99.99999% of the sites I visit, 10-20 of which are design-related.

    This just became one of the 00.0000001%

    And continuing the honesty, the redesign post appearing in my RSS feed only made me say, “Wait, why am I subscribed to this feed? Who is this? When did I subscribe to this? There sure isn’t any content on even a bi-weekly basis.”

  15. @John: I’m seeing the scrollbar you mention as well. The site is designed to be 842 pixels wide, and this is just a bug that I’m looking to squash.

    As for content updates, this is just a personal blog of observations and commentary. Unlike sites that publish content daily, there are no ads here, I do this in my spare time for the love of the industry and a passion for design and interactive. I would absolutely love to write multiple times daily, but unfortunately that’s not a financial possibility for me. Part of the reason for this redesign was to split articles and posts apart to allow for more frequent updates, which will be beginning this week now that the design has gone live.

    Thanks for your commentary.

  16. Sorry for jumping on this so late, mate - an afternoon out means I’ve only just seen this. Anyway, it looks fantastic. Even better than the work-in-progress grabs were promising! Sterling stuff, as always. :)

  17. @Elliot: No worries. I’ll catch up with you on IM later!

  18. It looks good, and it’s nice to see the avatars and green headers bringing a bit of color to the place, on top of the minimalism.

    The only thing I’m not so sure about is how the content on the homepage is in a different location to the content in an article page. It sort of…jumps? It might just take a bit of getting used to, but was there a reason you did things that way?

    Any way, great work overall. :)

  19. New setup looks really nice. Not entirely sure about the Please Enjoy on the top of evert posts. I like it, but I don’t at the same time. The colors look great and I love the new Archives set up.

  20. Yes the new design is indeed nice.
    But your previous design was very unique in the usage of fonts and only 2 colors. The new design has a color combination similar to http://www.markboulton.co.uk/.
    Anyways its a good design, but I will be expecting a more unique design in your next redesign.

  21. Jseen, when you mentioned similar colors here’s another one ;)
     http://stylizedweb.com/2008/02/11/clarity-wp-theme/

  22. looks good man. love the clean look.

  23. @Jseen, Dejan

    If everyone was limited to colors that aren’t used in other designs… well, that just wouldn’t be practical at all. The application of color is more important than color itself, in my opinion.

    That being said, I think I prefer the magenta over the slate green, simply because I think it compliments the layout better

  24. The redesign is sweet, but didn’t the old design have tweets on it?

  25. @Jseen, @Dejan: It’s funny you mention that, as I was in the process of changing the colors last evening, and put up the current one this morning. The green was a bit of a spur of the moment decision for me after having the current magenta in the design since the beginning. So I’ve restored the rightful color for the design. :)

    @martin: Yes, the old one did have integrated tweets but I found them to be unnecessary, as they weren’t fulfilling the purpose I had originally included them for (as a link feed).

  26. Just spotted a bit of a usability problem, Kyle. Although you stick to the grid, the menu up top changes position (horizontally) when you go from the main page to any other page (about, archive, permalink).

    You do know that T-Mobile owns the color magenta, right? I hope you got permission. ;)

  27. @Joey: The nav shift is something that I’m still stressing over. I agree that navigation should never move if possible. The reason it currently moves is intentional, in order to keep it aligned to the grid in a more aesthetically pleasing fashion. However, it also has another drawback of adding more movement between page loads which I’m not a fan of. Thanks for bringing it up though, I know I’m not alone. :)

    I do love T-Mobile’s branding, it’s very well done. And in fact, some of the logic behind their choice of the color is similar to mine. It stands out from the competition and helps separate the visual picture people associate with it.

  28. Good stuff, I love the redesign. How about releasing the old theme for free? :)

  29. @Razvan: Thanks for the compliment. As for releasing the theme, I don’t plan on it. It received a bit of attention and I’d like to keep it exclusive as a portfolio piece rather than it being duplicated across the web, which would reduce it’s value in a portfolio.

    I wouldn’t rule out me creating a free WordPress theme someday, but given the lack of sleep I already suffer from currently, I wouldn’t say it would be soon. :)

  30. Kyle, great job! You’ve kept the key distinctive elements and thrown away the restrictions.

    I love the use of colour. I love everything about the headings. The meaning and purpose of the content is going to have a hard time slipping into irrelevance — at the same time by the sheer size and colour+weight contrast they give an immediate distinction between pages, no mean feat for a pure text. Nice nice nice.

    Keep up the great work.

  31. Looks very good, I am glad to see another person out there that loves typographically driven Web sites that line up to the grid. I am assuming this lines up to the grid, since I am seeing a recurring padding from the gravatar to the comment author text, that also lines up to this comment box. I like it!

  32. Looks very nice. Well done Kyle.

  33. I love it :-)

  34. Wow, I love this site. It really focusses on the content - which is a great read too. I sure spend one saturday morning reading your articles.

    Just a few notes:
    - for me the font size for the content is too small, I read your articles with a ‘ctrl-+’
    - the gray as fontcolor for content is maybe a bit too light. Could be a LCD problem only
    - a centered alignment could take away the need for the pattern of plus symbols
    - right now on your homepage the big title explains you recently wrote some pretty powerful design books. Where I can I buy these? ;-)

  35. Hi there,

    I’ve just visited your website following some link on a typography oriented blog. I really love your design but I have to make a bug report :)

    I’m on macosx, using Safari and Firefox (both latest stable versions); my browser’s window are typically 1024x768 but occasionally I resize them to 800x600. Well using them at the lower size your website leaves out a lot of content from the right side and the browsers do not get the typical scrollbar. I can provide you some screenshot, but I guess it’s easily reproducible.

    Now off to read some old article I go.

  36. @Andreas: Thanks for pointing out that bug! While I was aware of it, I couldn’t figure out what was causing it so I used a bit of a hack to suppress the issue for the time being; which resulted in the lack of a horizontal scrollbar.

    I did find and remedy the bug now, it turns out some nested list elements were inheriting a width that was too wide but the links inside of them were wrapping appropriately, providing no clues for me.

    Cheers!

  37. Looks sick with Gotham. Beautiful work!