Design Refresh

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Chris Coyier on

It was time for another design refresh! The best part about this one, for me, was that all the work I did last time made this one very easy to do.

As usual, it’s not extremely drastic. Evolutionary, not revolutionary. The old one wasn’t bad, I just felt playing and improving where I could.

Feel free to critique. Good or bad, but try to keep it constructive.

Goals I tried to achieve:

  • The main navigation feels more connected to the site again. This was important to me as it was something that got a bit lost in the last design.
  • I wanted to emphasize the community aspect of the site. The focused navigation helps with that and the new tag line brings it home.
  • I liked the typography before, so it’s exactly the same.
  • The crazy outer space stuff was fun for a little while but it wasn’t very “me”, so it’s gone in favor of a cleaner style.
  • I still got to use texture, which I love.
  • I never liked having the standard footer in the forums area. I like my “about the author” section, but I’m not the “author” of the forums, you guys are. It didn’t fit, so now the forums has a trimmed down simplified footer.
  • The whole layout is centered again. It never bothered me being left, but that was the #1 complaint last time.

Problems / Critiques so far

  • What the heck is that thing above the search bar?
    It is my (perhaps half-baked) attempt at linking the words “Web Design Community” with the search bar. I wanted to make clear that this entire site is searchable with that box, which is extremely useful I think. I’ll likely play with different ideas up there.
  • What’s with all the white space in the sidebar?
    I feel like this is a classic problem on many sites. Some pages are really really tall, and some are short. Tall pages have a lot of empty space at the bottom of the sidebar. One idea I had was to measure the height of the page, and if it was over a certain height, append some extra content to the sidebar to fill out that space with JavaScript. Might be do-able…. But what about posts with 50 comments? That’s just too much space. I’m not sure there is a perfect solution for this (so far, anyway).

To come*:

  • Clean up the styling of the Forums, make it nicer
  • Bring Twitter back into it
  • Bring some friend links back into it
  • Bring Script & Style links back into it
  • New button style

* I have ideas for all of this stuff and it shall be coming soon!

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