more notes on redesign

Submitted by jpamental on

I wanted to add a bit more on the subject of my site redesign while it’s still fresh in my mind, and pass along some thanks to those who have provided some great inspiration and feedback. My wife Ellen and long-time friend PJ ( @pjmoore_1) had some really great insights that helped me ‘be my own designer’ better than I was, and really got me excited about the process of design and the ‘doing’ of it. The design itself came together pretty nicely thanks to the solid #Drupal framework already in place. Some key modules incorporating some nice jQuery effects like ‘cycle’ and ‘slideshow’ for the image previews provided some of the visual depth. The them is an evolution of the Zen sub-theme I used before, so I knew it would work well in most browser configurations without much effort.

Overall the concept was to align with how I work and what I do, and much of that starts with a pencil or pen and a Moleskine notebook. In flipping through any of the stacks of them on my desk or shelves it’s easy to find the basis of this design in the shape of the page, the doodles and layout sketches throughout inspired the large graphic elements on the home page and interior sidebars. Since I’ve settled on the job description of ‘web strategist, designer, technologist’ it made sense to feature writing, design-fucused projects and more heavily technology-focused ones, but do so in a way that doesn’t need to be explicitly called out to still work. I had a good time with some CSS3 enhancements to complement the jQuery transitions, all complemented by fonts served by @typekit. I liked the hand-drawn effect coupled with scale and clipping to turn the blog posts into graphic elements (but still preserve the full text for SEO).

I still have some work to do in carrying through the design, especially in the comments, and want to sort out something more interesting for the main project page rather than a blog-like list – but overall I’m quite pleased. It’s a design (especially on the home page) that I really enjoy and am proud to show. And best of all - shipped in about 4 days (background changes last week, and the rest of the new design done in bits over last weekend).

Thanks for looking, and please do leave some feedback in the comments or via email or Twitter ( @jpamental). Thanks also to @johnpicozzi, @stephencross and @jjeff for your feedback.