Coding with Jesse

The New Design

If you're revisiting the site, then I'm sure you've noticed the new design. If you're reading over RSS, well, then you'll have to pop over and check it out.

I got bored last night, started sketching out what a logo might look like for The Future of the Web, and ended up sketching a whole new site layout to match it. Then I painted it in Paint.NET, was surprised how much I liked it, and spent the rest of the night wrestling with CSS until it came out the way I wanted.

Here are a few notes on the design:

  • This was the first time I used Internet Explorer's Conditional Comments. I have a single CSS file that works for both Firefox and IE 7 (no hacks), but I use the extra CSS file to get rid of some of the png transparency files, and to fix a couple of bugs.
  • I tried to keep the HTML the same and just change the CSS. I ended up having to change a few things (the search form of course, adding some classes, moving a few elements around) but it was fairly minimal.
  • I encountered some of the strangest CSS bugs I've ever seen, like things disappearing/reappearing when scrolling down and up, or things moving around when making a link active. For IE 7, my greatest friend was zoom: 1, forcing things into hasLayout mode. This always fixed weird behaviour.
  • I opted for a fixed width design to improve readability. I think a lot of web designers developers have huge resolutions, and having the text stretch out so wide makes it harder to read.
  • I feel the site looks a lot cleaner and simpler than the original design, even though there is really just as much stuff on the page. I think this is due to the text being in a white area in the center of the page instead of stretched out filling most of the page.
  • There are random slogans at the top of the page. Refresh and collect them all!

I'm looking forward to your comments. This is the first web design I've done that I'm actually really happy with. Not bad, I think, for not being a designer.

Update: For those of you who are new to the site, or if you just want to compare, here is a screenshot of the old design.

Published on December 16th, 2006. © Jesse Skinner

About the author

Jesse Skinner

Hi, I'm Jesse Skinner. I'm a web development coach & consultant. I teach web development teams how to scale up their server infrastructure, improve automated testing and monitoring, reduce costs, and modernize their legacy systems. I focus on empowering teams through customized training and coaching.

Feel free to email me. I'm eager to hear about your challenges and see how I can make your life easier.