Tag Archives: alanmather

Stabilising Look and Feel

Since my first post I’ve been working on getting the look and feel that I want, and although I haven’t quite finished here’s an update.

I started with the Sun Pacifico Theme, which at the time I liked a lot. However the more I looked at my blog, the more I wanted something that was, if not unique, at least “mine” – and not just in terms of the content.

Look and feel / web design was the most obvious area to change, but, to an extent I had held back a little, because I knew that it would likely mean delving into a host of technologies – only some of which I was up to date & familiar with.

Wanting something that was very minimal, similar to the Blogger Template Style “Minima” by Douglas Bowman (here) of Stopdesign (here), and as used by my friend Alan Mather on his blog (here).

I feel that the content needs to stand for itself without too many distractions calling the eye’s attention. I find that very busy websites, with lots of “eye candy“, lose detail amongst the noise. I know lots of people are enjoying using technologies like Snap (here), but I wish they would include some mechanism for the user to turn it off – as it can easily get confusing for with so many link page pop-ups appearing.

As to the banner, I had previously been impressed with Damien Hirst’s Pharmaceuticals (2005), an example of which is here, an installation he had done as part of his show at the Tate Modern, New York.

But instead of tablets and pills, I thought it would be effective to use small web site logos & icons instead (mainly the favicon). After getting a version working on that premise I very quickly realised that there would be a variety of copyright issues involved, as well as issues in loading a banner comprised of 300 (5 rows by 60 columns) of 16×16 pixelated images. Just too many calls to the web server, meaning page load time was very slow.

So this is pretty much the finalised look and feel for the time being. I’m much more pleased with the banner now – and having utilised CSS Sprites, reduced the calls to two images – both of which I cache using JavaScript at the start of the page too.

Now that I’m happy with the overall look and feel – I’m going to focus on Site Navigation, followed by a code cleanup, and then, maybe, back to the Design aesthetic.

There might even be time for the odd post or two.