I’ve been working on redoing my website for at least the last year or so… and finally got it done.
I drew obvious inspiration from the minimalism trend (c.f. Bennett, Tomayko, Pilgrim); the simplicity of those sites are quite refreshing. As I was putting the finishing touches on the site, I ran across a roundup of minimalist designs that I think does a great job summing up my attraction to minimalist designs, the article’s first three points describe perfectly what I’m trying to do here:
1. Design is focused on the content.
2. Whitespace is the king…
3. Typography is the queen
I actually spent most of my “design” time focused on typography; The Elements of Typographic Style was my bible as I worked on the CSS. I feel pretty happy with the results, and that makes sense: I don’t have a iota of design chops, but I can handle the math of page layout and spacing pretty well.
Those using a cutting-edge browser (the latest Safari, or one of the Firefox 3.1 betas) should notice that I took the typography thing pretty far: I’m using CSS3’s Web Fonts to include a font that’s actually nice looking (Linotype’s Sabon). This is a bit of a gamble: there’s all sorts of questions out there about the legitimacy and intellectual property implications of web fonts. On top of that, the actual implementation of web fonts seems to, erm, suck: both Safari and Firefox load a browser font first, then swap in the web font around the same time the DOM finishes loading. This leads to a “flash” of text not unlike the dreaded FOUC of yore.
Still: this site looks a hell of a lot better in Sabon than in Georgia. Here’s to hoping that someone smart figures out a good web font solution (and that someone strong bullies Microsoft into supporting it).
Technically, I’m using much the same tools as last time around: Django 1.0, Jellyroll, django-tagging, and a simple hand-rolled blog. New to the mix in this revision is typogrify – no way the type would look this good without it. Also new is another bit I’ve stolen from Mr. Tomayko: the elimination of administrative debris. When I’m logged in, I can double-click on nearly any element and edit it right in place. I’m using a slick jQuery  plugin called jeditable.
Organizationally, I’ve tried to drastically minimize the amount of
navigation and URL depth. For example, last time around my blog entires
had URLs like
/writing/2008/nov/18/minimalism/. That’s complete
overkill given how infrequently I write, so this time it’s just
/writing/minimalism/. Skipping that busy work gave me time to put
stuff like the tag pages together, which
Feels good to have this done. Maybe it’ll inspire me to write more frequently…
|||Speaking of jQuery: check out my nifty jQuery-powered inline footnotes!|