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Mar 04

Design phase of my new blog

2006 at 10.35 am posted by Veerle Pieters

First something that I must say before starting the series about the conception of this blog. My head is still spinning from all great comments and praises that I have been receiving. This caught me by surprise you know, but I can’t deny that it feels great. All that support means a great deal to me ;)

So I’m planning on describing all the stages that my blog has been undergoing till the final launch, and today we will start from scratch. So let’s hope you are interested in this behind the scenes invitation.

My first blog

The first version of Veerle's blog started as a test case to see if I could build a site with CSS instead of the old school way with tables. The anecdote is that it was my contact person at the Library of Congress in DC that introduced me to Dave Shea's CSS Zen Garden. My first reaction was one of disbelief, that couldn't be true one lay-out and so many different looks! After that I got inspired by Douglas Bowman's blog and work and Jeffery Zeldman's persuasion powers. Those guys convinced me and the ball got rolling big time.

I never created version 1.0 with the intention to stay online that long. But as work caught up with me and I didn't want to close it down during a redesign phase I kinda start to live with it. It came down to this, I always felt that my previous blog didn't communicate my design skills all that good. So fast forward now to conceptualization of version 2.0.

Version 2.0 - What needed to change?

The idea of a new version was already in my head before @Media 2005 but I never found the time to actually start it. My thought was that I wanted to focus on some other design tools too like Illustrator and Photoshop, instead of just CSS. Many others already cover CSS in great detail. Doing that is also a great self enforcement of doing things differently or using smarter ways you know. That's the reason why I do those tips, but it just wasn't originally planned doing them in the previous design. The sections Veerle's art and Art/Type elsewhere are an extension of that because there aren't that many blogs that focus on that stuff.

Starting experimenting with a grid

Grid attempt for my blog

It's always a good idea when the content part is covered to start out by using a grid to arrange content. I wanted to find a harmonious balance between content, the structure (navigation etc.) and the visual design. Mark Boulton is the grid expert, so if you want to learn more about grids you should read his 5 part series. You can see how my original grid is somewhat different than the final lay-out.

The reason for that is once I got my design going things didn't flow like I thought they would. So I started to rearrange some items to make them fit better in the design. Sometimes these things happen, on paper it looks OK but in the real world it was all too overcrowded.

Coming up with a design idea

Some people try to found answers to where I found my inspiration for all this. Well yes, of course I get inspired by the many galleries and sites, but to be honest most of the time when I take my browser for a spin along those sites my creative brain is like getting overloaded and I get stuck. I know from experience that nothing good comes from that when I force myself and try too hard. When that happens I need a break and let things rest a bit. The first design element that I started was my header illustration. The girl there is inspired from a photograph of myself (from my previous blog) that I have redrawn by hand and imported into Illustrator. This element did set the mood for the design and got me started. Once I have found an element that feels right, my header, things get moving for me almost in an automatic way (sort of speaking). I never have the total design in my head from the start. I play and experiment a lot, move things around, try different colors etc. Choosing the right font is also part of the experimenting. I chose to use 'Chalet Paris 1980' from House Industries (P.S. notice the DJ Dimitri ... yes ...from Paris! ;)).

Some sites that inspired me
  • Ordered list for its clean approach and subtle use of dark (background) colors in combination with vibrant icons and text
  • Matt Brett for the use of dark background colors and the placement of his content.

Defining the design

What I learned over the years as a designer is that I need to feel 100% convinced and happy about what I have each time I look at it. If that's not the case then chances are it won't be a winner. Not easy, as I am my own worst client. It may be hard to believe but that's exactly what happened in my initial design. After a week I wasn't pleased anymore of the result. Question was, what's wrong about it? You can judge for yourself:

One of my first attemps for the new design of this blog

It looks similar but it doesn't have that spark. The colors don't work perfectly. I thought that I would have a rather original color palette but the use of different shades for brown in combination with the beige content background just didn't work, at least not for me personally. My partner and friend Geert was my guide in this stage of the design (and all others btw ;). He immediately saw that the colors where the culprit of my dissatisfaction. Once I started converting everything to the new colors it felt so much better and more convincing.

Finalizing the design

Once I had my final homepage design I started on the design of the articles/comments page. For the comments I wanted something different. The idea of the ticketing system hit me in a spur of the moment. The comment boxes were finished but I wanted something extra. The gravatars were in place, but the numbering of the comments was all the way to the right, that looked out of balance and rather weird. I decided it was better to place it below the gravatar icon in a box. Then I thought "Oh well the shape of this box needs to be a bit different, not just a straight rectangle", and that's when I thought of this tear off shape and this got me thinking "Oh?! This looks just like a ticket" and so everything connected and I came up with the idea of the ticket roll. Finding inspiration is hard to describe, it acts in so much different ways, one of them in the heat of a moment, and sometimes one thing leads to another.

The next part will cover some elements of the XHTML templates, in particular the way I divided the templates in container divs and how I've set them up to be as flexible as possible. Secondly I'll take you through how I've organized my CSS style sheets. The final part will be Expression Engine talk, how I implemented my templates and I'll try to give you a better picture on the inner works of Expression Engine. But you'll have to be patient though since I'm leaving next week for a 3 week trip to the U.S. This doesn't mean it will be quiet here, but rather that the focus will be on SXSWi at first and later DC.

Update: To all first time visitors, please read my "Veerle blog now 2.0" article first before commenting here. Thanks in advance ;)


93served

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permalink this comment Sam Sat Mar 4, 2006 at 12.33 pm

Veerle, you definitely went with the right colour scheme. The hardest part of creating your own design, is that you are your worst critic, but you passed with flying colours, and the right colours.

Great work, and thanks for the insight.


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permalink this comment Philipe Sat Mar 4, 2006 at 12.47 pm

Great work! I also do like the brown version. Why don’t you make it available trough a style switcher? Would be nice.


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permalink this comment Mr. Mxyzptlk Sat Mar 4, 2006 at 12.49 pm

First at all: congrats! the new design rocks! Luv it!
Just a little detail: I’ve tryied to see the Workplaces Post, but all the images are broken, it looks like something is broken there.

Cheers!


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permalink this comment Pilok Sat Mar 4, 2006 at 01.30 pm

Explaining the way you worked to create the current (and so great) design is really interesting because it is one more proof that the best practice in the creation of a web design are not only theoretical. Because, you know, there are plenty of articles about the things to keep in mind when we create a website design but it is always better if you can link them to a real life example.

The redesign of this blog is for me a very good example of the application.

By the way, did you follow the some guidelines about the typography? I mean something like the great article of Mark Boulton? I think so but I want to be sure.

I don’t know if some other articles are planned in Inside Internet magazine, but an article about the redesign of this blog (as they are starting a series of 5 articles about blog) could be interesting as it will use a concrete example to explain how the respect of standards and best practices can influence a design? no?


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permalink this comment Robert de Mildt Sat Mar 4, 2006 at 01.40 pm

very inspiring read! I’m kinda glad to hear that even someone of your designing skills still experiments that much. It’s the only way I can get anything done , altough I always believed it was just proof of my lack of skills. (so I guess there’s still some hope left for me ;-) ) I find choosing the right colours the hardest part of most of my design attempts. As for surfing other sites for inspiration: that works for me, as long as I let the impressions rest for a day or two. When I try to implement the ideas immediately I tend to come up with very incoherent designs.


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permalink this comment Stephan L. Sat Mar 4, 2006 at 01.41 pm

great job Veerle, i’m still surprised.


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permalink this comment Peti Sat Mar 4, 2006 at 02.39 pm

A very great piece of work with much love to those tiny details that make this just perfect.

Nice work.


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permalink this comment Phil Balchin Sat Mar 4, 2006 at 02.51 pm

I think you’ve just inspired me to get working on my own corner of the web a bit more. Your site is easily in my top 5 blog reading list. Great Work


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permalink this comment orez Sat Mar 4, 2006 at 03.32 pm

I like your blog very much veerle. Personally I think trough content it was one of the best on the world wide web. But now with the new design, it’s finished. Don’t have any comments on it… And that is very rare for me… So congratulations with this!

This blog was my #1 favourite, and the position in my personal listing has only grown stronger.


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permalink this comment Amit Lamba Sat Mar 4, 2006 at 04.45 pm

Great redesign!  I also like the brown/beige look of the initial mock up.  The colors only clash with the color of the header background, but that could probably be changed in the event that you decide to have a styleswitcher.  Great inspiration.  Time to get toiling on my own redesign now!  :)


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permalink this comment whitwa Sat Mar 4, 2006 at 04.46 pm

Hi Veerle, i like your design for first second in thumbial, it is great work with shapes and colors and you are in the focus of interes all over the digital world rightly.

Greetings from Czech Republic! Outs.


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permalink this comment _Del.Real. Sat Mar 4, 2006 at 05.14 pm

This is absolutely wonderful!. So original, I can’t open more my eyes, everything looks great, buy my favourite part is this one, comments.

You’re the queen of this girl, Love u and ur work.
Greetings from Colombia.


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permalink this comment Daniel Scrivner Sat Mar 4, 2006 at 05.23 pm

Great job Veerle!  The design is truly original, very well organized and just beautiful.  You created something very inspirational for a lot of designers and well developers.  Bravo!


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permalink this comment Anton Sat Mar 4, 2006 at 06.39 pm

Nicely done - my hat’s off to you!
You are truly an inspiration!


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permalink this comment Sherwin Techico Sat Mar 4, 2006 at 06.43 pm

Wowsers. Definitely a new node of design inspiration. Congrats Veerle! ...can’t wait to see the refinements.


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permalink this comment Fred Sat Mar 4, 2006 at 07.19 pm

Great piece, I personally haven’t got a clue how to make a design that captures ALL my interests and don’t make it look like the contents of a garbage can. You however made a quite perfect design here.

The ticketing system is indeed a great invention. I didn’t notice it at first but the way all comments are connected and the roll on top.. Great work, must have been a drag to make it fit perfectly with css.

I hope one day I can become as good as you but seriously.. What an icon you have become.

(getting overloaded an I get stuck => typo :-))


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permalink this comment zach krumm Sat Mar 4, 2006 at 08.37 pm

Wow, I really love the entire design.  It’s one of the best examples of creativity I’ve ever seen.  5 stars on something I think I’ll come back too, if for nothing else, to makes my eyes happy.


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permalink this comment Dustin Wilson Sat Mar 4, 2006 at 09.59 pm

I really have enjoyed your website. I’ll admit I never ran across your website until I saw it linked on a website I subscribe to… I believe it was Mezzoblue. He said it was a great design so I took a look. I’ve been blown away. I love it.

I’ve since subscribed to your blog because after reading a few of your articles I’ve really liked what you’ve had to say especially this post. I really enjoy posts where designers explain their process of designing and their reasons for doing things a certain way.

I really like how you showed how a simple change of color scheme makes the difference. Thanks for sharing your experiences designing this layout with us.


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permalink this comment steve pilgrim Sat Mar 4, 2006 at 10.29 pm

Veerle, I’m no designer, but I would love to be. Your new design is amazing, but made better by your willingness to share the wealth of knowledge, time and effort behind it. Thanks!


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permalink this comment JaX Sun Mar 5, 2006 at 04.46 am

So amazing, I don’t even know where to start!


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permalink this comment BigA Sun Mar 5, 2006 at 04.47 am

It’s fantastic that you’re taking the time to document your process. I’m so pleased to see a “dark” site that works so well. While I’ve gone dark for my photo site I’ve not been able to do the same for my blog, but having enjoyed your redesign I think I might just have to take another whack at it.


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permalink this comment Raffi Sun Mar 5, 2006 at 08.15 am

Hi Verlee, you’ve done a great job in your new design from scratch. Note: just take care of the spelling mistakes; sometimes the meanings change completely because of them.


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permalink this comment BoberPL Sun Mar 5, 2006 at 08.37 am

Great job. Nice design and blog. Veerle you are the best ^^


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permalink this comment J. Verzier Sun Mar 5, 2006 at 10.21 am

I first saw your new version few minutes after you launched it, and I was fairly impressed !

I must say that the design is perfect, hard to make better.

Only one bug I noticed in the RSS feed, few posts are showing many times. Don’t know why, but you must have a look into the system :)

Keep it up, you’re on the way!


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permalink this comment steve Sun Mar 5, 2006 at 11.22 am

Your site really inspires me, Veerle ... I think it’s that font that gets me going, it really looks good and is very different. And the use of colour is very imaginative. Another really simple thing I noticed is the spacing on the titles (such as ‘Finalizing the design’ above)- you’ve got the space just right and it makes it so much easier to read.

Thanks for taking time to explain how it all came together - I don’t know how you find the time!!

Looking forward to the next chapter, have a great time in the US; I’m sure you will!!

Steve


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permalink this comment Jaime Sun Mar 5, 2006 at 11.28 am

Ack…Mmmmm…WOW….drools~~~

Those were my initial reaction when I decided to visit all my Fav sites tonight to catch up on some readings since I have not done any for months!! So this new revamp came as a shock to me.

Have been really busy with work and my site has been untouched for almost 2 years and I seriously need to find some time (hopefully) to do a revamp especially now since so many people have already revamped their sites.

I love this new design of yours. Well done! One problem though is that I get a bottom scroll bars on a 1024x768 resolution so needless to say, a longer bottom scrollbars on a 800x600 resolution.

Would be interesting to see another fluid layout version. I know it is harder to come out with a fluid layout than a fix layout.


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permalink this comment Jonic Sun Mar 5, 2006 at 12.31 pm

“My head is still spinning from all great comments and praises that I have been receiving.”

Get used to it! This is one of the best blog designs I’ve ever seen!

I’m going to be rebooting my website for the May 1st CSS Reboot… I thought I had a design that I was happy with, but then I saw this redesign and nearly wept…

Great job… You’ve taken blog design to a whole new level!


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permalink this comment Vortexmind Sun Mar 5, 2006 at 12.32 pm

This blog is simply gorgeous!


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permalink this comment david gouch Sun Mar 5, 2006 at 12.33 pm

Oh, a ticket roll.

I thought it was a toilet paper roll before, which made me wonder what you were trying to say about comments.


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permalink this comment Vortexmind Sun Mar 5, 2006 at 12.39 pm

I digged this article ... I bet it will hit the homepage shortly :D And then you’ll see some SERIOUS comments flooding :P


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permalink this comment Veerle Sun Mar 5, 2006 at 12.53 pm

Pilok said:

By the way, did you follow the some guidelines about the typography?

No not really to be honest, I’ve just experimented with type too until I was satisfied :)

J. Vezier said:

Only one bug I noticed in the RSS feed, few posts are showing many times. Don’t know why, but you must have a look into the system :)

That’s because I have been working on my feed earlier ;)

Jaime said:

One problem though is that I get a bottom scroll bars on a 1024x768 resolution so needless to say, a longer bottom scrollbars on a 800x600 resolution.

I’ve just tested my site again on PC with IE and Firefox on a 1024x768 resolution and I don’t get any scrollbars. If you are looking at a 1024x768 resolution you have to use the maximize button. If you do that no scrollbars in IE. In my previous article I’ve explained that a 800x600 version is coming later. A fluid lay-out with so much advanced gfx like mine is nearly impossible especially in IE. Besides a lot of people don’t use the whole screen estate but only a portion of the screen for their browser. That’s something that will become more and more common. I look at a 30 inch screen so image a fluid lay-out there ;)


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permalink this comment Julian Schrader Sun Mar 5, 2006 at 12.56 pm

Arrgh, this looks damn great - but now I can’t use the design I made a mockup just two weeks ago, it will look like a rip-off!

Thanks to you my reboot won’t be soon, I’ll have to come up with something other first come, first serve ;)


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permalink this comment Henrik Lied Sun Mar 5, 2006 at 01.55 pm

Really, this is about as good as it gets, Veerle!

I’d just want to change one thing, though: Your IRI-scheme. It doesn’t keep up with the quality of everything else.

First of all, you’re exposing the server side technology, the post-IRIs should include dates and such etc.

Except from that, everything is great! I’d look into what I pointed out, though.


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permalink this comment Sherwin Techico Sun Mar 5, 2006 at 03.14 pm

I just have to unsubscribe from the notifications. My Inbox is getting flooded by your comment-updates =)


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permalink this comment Anshul Jain Sun Mar 5, 2006 at 04.19 pm

I swear to God, this is one of the best blog designs I have ever seen. Awesome work and fact that you have shared is even amazing.


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permalink this comment Ethan Sun Mar 5, 2006 at 04.42 pm

congrats highest rating of an 8 on stylegala


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permalink this comment Gordon Sun Mar 5, 2006 at 05.41 pm

This is a such a gorgeous design!  I love the colors!  And it’s so clean!  Impressive!


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permalink this comment P.J. Onori Mon Mar 6, 2006 at 12.14 am

It’s always so informative to read about someone’s design process. Great read - thanks so much for the article.


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permalink this comment Ricky Mon Mar 6, 2006 at 04.31 am

Hey, really cool site! But, I’ve found a “bug”. When you press “Location:” (the label for the location input, I thought..), the “Website URL” input gets highlighted. I guess thats wrong? :)


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permalink this comment Veerle Mon Mar 6, 2006 at 06.29 am

Henrik Lied said:

I’d just want to change one thing, though: Your IRI-scheme.

The URI-design part is out of my hands I’m afraid, my host won’t let me use mod.rewrite to change that, at least not yet.

Ricky said:

But, I’ve found a “bug”. When you press “Location:” (the label for the location input, I thought..), the “Website URL” input gets highlighted.

Good catch Ricky ;) I did copy and paste and pasted the wrong one. It is fixed now.


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permalink this comment Tom Swasayan Weber Mon Mar 6, 2006 at 09.28 am

What about Bartelme:Design? I think you needed for inspiration too. I remarked it in your comment style, it really reminds of Wolfgang’s color scheme.

Regards


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permalink this comment Marco (Griffith) Jardim Mon Mar 6, 2006 at 10.50 am

Simply excelent.

I thought I evolved greatly in the latest version of my homepage but it pales in comparison to yours. Great work!


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permalink this comment Michael Bystrom Design Mon Mar 6, 2006 at 11.14 am

Hi,

Nice re-design I like it allot, since you want feedback on this I just have one thing thats off.

You name on Veerles art has a capital “V” and since everything else is lowercase including the logo, this is on of the first thing I noticed.

Good luck
Michael


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permalink this comment Roberlan Borges Mon Mar 6, 2006 at 11.58 am

Wonderful redesign. Excellent!
=D


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permalink this comment Mark Hutton Mon Mar 6, 2006 at 12.49 pm

Stunning redesign - very inspiring.  Documenting the processes will be a great help to a great many people! 

Much appreciated :)


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permalink this comment ali masoudi Mon Mar 6, 2006 at 01.19 pm

happy your new great design


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permalink this comment al3limits Mon Mar 6, 2006 at 01.49 pm

Nice blog veerle, congratulations!


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permalink this comment Christoph Mon Mar 6, 2006 at 01.55 pm

Wow.
This design is really REALLY cool!
I really enjoy visiting your blog ~20 times a day just for eye-candy =)
The colours fit right in and i *love* the font youre using for your buttons.

Nice!

—Christoph


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permalink this comment Scott Mon Mar 6, 2006 at 02.45 pm

Okay… your new redesign has “De-Lurked” me. I am a long time visitor and feel your layout and colors are right on. Actually I now have to rethink my color selection in order it doesn’t look like I’m copying yours ;-) Great job designing and executing around EE as well. I’ve installed WordPress, Textpattern and Movable Type and have been fussing with various things. Keep up the good work – I’ll be watching. (And to add more flattery) - You’re an inspiration to us “web designer developers” out there.


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permalink this comment Ricky Mon Mar 6, 2006 at 03.00 pm

And one more thing from stupid little me, can I see your last design somewhere? I’m new to your site :) Thanks.


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permalink this comment Dan Boland Mon Mar 6, 2006 at 03.51 pm

Beautiful site. I particularly enjoy the way you’ve styled the list item links. Well done.


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permalink this comment Jackie Mon Mar 6, 2006 at 04.02 pm

Veerle -

  Thanks for taking the time to explain all of this to us.  I can’t wait for the CSS part, although it will be interesting to learn more about Expression Engine, too. I am pushing myself to learn more CSS, as I can see it makes a huge difference in being able to design effective-looking sites.  Still got a long ways to go, but I’d love to know how you do those rounded corners, on the comment fields (if not with images).

I think the green background is definitely original-looking, and a much better choice than the brown, by far. A dark navy blue might have worked, too, especially with your header, but I like the green.  I like the use of the lighter contrasting color touches on it, and the originality of the artwork and graphics are what make it really lively and fun-looking. The Chalet Paris font looks like it could be an art-deco style font.  Recently, I found a whole disc of art deco fonts from company called Elfring. 

Being a visual person, I think that must be why you find it is easier to build out your site first, then experiment with the look, rather than having it all drawn out on black and white storyboards or something.  That never works for me, either as I think it is easier to have something visual to look at first, then you can see what you want to change.

Yes, and this is much better than the text-oriented blogs that you see everywhere - which do not draw in your interest unless all you want to do is read.

_ Jackie


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permalink this comment Darren Ansley Mon Mar 6, 2006 at 04.14 pm

I know that you mentioned a 800X600 version, and a high contrast version, but what about the zoom layout on the mockup? Is this a feature that you are still planning implementing?


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permalink this comment Travis Vocino Mon Mar 6, 2006 at 05.34 pm

Beautiful.  I love the entire mood, it’s excellent.  Great work!


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permalink this comment Bonita in Pink Mon Mar 6, 2006 at 06.37 pm

Hi there!
I just happened to run into your site through a google search. LOL

Beautiful layout! :-)
I can’t stop staring at it! *hehe*


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permalink this comment ebeforei Mon Mar 6, 2006 at 07.51 pm

The redesign is very impressive. A true representation of the person. Can someone tell me the app which produced the grid digram?


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permalink this comment Joshua Kendall Mon Mar 6, 2006 at 08.42 pm

Veerle, very nice redesign and a good write up. It’s good to see someone actually have a grid for a design.

ebeforei said:
Can someone tell me the app which produced the grid digram?

 


My guess would have to be Adobe Illustrator (it’s what I use and the grid just screams Illustrator).


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permalink this comment Steve Smith Mon Mar 6, 2006 at 09.05 pm

Veerle: It’s an honor to be listed as an inspiration for such a great design!  Thanks very much, and well done


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permalink this comment Hasan Mon Mar 6, 2006 at 09.54 pm

I’ve visited your site for a few years now, always beautiful and informative. If it hasn’t been mentioned yet (or if it has), your site received a wonderful plug from netdiver.net (“Veerle, you rock!). Congratulations and continued success.


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permalink this comment harry Mon Mar 6, 2006 at 11.22 pm

Veerle,
I follow your blog daily.  I like it a lot.  When I saw your redesigned blog, I was amazed.  Today, when I saw it again, I got the feeling that it has too much color.  There is color everywhere.  Was this intentional? Just curious ...
Thanks, Harry


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permalink this comment Andrew Mon Mar 6, 2006 at 11.23 pm

I’ve been a fan for a while.  This is really nice work!


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permalink this comment Scott Tue Mar 7, 2006 at 04.46 am

I absolutely love your newly refurbished site, and I think it so cool that you’re running through how you did it!

You’re an inspiration Veerle! I’m looking forward to all of your updates.


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permalink this comment auxillary Tue Mar 7, 2006 at 11.00 am

Netdiver sent me! ... And I am so glad she did! I have been here every day since last week just to feast my eyes at the beauty of this design. I am on the internet since ... ages and I thougth nothing could surprise me (much) but ... I so love this design. Please understand/forgive me my enthusiasm.

Next to that, Veerle deserves a medal for letting us join in on the process. I am really learning a lot here. For once NOT a tutorial/article on how things are made but why!


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permalink this comment Avishai Tue Mar 7, 2006 at 11.54 am

This is the first time I’ve seen your site; a friend showed it to me today.  I think that this is a really brilliant design.  Everything flows so well together and it’s very modern.  Congrats!  I especially like how you use the calendar to display the post dates.


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permalink this comment Luc Van Braekel Tue Mar 7, 2006 at 09.12 pm

In Bloglines.com, I see that more than 800 people are still subscribed to your old index.xml RSS feed which doesn’t work anymore.

Wouldn’t it be a good idea to automatically redirect them to your new feed URL, by way of a rewrite rule?

BTW I like the new design very much!


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permalink this comment Conrad Wed Mar 8, 2006 at 01.39 pm

Absolutely love the design and whole heartedly agree with thw whole design overload and then the pressure!

It is actually freeing to know your limitations and style and relax and just do your thing!


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permalink this comment Grumpy Wed Mar 8, 2006 at 11.14 pm

Your site seems to be very well designed and is truly, as the referrer who sent me here said, “beautiful.”  However, I would like to point out one problem: Many color-blind readers (like me) cannot see the dark text on the black background.  This includes the red links.  Red-Green colorblindness causes dark colors to “blend into” a dark or darker background, rendering them nearly invisible (and, therefore, extremely hard to see). 

Unfortunately, many designers fail to consider color-deficient viewers in their designs.  You don’t have to give up the great design; just put more contrast between the text and background.


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permalink this comment Rocketeer Thu Mar 9, 2006 at 02.19 am

Very nice colour scheme! “Your own worst client” ... yep, sounds familiar…


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permalink this comment bob Thu Mar 9, 2006 at 12.47 pm

so veerle, what are you going to do with EE’s 15.000$? ;)

it’s pure magic what you did to this place. allthough I’m not so sure of the standard little avatar. all the best!


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permalink this comment Alex Buga Thu Mar 9, 2006 at 01.34 pm

That’s fantastic. I’ve been reading your blog for a while. I’ve watched your work at DUOH.

It looks like you’re a perfectionist, like me. I love the attention that you’ve put on the details: the bullets, icons, spacers. This is an A+ Blog. A must have in the bookmarks.

Keep up the good work with DUOH too. Luv your portfolio.


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permalink this comment jan Thu Mar 9, 2006 at 03.56 pm

Wow! I’m so stunned by your new design! You realised so much functions I’ve been dreaming about for my own page but wasn’t able to wrap them nicely - you did this part perfectly! Everything fits so good!

I really really like all the new ideas!


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permalink this comment Daniel C. Jallits Thu Mar 9, 2006 at 09.31 pm

Thanks Veerle, you have given me the motivation to go back to my own designed blog and leave WordPress.com.

This design is fantastic!


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permalink this comment Johan Fri Mar 10, 2006 at 07.22 pm

misschien voor res < 1024*768

this one:

http://themaninblue.com/experiment/ResolutionLayout/

right column relative instead of floating


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permalink this comment Bob Sat Mar 11, 2006 at 12.57 pm

http://cssplay.co.uk/menu/naf_ir.html

has a solution to get rid off the dotted lines when clicking on a nav item of your main menu: CSS ony solution


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permalink this comment Eric Mon Mar 13, 2006 at 05.55 am

It’s a great work! I love the design, colour and everything, Congrats!!


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permalink this comment Peter Thu Mar 16, 2006 at 02.02 pm

Your site design is incredible—you can really see how much love you put in this, when looking at all the little details.


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permalink this comment Charles Klein Thu Mar 16, 2006 at 05.12 pm

Veerle this site is breath-taking! Thank you for this article, I’m a design student and being able to read the “process” articles behind redesigns is so inspiring, and unbelievably useful. Remarkable…


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permalink this comment Jana Fri Mar 17, 2006 at 10.30 am

Veerle—I’ve been a lurker for some time; you’ve been on my “nice sites” bookmark list since the article about office furniture on your old site. Of course, the new site is yummy, too!

Just wanted to say *PLEASE* do finish the article about how you built your site—the CSS and EE stuff. We’re just getting into EE, and eager to learn.


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permalink this comment Juan Mon Mar 20, 2006 at 10.31 pm

“Without charity there is not salvation”
(Allen Kardec)

Tu Blog es un hermoso trabajo, tienes una mente bella.

Adios y que Dios te acompañe siempre.

Bye
Juan


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permalink this comment simplydeuce Mon Mar 20, 2006 at 11.10 pm

I have been looking around, and seeing it on your site, thought maybe you could help. How did you get the double column list for your categories on the main page. I know how you would do it for static text, but I imagine that when you add a new category it will add it there automatically. So I was wondering how you adapt it to fit those added categories in?


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permalink this comment bert Tue Mar 21, 2006 at 07.33 am

I can stay in this website without having to do anything at all. Call this an exaggeration but this website is my top 5 since 1998.


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permalink this comment julie Thu Mar 23, 2006 at 03.26 pm

I just LOVE the color scheme and the type choice. Eye candy for sure and a perfect 10 :)


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permalink this comment Jânos Sat Mar 25, 2006 at 03.16 am

Poor 800x600 users… Anyway, great work.


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permalink this comment hebiryu Sat Mar 25, 2006 at 10.03 am

magnificent the most beautiful blog sites I’ve ever seen.

bravo bravo..!


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permalink this comment Cèlia Leocädio Sat Mar 25, 2006 at 11.22 am

Hey, i loved this redesign.

I love the color palette, the positioning of stuff, i’ts great.


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permalink this comment aarnau Sun Mar 26, 2006 at 08.44 am

A really beautiful design. Congratulations.


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permalink this comment auxillary Tue Apr 4, 2006 at 02.19 am

The designer of the following website is a regular visitor here I imagine. Maybe not completely a copy but he/she did learn from Veerle, ... undoubtedly!

http://www.vivabit.com/


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permalink this comment Cèlia Leocädio Thu Apr 13, 2006 at 04.02 am

Coomenting the above: who came first, the egg or the chicken?

There are many designs somewhat similar but it doesn’t mean one copied other or even saw it. verlee’s redesign is recent, how can one be sure tha vivabit hasn’t got this layout for 3 months or more?

Rounded corners and 3 column? I’d say it’s a coincidence.


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permalink this comment Veerle Thu Apr 13, 2006 at 06.04 am

@auxillary, Cèlia Leocädio, I don’t agree. The Vivabit design is totally different, in color and in style. I just don’t see the resemblance you are referring to. It’s too far fetched in my opinion.  FYI I know who designed this website, and this site is ‘older’ than mine. So this would mean I inspired my site on this one, which isn’t the truth. I told you who did give me inspiration, only for a few elements. And that’s it. Other things (which frankly I don’t see) just have to be coincidental I’m afraid.


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permalink this comment Ludwig Wendzich Mon Apr 17, 2006 at 01.19 am

Veerle, I love the current design and I loved the one you posted above but I think the one in the post above is a lot warmer/inviting.

Either way the form of the blog is just amazin’ so either colour scheme works wonders ;)


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permalink this comment Naomi Sun May 7, 2006 at 04.01 am

Hi Veerle, I love this new design. Thank you so much for posting your methods here. It’s really helpful to see how you work! I am working on doing a re-design of my site and am doing the basic grid. I was wondering what software you use to do yours? Do you use photoshop or something else for that stage?


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permalink this comment Veerle Sun May 7, 2006 at 06.24 am

Naomi said:

I was wondering what software you use to do yours? Do you use photoshop or something else for that stage?

I always use Adobe Illustrator to draw grids. The design is done in Photoshop in combination with Illustrator (header illustration and icons).


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permalink this comment Naomi Mon May 8, 2006 at 02.26 am

I always use Adobe Illustrator to draw grids. The design is done in Photoshop in combination with Illustrator (header illustration and icons).

Great to know! Thanks, Veerle!



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