The visual design of meyerweb turned a year old on February 1. As a little celebration, I’ve rolled out an update to the design. In the past, I’ve thrown out entire designs for completely new ones, but not this time around. This time, the changes are more of an incremental advance; or, if you prefer, a mutation of the previous design. After all, the basic layout is the same as before. I simply opened it up, allowing the various components more breathing room, and cleared away some of the clutter that had built up, such as the various “RSS 2.0” buttons. (So how does one now get the feeds? I’ll explain that in just a minute.)
There’s more to this than just a simple evolution, I admit. The first major change is the addition of navigation links across the top of each page. For some time now, a lot of the material that people come here to find was buried, difficult to find unless you knew where you were going, or else on what terms to search. By pointing directly to the topic areas I think will most interest visitors, I believe the site is now much easier to use.
The second major change is the layout of “metainformation” for each post (and comments on posts).
In this area, I was heavily influenced by Khoi Vinh’s Subtraction 7.0, and I definitely owe him a debt of gratitude and inspiration. As will be evident from even a casual comparison of the two sites, I took a general design idea Khoi uses and adapted it to my particular situation. I think it works rather well.
The third notable change is a feature addition that I’ve been planning to add for a couple of months now. New to the site is a Syndication Feeds page which brings together (dare I say it aggregates?) all of meyerweb’s RSS feeds. The real step forward here is the debut of two new “Thoughts From Eric” feeds, including a feed of just technical posts and a feed of just personal posts. Now all of you who just come here for the technical stuff, and couldn’t care less about the person behind the site, can restrict your feed to screen out the worthless drivel. Similarly, those of you who know me personally but don’t understand the eye-glazing technical stuff can filter out the confusing nerdity.
Even better, each of the three “Thoughts From Eric” feeds (including the traditional “show me everything!” feed) comes in one of two flavors: summary or full content. At long last, I’ll find out if providing full-content feeds drives my bandwidth consumption up, or eases it down.
I’ve also established a new Redesign Watch feed, which is something I know will be of interest to many visitors.
I made other small refinements throughout, and odds are I’ll continue to tinker for a little while. Overall, though, I feel I met my goal of making meyerweb a more friendly site to visit, and a more feature-rich environment. Explore, and enjoy.