It’s the time for redesigns, I guess—CNN did it over the weekend, and now Technorati has taken its beta design final. I’m proud to say I had a part in making Technorati’s new look possible. The graphic design was done by Derek Powazek, and from his graphic comp files I produced the XHTML and CSS. Then I had to run the Tantek gauntlet; the job wasn’t done until he approved of the code I’d produced.
If you dig under the hood of the new design, you’ll probably find things you’d have done differently. I’m not going to go into a detailed post-mortem here, but suffice to say that every choice was made within the project’s defined constraints. So when you see, for example, a bunch of
b elements used to create the corners, that approach was the best choice for the project: it best satisfied the concerns and demands of the various people involved.
This is not to say that my choices were the best for other projects with similar design demands but different technical demands. They aren’t. At a certain level, there are no canonically right answers. There may be a whole spectrum of related solutions, where one variation is better for this project and another for that one. And people like me, despite all their experience and knowledge, don’t always hit the right answer on the first try. My initial approach to the corners is not what you see in the final markup.
That said, I am pleased with how I combined positioning and sprite-like styling to get the corners to work. I know each technique has been done before, but I’m not aware of previous combinations of the two. So that’s definitely a point of pride. I hope to find time to document the details of this particular corner solution, along with variant approaches.
I’d like to thank Derek and the rest of the Technorati team for letting me be a part of the redesign project, and for giving me a chance to flex my creative and technical muscles.