The Personal Disquiet of

Mark Boulton

Site relaunch

– December 31st, 2004 –

So, here we have it. Version 5.5 of this site. More of a Reversion than a Redesign. As I mentioned a few weeks ago, MovableType was beginning to be difficult to use because of the Spam problems (which they seem to have now fixed) and the increasing problem of stretching the intended useage of MT - ie. to run a portfolio (I know this is possible, as I did it before, it’s just not as easy as i’d like). I moved to using Expression Engine as the software to power the site.

Read on for more about the design ethos behind this site. Why do a redesign and what I discovered about web standards, css, expression engine and mac IE 5.5 on the way.

The design

Why do a redesign? Well, I’d already redesigned a few months ago but already the design was beginning to get on my nerves (as a designer, this tends to happen with your own work.). It seemed to heavy, a bit to ‘state-side’ for my liking.

I wanted the design to really reflect what i’m about as a designer with a typographic background. I set myself a bunch of typographic goals, such as:

  1. Correct usage of heading sizes
  2. Relationships between all typographic elements
  3. A balance between the grid and the typography
  4. An timeless feel, stripped of meaningless decoration
  5. Sympathetic use of colour

The list does go on, but i’ll stop there for now.

I’ve approached the design of this site as I would the design of a good book. You don’t notice the design, if you do, the design is bad. You shouldn’t notice good design. (as one of my lecturers at University used to tell me. At the time I thought he was mad, but i’m beginning to see his point.)

I will talk a little bit more about this design shortly.

Web Standards

I didn’t learn too much more about Web Standards redesigning this site. I trimmed the markup, went Strict with the XHTML and separated the colour into a different stylesheet.

Expression Engine

Expression Engine surpassed my expectations in almost every way. It’s an extremely quick platform on which to develop and it’s ‘out-of-the-box’ functionality is second-to-none. Not really the time to delve into this at the mo, but I will shortly.

So, in summary i’m very pleased with the reversioning of this site, pleased with the overall design. What’s most important is it’s a solid base on which to build. I’m sure over the coming months there will be plenty for me to add, so expect a certain amount of spit and polish being applied!

If you do spot any errors (most likely caused by the migration from MT), please let me know. Cheers.

Filed in: design, news, personal.

Further reading