Constant Updates Part Two


In other updating news, people that visit DesignNotes every once in a while will notice that the design has been evolving over the last couple of weeks. I was finding that my previous sidebar wasn’t working at all, especially on single posts. There wasn’t any reason for people to explore any further. By widening the left column it opened up a lot of options, and by getting rid of some of the other text heavy features I could focus more on sections where people could further explore. One of those things was the monthly archive. It was a non descript list of months that really didn’t help. On the flip side, when interesting stuff was happening with me, there wasn’t a way of showing that. Now I can call that out more. I’m also going to focus on collecting content that I’ve already created in more visual ways that doesn’t rely on search. My Best of DesignNotes section is where I’ll be placing posts that I think people coming back might want to check out. That page is still in a beta phase that I’ll be continuing to clean up. The first step was just to collect the posts, now it’s about making each intro to the post presentable. I’ve also made those type of section pages more navigable by explaining what each section is about with icons. I’ll be adding to those sections in the weeks ahead.

I’ve basically had the same identity for the blog since moving from Canada a couple years ago. Because I was making a concentrated effort to improve the blog it made sense to update the logo. I wanted to play off a grid so I made a logotype out of dots that fit nicely together. By using a grid, the logo could scale infinitely larger or smaller. Another reason why I wanted to update the identity was because there was a need for a business card. Yes even in these digital days paper is useful. I’d talk to people offline/face to face about the blog, but have nothing that could lead a person back if they wanted to check the url. So with a card I can now pass something along tangible as a reminder. The only catch was trying to balance a logo for the blog and something for my own personal brand. I found it a challenge to balance both the blog and myself. How could they each fit together in a cohesive way? By creating a uniquely gray and orange dotted brand, I could create a monogram for my own personal name. With a quick glance of either the “M” or DesignNotes they are part of the same family. The only challenge now is to transfer that to my own personal site.

And next week I’ll talk about Constant Updates Part Three which has to do with the photo galleries I’m creating like this.

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  • David Airey

    Love the nav panel icons, Michael. Thanks also for including my blog in your “other sites” section. You've linked to my domain, though, which is really just a placeholder for the .com until I think of something else (still, thanks very much).

  • michaelsurtees

    thanks for mentioning that—I've updated your url