It wouldn’t be a new year without a new blog design for myself. There’s one primary reason and a couple subtle motivations. The biggest change is the url: it’s now designnotes.info I had more than a couple people ask me about why I had the url sidewalkpressed.com when the name of my blog was Design*Notes? The original intention was to turn Design*Notes into SidewalkPressed, but I noticed my motivation just wasn’t the same until I changed the name back. Weird I know, but still it felt better. Since I was changing the url it gave me a chance to refine what I liked about my blog and look at things that I could improve. The original intention of Design*Notes was a place where I could gather links and make notes about things in design that I could remember. It was never about the long essay, but a way to organize the things that caught my attention. So with the new design I’ve tried to make it more like a CMS (Content Management System) and less a design portal. Keeping that in mind I’ve added a couple sections to the top of the blog. They’re some of the things that I’m interested in, but aren’t really something that needs to be tagged like a regular post. All of those new sections are a running list of things I like; other blogs, books and the city I call home now, New York. On the aesthetic side you’ll notice that there’s a photographic banner. My plan is to update this most days with an image of mine. It will be some additional work everyday so it may not happen all the time. The fourth section will be a collection of those banners.
I’ve also looked at the sidebar and added a couple items. The first is addition is a live del.icio.us feed of things that I’ve bookmarked. I’ve also added back my flickr feed at the bottom. I kind of missed that thing when I moved on from blogger to word press. Below the photos is a cool looking time thing – why, why not?
The overall template is also a bit cleaner too. When I was looking at the redesign originally I had made wireframes and was planning to do a completely new template. However as time went by I thought I could use my time more effieciently making new content and watching out to see what works and what doesn’t. Originally the new template was going to be Hemingway. I really liked how they had their own support group and the design seemed to be following the trend to have a lot of the quick content on the bottom. But after testing it for a while the two column content didn’t really work for what I do. So in the end I used the simple fSpring theme with some slight modifications to the typography and icons.
The final addition that I’m testing out is snap – that thing that shows up every-time you roll over a live link and it shows a picture of what the link is. If you find it really annoying or like it, please let me know! Aside from that everything else is pretty much the same.