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Redesign: Bits & Pieces.

So you thought I’d forgotten all about my redesign project, did you? I have to admit I’ve spent more time working on the new server than the redesign lately, but sometimes you just have prioritize differently than you initially planned. Sounds familiar? Well, that’s probably because it happens to all of us all the time.

I’ve been surfing the internet for inspiration, selecting design elements I like that I’d try to implement in my own design. These are some of the bits and pieces I’ve found so far:

  • I’d like to have both a header and a footer that span the entire width of the screen, no matter how wide it is, but still keep the width of the actual content fixed. Also, the footer color should be high contrast compared to the page background color. I might even put more content in the footer than I have today. Trent Walton’s site is a good example of the kind of footer I’m talking about.
  • I’m semi-active on Twitter and will soon hit 300 tweets. Not that much, but a lot more than the average Twitter user. Personally, I think it’s a good way to just get something out there without having to write an entire blog entry. I’m seeing people visually identify the tweets on their site by using an icon or image resembling the Twitter bird. I’d like to do something similar, and it looks like there are no shortage of free images to choose from.
  • A feature I’d like to reintroduce in the design is the entry calendar. It was great for displaying what days I’d written something and it will also generate a bit more traffic by people who get lost while browsing around on the site. I don’t think I will set off writing my own calendar, there are most likely other WordPress users who have had the same need and made excellent plugins already.
  • I’ll try to cure my shyness by adding a picture of myself in the About section. You might have some privacy concerns, but I’m already sharing more than enough information to feed the stalkers on a weekly basis anyway. Besides, bonding with the user can result in he or she becoming a regular visitor.
  • I’d like to add some kind of indication in the navigation that shows the user where he or she is currently on the site. Robert Alan’s site is a good example of what I’m thinking about. An even nicer navigation can be found on Brian Hoff’s site. He also has a large footer section that pretty much sums up my footer thoughts.
  • Gradients are a popular effect to use on the site background. My PhotoShop/Gimp experience is so limited I don’t even known how to make a gradient background, but I’m sure there are some tutorials floating around out there.

All in all, these are a lot of design elements that are nice by themselves. The great challenge now will be to get everything to work together and to start the actual implementation. As you can tell, many of the design elements I’ve found have square corners and thus breaks away quite clearly from the rounded-edges-design I’ve been going on and on about. But, once again, plans are made to be changed.

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