This will be very, very boring if you’re not that interested in web-design, and even if you are it may bore you. Caveat reador or whatever.
Now and then I become utterly obsessed with the way my web presence looks and I decide to change the hell out of it. The last couple of days I’ve put together another iteration of the theme for my WordPress blog thing, inspired by Darius Kazemi’s homepage Tiny Subversions. There are many wonderful things about Darius’ page, but the main one is how simple the CSS and mark-up is. WordPress makes that a little hard to do in general, but I wanted to make a theme that would literally just present my work and not do any other stuff, following through with Darius’ use of standard header tags and so on rather that millions of styled and re-styled divs and spans.
I also wanted to move away from the frenzied ‘here’s everything!’ nature of WordPress presenting multiple posts per displayed page or, even worse (and embraced by me earlier) the tyranny of infinite scrolling. Infinite scrolling sounds cool and like a good idea (and is for many uses I’m sure), but I feel like I realise now that it heavily detracts from the ‘specialness’ of whatever you’re reading now – it’s just one thing in a long sequence to consume. So I’ve moved over to a ‘one post per page’ model, very archaic, with arrows to move between them. It leads to a much cleaner front page especially, more of a statement of confidence in my current work. Similarly, I’ve moved the meta-data about each post, and especially its date of posting, below the post to avoid that similar sense of ‘when was your last post?! Why have you not posted?! What’s up?!’ that I was feeling when the date was presented first.
Finally, I’ve changed the display style of the Games page away from the tightly-packed grid of games as thumbnails over to a single column with larger images and a much larger font for the game titles. While I find it neat to see all my games in a swoop of the scrollbar, I started to feel lately like it devalues each one as an individual work that took me a bunch of effort and thought. The new format, which each game presented one at a time (while still being on the same page) feels like it captures more ‘respect’ for the work involved, while maintaining a minimalist presentation avoiding too much information at that first point of contact in the hopes of playing more toward curiosity.
So that’s my process-post about the site redesign. I’m imagining it will break down at some point soon when something I didn’t realise could happen happens, but for now I’m happy. Below I am pasting a bunch of images of previous iterations of the homepage (not including the now defunct www.stimulus–response.net) care of the Wayback Machine, mostly for my own future reference.