Playing With A New Theme

The look of this blog has been bugging me for a while, so I finally got around to doing something about it.

I think the main problem I perceived was that there was just way too much “stuff”, so I started from scratch and got rid of everything I deemed “expendable”, and tried to be pretty strict about it.

It’s still a work in progress, and I haven’t even looked at it in any browser other than Firefox yet, but I’m liking it a lot better already.

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8 Responses to Playing With A New Theme

  1. Mrs.B says:

    Yawn. But I understand.

  2. I love the new theme Jared. : )

  3. JB says:

    Thanks; trying to keep it super simple.

    I still need to:

    (1) Go back through and finish up some styles for some page elements that I don’t use often.

    (2) Look at it in other browsers. Today was the first time I checked it out on a Windows computer and the serif fonts look really choppy, whereas they look smooth on the Linux system I use, so I guess I need to look into that.

    (3) Go through another round (or several) of identifying things that are not important enough to justify being on the page and pulling them off, getting more strict each time I do that.

    My broad concept behind this is that focus should be easily drawn to the most important things, and everything else has to fight for its existence, then its prominence, but never eclipsing the primary concern of the page (in the case of a blog, the post text).

    I already have lots of tweaks I’ve identified in that regard just after a day of looking at it, so hopefully I will get to those shortly.

    I’ve said many times before that I’m no designer, so hopefully no one is too critical, but I am trying to improve in that area.

  4. Dan says:

    It does look much better and makes sense all around.

    Suggestions (only suggestions):

    Clean up your list margins, padding and if you like the square list style I recommend not using black (since nothing else on your site is black).
    “show full post” on the post page could be hidden
    I would also get rid of the slideIn on the homepage sidebar, it’s distracting from the post.
    Might want to make the archives page a list instead of a single post, I’m assuming you’re just using the index to manage archives for now. And since the archives are so prominent on the homepage you should not frustrate anyone trying to use them.
    Where are the other sections of the site? Like your WP plugins.
    The sidebar div on single posts looks broken. since it isn’t aligned like the homepage and the post looks as though it’s breaking through the divide

    I really like minimal designs on blogs these days and this looks good.

  5. JB says:

    Some good points. I haven’t really looked at a lot of the styles for some elements yet (like lists), so I do definitely need to go through those and clean them up.

    I do plan on not doing the “show full post” thing on the single page views, just haven’t changed the javascript for that yet.

    Taking out the animation / sidebar collapsing is a good idea too. That one I just had left over from my plugin (which is what does that) being activated still, so I’ll just deactivate that plugin.

    Not quite sure what you mean by “using the index to manage archives”, but I do like the idea of just making a page to show those and then have a single link to that page from the home page. Right now it is just using a widget based on the normal Archives widget but with some changes I added to support multiple columns, placed in a “sidebar” in the footer, but I like the idea of not having them on the home page at all much better.

    On that page, I’ll also show more than one at a time (excerpts only), that’s just a carry-over from the other parts that I didn’t bother to change yet. I don’t expect many people to actually be using that to dig through older stuff (since searching would be easier), but it would be nice to have it there.

    A lot of the other pages I’m just not showing links to right now, since a lot of them are outdated and I haven’t decided yet whether I want to clean them up or just get rid of them.

    Thanks for the suggestions.

  6. JB says:

    Oh, I get the “using the index” thing now; yes, I started with a blank theme directory, so some of those .php files (category / archive, etc.) are not even in there right now.

  7. JB says:

    Whoa, I just realized that those list bullets are showing up on the home page lists. I added some styles really quick for those just for lists within posts and then didn’t remember to go back and check the home page again. Oops.

  8. JB says:

    OK, got those bullets fixed. That was kind of embarrassing because it made the home page look horrible and I didn’t even check it.

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