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Addicted to redesign

As I write this, sevenironcows is undergoing its very first redesign. Nine months after I launched the site, rocking a purpose built ‘personal’ theme (which I later released as Empty Spaces, a free/pay-what-you-want download), the site is in need of something which better shows off the quantity of content I’ve amassed since the start of the year.

I started redesigning fairly late last night, and went to bed in the early hours thinking I was done. This morning when I booted up my desktop and took a poke around the ‘finished’ design, I decided it wasn’t actually done after all and set to work again.

The redesign reflects a changing in attitudes and changing in purpose for sevenironcows. Once I’m finished up with work here, I’ll be ditching my portfolio site, alexdenning.com, and redirecting that here. I’ll thus need some kind of portfolio functionality here. I’d also like to take the site itself a bit more seriously, and thus the redesign needs to make content consumption, discovery and subscription a lot more fluid.

In practical terms, that just means there’ll be a sidebar, but I still view that as a fairly major change; a sidebar says ‘I have other content you’ll like’ and ‘you should subscribe and come back here often’.

People with sidebars are serious about their blogging shit.

And, yet, whilst I’d like to put a tagline here outlining the kind of content you should expect, I don’t want to lose the fun. A major aim for me is still that writing and publishing should be straightforward and hassle-free, and if I want to publish a haiku at 2am, I damn well will do.

Steve Jobs spent huge amounts of time with Jony Ive working on the packaging of Apple products, in the knowledge that this was the first thing the customer was going to when they started using the product, and it should thus be an experience which set the tone for the rest of the product. A blog’s design is essentially the same. The design should be telling you a lot about the blog, and that’s why in my plans to take this site forward, I’m starting with the design.

Still a work in progress, but slowly and surely getting there.