February 23, 2007 1:21 pm

Burnout

:note: Otyg – “Sagovindars Boning”

I have a confession to make.

I’m sick of this layout.

I have been working on another, far better one for weeks now, but I don’t have a lot of time to work on it and so things are slow-going. I will say, though, that it’s far less “dorky personal site” and a bit more “design-y.” I don’t know how else to describe it. I haven’t had a layout like it before, and I think that’s why I like it so much.

On the plus side: there is far more attention to detail. Things have padding and white space and do not feel scrunched or amateur. Comments look beautiful, if I do say so myself. It’s slightly based off of newspapers, in the sense that I am actually using some serif fonts and drop-caps. It’s kind of Web 2.0 but not excessively so. I am not using pink or this same background image I have now.

On the neutral side: I am deciding to drop support for 800×600 users. They make up a small percentage of my userbase, and part of the reason I can’t stand this layout anymore is because a 3-column layout that is optimized for 800×600 is revoltingly narrow. There’s no white space and I can’t handle it anymore. If you are an 800×600 user and are sad about this change, I offer my apologies because I do feel bad, but I am moving forward.

On the negative side: I haven’t begun coding the new layout yet. In fact, I’m still not sure what some elements in the sidebar are going to look like. I’m hoping though, that by posting this it will jump-start me into working on it more and/or faster. If you want to shame me into working faster, I would be okay with that.

My thought is that if I get a really solid, nice-looking layout, I can keep it for quite some time without deciding I hate it. I usually only decide I hate layouts when I know they’re kind of shoddy to begin with and I don’t have the time to fix them. My mission is to not put up the new layout until things look how they should – I don’t want to upload it, activate it, and still have it require some serious work. That’s not ideal.

I find that I tend to design for what I know I can build, which is incredibly limiting. If I can find an excuse not to use an image, I won’t use it – if a font looks awesome for a header but it’s not really necessary in my mind, I’ll use web-text instead. If I have something I don’t know how to build right away, I’ll just get rid of it. What I’m trying to do with this new layout is suspend my “production” side and just focus on my “design” side and assume I’ll figure out how to build something if I don’t already know.

P.S. If you have a brilliant idea for how my sidebar navigation should look (the “About Meggan,” “Content” stuff) please enlighten me. I think the style they have now is boring, but I don’t know what to do about them.

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9 Comments

  • Adastra says:

    Having to layout for 800×600 sucks. I recently re-designed a website for someone I run and I was totally planning to make a 1024×768 layout. But then I took a look at the Google Analytics stuff and had to find out that there are still users who use 800×600, and for a bigger project like that I just CAN’T shut them out. 800×600 sucks :/

  • Lew says:

    When I was learning my trade, and trust me no web developer knows it all, I soon realised that only by forcing myself to code new things did I actually learn anything. A quick google search will give you example and tutorials on anything you do not know.

    As for 800×600, why are you sticking with 3 columns? Why not try 2 columns and employ a hierarchy.

  • Meggan says:

    @Adastra – Agreed. It’s so SMALL.

    @Lew – I’m actually moving to two columns for the new layout. I just stuck with three for this one because it’s what I had before and, um, I’m lazy. The new two-column is nice and open and not cramped looking, which is a huge plus for me.

  • Melissa says:

    The 3 column thing never worked at all for me. I just never had enough “stuff” to fill up two columns. Even if you decide to continue catering to the 800×600 crown, getting rid of one of the columns and increasing the line height would probably open things up nicely.

    I can’t wait to see what you come up with!

    By the way, this comment preview thing makes typing SLOW!

  • Melissa says:

    Wow, my typing is horrible. By filling up two columns, I meant filling up two EXTRA cols. And I also meant crowD and not crown :D

  • Meggan says:

    Ack. Sorry about the comment preview thing guys – I think someone else mentioned it being crap for them too so I’ve disabled it. Look at me, trying to be all cool with Javascript. :P

    I think the three column thing sort of works for me, but I don’t think it’s entirely necessary for my site either. I don’t have that much stuff.

  • lkvy says:

    You don’t want advice from me. No siree.

  • Brigitte says:

    Your search bar is flowing into the content column in Firefox, would you like me to send you a screen shot? :)

  • Meggan says:

    It’s doing that for me too, Brigitte. I’m frantically coding the new layout in hopes of having it up by tomorrow night at the latest. This otter one makes me want to hit something when I go to my website. It’s gotten bad. I’ve actually resorted to viewing the site without styles so I don’t have to see it.