Sean Sperte

Nip & Tuck for Geek & Mild

05 May 2009

gmredesign.jpgLast night I launched a redesign of Geek & Mild. Here’s some of the backstory on it, if you’re curious.

The ampersand

It’s no secret that I’m a big fan of the ampersand. Back when I was debating between names for my website, it was a big consideration. I wanted a name with an ampersand in the middle. (Cut from the list were “Apples & Onions”, “Geekery & Me”, and “Greek & Geek”.)

When I began brainstorming a new design for Geek & Mild, I wanted to make the ampersand a bigger focal point. Now it’s the most prominent graphic on the site. I’ve also refined the site logo and created a favicon, both of which feature the ampersand.

‘A lack of color here’

Geek & Mild has always sported a black and white color motif. It’s part of the brand. For this design I wanted to maintain that brand, but update it. I’ve done that by starting with black (#000000) and taking it one-step up (#222222), to a dark almost-black. And by starting with white (#ffffff) and doing the same, to an almost-white (#ededed). A gamut of grays – as well as the signature “highlight” yellow (#ffffcc) that I’m so fond of – accent the rest of the site detail.

Navigation

I’m a minimalist, so my blog reflects that. I’ve always maintained a minimal site navigation, but for the redesign I thought I’d push it even further. I wanted the navigation to be as organic as possible.

For the archives, I did away with a separate landing page, and created a small, widget-like link area to access all of Geek & Mild’s previous content by month. It’s available on every page, viewable by moving the cursor near the right-hand side of the page. I’ll admit, the concept is very self-indulgent, but I think the design works well. We’ll see how it goes. So far I’ve heard only good things about it.

As for the About Me page – arguably one of the most important pages a website has – I’m still trying to figure out how to perfectly (and naturally) integrate it. Right now you can find a link to it in the footer. This might prove sufficient, but my gut is that it won’t.

Accouterments

Some of the finer design details are the ones that are my favorite. For instance, the rounded corners (viewable in Safari and Firefox) on blockquotes, form fields, the pagination controls, and some links.

There’s also the introduction of the check-mark for the aside referral permalinks. (Notice, too, that I’ve dropped the “aside” label for those, and replaced it with [✓].)

I heavily debated dropping support for comments, but I genuinely appreciate feedback, and believe that most of the comments I receive actually contribute to the discussion, rather than degrade it.

Coming soon

Still left to do is (1) a search option, (2) a mobile-phone optimized version, and, as mentioned, (3) a better way to access About Me.