Website re-design

by Justin Souter on March 31, 2010

This entry is part 2 of 4 in the series Re-boot

Introduction

A post looking at how the SCL website has recently changed. Below the text I’ve included a video outlining the changes at the bottom.

Look and feel

Our former stateYou’ll have probably noticed a vast change from the WordPress default theme [mock up to the left] – i.e. I’m now using the Thesis theme to provide greater control over the design and technical functioning of my website

The great thing about WordPress being open source is that there are a tremendous range or tools and expertise to help get the design and technical setup that you’re after – I hope you like ours.

I will be posting specifically about the new branding, and separately, the WordPress set-up presently.

Navigation

The Thesis theme has given a major jump-start to navigation – hopefully you will find the bar across the top straightforward to use. It’s got a three-column layout for the main content. The navigation also remains if you’re viewing an individual blog post[!].

There is also an ‘Archives’ widget underneath the annotated photo to give you access to the blog archives, and I’m also experimenting with a dedicated blog archive page. There are also widgets for recent posts and comments.

N.b. when you’re navigating pages on the site, a context-sensitive menu there should appear (below the big photo on the right-hand side) which shows the pages on the same level / part of the same branch of the site.

I’ve taken Gino’s advice and cut down on the extraneous widgets – although some of them have ended up on the ‘Lifestream’ page.

Usability

Overall, I believe the site should be a big improvement on the previous design, but please keep me posted in terms of how quickly the pages load and whether or not you find it easy to locate and read content.

Also, I have a large monitor at my desk, so let me know if you have any problems reading the site on smaller screens.

I was using a plugin to help create a site suitable for mobile devices, but was getting reports of problems for accessing the site at all, so have disabled the mobile site plugin for the moment.

Video introduction

Created using Camtasia Studio from Techsmith, and hosted on Blip.TV.

Feedback

I’ve already had some feedback about the site look and feel, so please don’t be surprised is the layout changes a bit due to small tweaks (e.g. removing the sidebars on the home page, trying slightly different colour schemes etc.). Please let me know how you get on!

Series NavigationSCL 2.0SCL’s new branding

Previous post:

Next post: