November 23, 2014

Sporting a New Design

I just went live with a re-designed WordPress theme. Please move around the site and see what you think. It’s a very simple design that is intended to be highly readable and to focus on the content. If you’ve been to my primary blog, Vandelay Design, recently you may recognize the theme. Although there are a lot of changes, this design is built on the same core layout.

A few new pages have been added – Contact and Advertise. The sidebars have also been completely redone and now include links to popular posts and a feed subscriber count.

If you’re on the site and you notice something not working correctly, please leave a comment or use the contact form. Also feel free to leave your feedback on the new design.

About Steven Snell

Steven is a web designer, blogger, and freelance writer.

18 comments

  1. Great design. I really like it, you’ve really sported it up. I enjoy your stories, helpful tips and even personal blog entries. Keep up the great work and site. It is a truly a great resource.

  2. Thanks Craig. I appreciate your feedback and I’m glad you’re finding some useful information in my posts.

  3. Looks fantastic! very clean, and makes it easy to find things!

  4. Hm. Considering how excellent you are at design, Steven, I find this design anticlimactic.

    I understand your goal – content first – but the site is so stark and bland that it doesn’t make me want to visit. I truly believe that great looks and great content go hand in hand to create a rocking blog, and I think that this one could use some color.

    My initial thoughts are that just a banner change to add some punch would be all you need. I do like a white background, but pretty it up a bit.

    (Sorry… )

  5. Craig Huffstetler

    @Steve

    One thing I noticed (bug?!)

    Comments probably should just go ahead and appear directly below the Name / Number / Time instead of aligning right of the number (it looks like they start directly by them).

    I think it should be a simple fix based on where they start/align.

    That’s just one thing I’ve noticed so far that you might want to fix, as far as comments.

    @James

    I think this design was going with a more “clean” feel and I think Steven, and the other designers (if there were any…), accomplished it well.

    It has a new, crisp feel to it along with a Web “2.0 – 3.0″ feel to it! It feels like it has evolved…and is more inviting. James, I do agree that the banner MAY be able to be changed to add some pop/punch. However, this may not work based on the minimal styles and clean design that has been rendered throughout the site.

    But my advise would be — give it a try! It might work and be a nice contrast!

    People come here for content, I believe, and the entire purpose of this web site (correct me if I am wrong) is to deliver content, inform and hopefully solicit responses from users — thus social media. I believe this design aims to accomplish just that in a very simplistic fashion while still maintaining and “sporting” a sense of fashion and the unique (and classic, that you seem[ed] to like) Traffic feel through graphics, buttons, and color schema.

    One point I do agree with is that the color scheme that has been chosen could pop a little bit more for the user. Black, grey, orange and a overtones of a light blue are nice — but, I think I might like to see the light blue and/or orange used more. Maybe lighten the orange up? .

    To me, I still stand by my original statement — that this is a well designed site for all intents and purposes. It is accomplishing what it is built to accomplish — blog (content), user feedback, usage of user feedback [ ALL = Social Media/R ]…content, content, content…and finally, the design support all of this.

  6. @ Craig – Definitely. Don’t get me wrong, I wouldn’t change the fresh, clean look. I don’t think a full color banner would be the answer, but maybe a small punch of color in a logo or image would add the touch of impact I feel the site lacks. Right now, the banner is just text, from my perspective.

  7. Craig Huffstetler

    @James

    Exactly — Just adding some kind of “punch!”

  8. Craig Huffstetler

    .
    .
    Yeah lines breaks didn’t work. Those two pipes should. Sorry about that. See what I mean?

  9. The new theme is looking good Steven. The posts here have been really good recently and I’m sure this will help the blog reach a new audience.

  10. Thanks for the feedback everyone.

    James,
    No need to apologize. I asked for feedback and I’d rather have honesty than have you say you liked it when you really didn’t.

    On the subject of comment alignment, yes, something is not right. I’ll have to look into that. Thanks.

    About the header, I did experiment a little bit with some things that would be a bit more involved, but nothing I tried looked quite right with the rest of the theme as a whole. When I have some time I will experiment some more. Thanks for the opinions, I appreciate it.

    Kevin,
    Thanks, I’m glad you’ve been enjoying the content. Hopefully that will continue.

  11. I like it. It’s in keeping with the new Vandelay design.

  12. I’m a web developer and that means some design too. Let me try.

    I would also suggest a better banner/header. I also updated my site’s theme recently and used a blue banner with a bright steel gray logo. (Colors stolen from the photoshop cs3 startup flash screen). Take a look and get inspired all you can. (the site’s still broken in IE6 and I do not plan to fix it anytime soon – obviously for lack of time).

    I’m very pleased by your content and user focused approach. The site is perfectly usable. I came from your main blog and took all the time to read through the posts and comments in a single sitting. Also subscribed. The content has more of a feel to it like the apple site (to quite an extent).

    FYI – i just realised my site’s theme matches your theme to a large extent (except for the content which is better here :)

    Which plugin do you use to feature the popular posts in the sidebar? It’s a show stealer.

  13. Hi Shivanand,
    Thanks for the feedback. The popular posts section isn’t using a plugin, it’s manually entered into the sidebar. I chose to do it this way rather than using a plugin because it gives me full control over what shows up there.

  14. Hi Steven,

    Could you share the code please? Which posts do you consider popular? By comments etc..? Many thanks.

    Re,

  15. Shivanand,
    There’s not really much code to share, it’s just paragraphs with an image floated to the left. I chose them based mostly on what drew traffic, but nothing official. I just went through the archives and found posts that were well received.

  16. Steven,

    Don’t you like favicons? Vandelay Design and Traffikd don’t have it.

    re,

  17. I’ve been meaning to do that for a while now, I just haven’t had the time.

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