Nick DeNardis

User experience, code, higher education, analytics and accessibility.

Back to basics, focusing on essentials

Old School v New School (opens new window)

So I decided it was time to update the look of my site. I knew I needed more room for content, code snippets just don’t fit in 300 pixels. This update was primarily inspired by my recent decision to move from Palm (opens new window) to Blackberry (opens new window).

Back to basics, getting rid of the clutter and flare, my site is not here to sell a product but instead teach ideas and present research. One thing the Blackberry does that Palm lacks is the back to basics text driven menus and single application screen and single method of traversing the phone.

The Palm reminds me of Java, over the years it has grown to try to fit everyones needs without realigning or saying no to features which only fit one category of customer. Clunky interfaces and random restarts often happen because of the lack of integration.

In addition to the actual functionality improvements the screen on the BB is a tiny bit smaller but RIM has way better font support and smoothing so making the text quite small increases the amount of text on the screen by 25% over the Palm. I didn’t make my text size any smaller but what I did was increase the space for each entry and went to a fully em controlled layout for more flexibility.

Realigning the content with the right column in my mind was the best decision of the realign, before all my “personal” data was scattered at the top, left and bottom. I decided to concentrate it all on the right column to a clear separation from the article and personal items.

Another thing that bothered me about SimpleLog (opens new window) is that it did not natively validate. The Archives and Search page had some terrible nesting issues. Diving into the core code I changed these to produce a better POSH (opens new window) structured site. Before I was experimenting with the Blueprint CSS framework (opens new window), well lets just say it was thrown out the window in this version, way too much overhead and not enough benefit.

The design will transform as time goes on as all things but as of right now straightforward is in and I am sticking to it.