graphicpush

Thoughts on branding, design, writing and life by Kevin Potts. Established 2003.

Upcoming Redesign

I originally conceptualized graphicPUSH as a resource for designers and developers, so I am actively seeking constructive feedback from the audience. I want to know where this site succeeds and where it fails, what parts you enjoy and what parts you ignore.

Blog writers—especially those in the design world—are prone to redesigning their sites on a whim. There is nothing functionally wrong with them, but the author tires of the look before it has even settled with the audience and turns out yet another CSS document that seeks to reinvent the design wheel. In the past year, almost every site I read has received cosmetic changes, some drastic, some minor. (The only exception I can think of is What Do I know.)

Of course, I am just as guilty of this, having abruptly launched this version of graphicPUSH in July. I never made a formal announcement, and I never even wrote an entry talking about the ideas behind the new look. I feel this was a mistake, and an injustice to you, the reader.

Truth be told, I have never been satisfied with the look or functionality of graphicPUSH. Converting to Movable Type helped with the latter problem, but the CMS is only implemented across half the site. The first issue, however, looks me directly in the eye every time I open a browser. This site’s first version was too thin; the initial architecture couldn’t handle the different directions I wanted to go, and in the end things became too jumbled for anyone but me to sort through. In an effort to clean house, I whipped together this current version, but got so caught up in the design that—again—the architecture ended up deficient. What’s funny is that I now struggle to enjoy the current design.

So I am starting from scratch. New design, new architecture, new thinking. My personal design aesthetic (both print and web) has always leaned toward lots of white space and extremely simple layout, and I want to apply that to Version 3 of graphicPUSH.

In addition, I want to focus on content. I have lots of it—through these entries and my various articles and tutorials—and I want to give it justice. One of my favorite sites is kottke.org, not only for the excellent authorship, but for the utter simplicity of the design. Many would say it is boring, but to my eye it is the perfect container in which to present writing—uncluttered space where words can breathe. Don’t expect the next version of graphicPUSH to be quite so stripped, but there will be a tangible influence.

In short, this is a quick rundown of proposed changes:

  • Completely overhauled visual look. Expect lots of white space and the return of the three-column fluid layout.
  • Much more content. I am moving all my PowerPoint-related material onto graphicPUSH. Also expect some new articles and tutorials.
  • A new set of free icons, specific to blogs and journals. These might actually arrive before the new design.
  • A hugely expanded “Links” section that will attempt to document as many design and development resources as possible. It will be meant as a digital library of sorts.
  • More accessibility. Possible style switcher. Small easter eggs. In all, a richer experience.

OK, now that I have divulged what I plan to do, I am hoping you, the reader, can tell me what you would like to see. I originally conceptualized graphicPUSH as a resource for designers and developers, so I am actively seeking constructive feedback from the audience. I want to know where this site succeeds and where it fails, what parts you enjoy and what parts you ignore. Should I update more frequently with shorter posts, or keep the roughly once-a-week schedule of longer material? Do you want more free icons? Different kinds of syndication feeds?

I look forward to reading your comments.

commentary + criticism

xENo

wrote the following on Thursday December 30, 2004

Remember to test in FireFox, too. :)

IMO, more technical articles and resources (the icons rule) would be a good thing. I like your work on ALA, more of that type of thing would be awesome.

erin

wrote the following on Thursday December 30, 2004

More tutorials and entries sound like a great idea. How about a general “designer tips and tricks” section? I loved your Image Replacement article, btw.

Benjo

wrote the following on Thursday December 30, 2004

I’ve been reading your blog for about 6-8 months now and I feel I can give you an honest critique on your layout. I feel the blue bar on the left is to heavy and nothing on the right offsets it so it makes it look like it’s moved over to the right and not centered as I know you have a centered div containing your code (yes I’ve peeked). Besides that adding white instead of a suddle grey would also work great.