I’ve just said “fuck it” and shipped the first version of this redesigned site. It doesn’t have as much on it as the last version but I’ve laid down a better foundation for future improvements. The articles (arguably the only pages worth looking at) are also way more readable.
I mentioned in my first redesign post that “the single font size was a stupid decision”. I actually still had the typography scale variables sitting around so reimplementing that was pretty straightforward. As soon as I did, I regretted ever having changed it. It’s an especially great improvement for any articles with subheadings. The base font size is now 20px on tablet and desktop, and 16px on mobile. The rest of the scale is based on a 1.25x rhythm.
I also added some actual colour for once. This site has been various shades of grey for as long as I can remember (and most recently shades of blue-infused grey). I played around with various colours for the header background but all roads led back to blue. I don’t think these colours will stick around long — I’m already thinking about a dark header and more greyscale accents — but this works for now.
The Writing section on the homepage has long had a toggle on it, allowing visitors to see the entire list of articles (the default setting) or just “highlights”. Switching to highlights displays only some handpicked posts that I’m particularly happy with or give an idea of what I’m about. For this iteration of the site, I’ve added the total number of posts (42 as of publishing this) as a motivator for me to keep increasing that number. As I add other homepage sections and/or more articles I plan to switch to a three-way filter: Latest, Greatest, or All Posts. (Latest will be capped instead of showing the full list.) All of my articles are tagged with topics in their Markdown files, so surfacing those as a navigational tool is always an open, too.
So what do all of these changes add up to and how does today’s version compare to what I started with six days ago? People can no longer read my bio or see my work, but what is on here is more colourful and easier to read. One step forward, two steps back…