When I decided to go freelance, I could have chosen to sell my services from another domain, separating personal from work stuff. There are a couple of reasons why I chose to keep things here at Noscope, the first and foremost being that keeping things here was the quick and easy thing to do. Secondly, my commercial work will somehow be personal (that’s the plan at least). Finally, chances are potential clients’ll find me here.
How does one realign a personal website to be part commercial, part what it was before? Gents like Jon Hicks have managed. What’s the trick? Do I employ censorship? Fuck no. Do I write more or less personal content? The plan is more.
The previous design (( Entitled “Pangea” for the supercontinent that was Earth before its continents drifted apart. More in the archives. )) stuck around for quite a while. It was a a fairly basic layout with tabs, whitish bluish colors and an oldschool cut corner. Nothing really wrong with that, so as you can see it’s still mostly the same. The changes are mainly structural.
- There were simply too many tabs, it wasn’t not focused enough.
- With new stuff in the subsections, I increased the contrast to make those links more apparent.
- The simpler main section setup allows me to add lots of new subsections. I’m hoping to eventually make one in the Work tab that says “art book”, maybe one that says “posters”. I can dream, can’t I?
Previously the many tabs were there to highlight all the various sections up front in the primary navigation. As it didn’t create any renewed interest in the stale sections such as the picture & wallpaper section, I decided my plan to “unite the continents” had failed. Accepting this failure, I decided to move some things to subsections instead.
- “Colophon” was fun for a while. Now it’s called “About”, because it’s “about me and what I do”. Beware of added commercial propaganda content.
- The old homepage was a “digest page” automatically showing new content from various sections, yet it still felt static and dead.
- Because the homepage is the default section which new visitors are likely to see first, I decided to use it for pretty pictures. While I interact the most with people commenting in this blog section, it’s easy to forget that this is just a little clubhouse. Most people will have no idea what’s going on. The new setup with a static explanatory homepage, I believe, gives a better introduction to what the hell this is all about.
- I needed room for an upcoming side-project, so I’ve added a “Vn” tab. Some of you may have guessed this is dedicated to mathematician John von Neumann, in honor of whom I’ve named a generative graphics engine.
- Behind the curtain stands a tiny AJAX wizard, all clad in blue and dynamically serves up pictures from the archives. Click “Older” in the bottom of the page to see his skills. This wizard is named Michael Heilemann, in honor of the author of rolling archives, from which the wizard stole his powers.
Accepting this staleness, I decided to entirely scrap the digest page and use the homepage differently.
Through The Looking Glass
Some changes are purely cosmetic, some are a structural. For instance, since my camera got stolen, I haven’t photographed. With posters coming up, the wallpaper section deserves a revamp. As a result, the pics & desktops section is in limbo, relegated to being a subsection of the journal.
The journal (you’re looking at it) got the most changes, mainly invisible ones. Comments have been adjusted for clarity, the main page has been cache optimized and WordPress has been updated. Also, most of the code is now based on the upcoming final release of the Fauna theme. Finally, there are tiny ♥ icons in the main feed. Kinda like Gruber. All tiny cosmetic changes that give that “new paint-job” feeling.
Whether the changes made will work out given time, remains to be seen. So far, I’m enjoying the new car smell. Alas, it’s what’s under the hood that matters, so here’s hoping this old car has a few miles in it still.