No Redesign Today

I know I promised the ether that I’d publish a Noscope redesign today. And here it is; white squares on what is currently a grayish background in a fixed-width single column left-aligned design.

One day I woke up and felt like shedding my old clothes (( By the way, I’ve gathered a little wardrobe of discarded clothes, you can see all the previous no-designs there )). Since I make my living doing websites, cleverer people than me might have advised that I do that years ago. I’d tell them that redesigns are essentially bad, and should only be done if you have really good reasons to do so. Fortunately, I’ve had plenty of reason for quite a while.

At one point I had a love-affair with liquid-width designs—you know, designs where if you scale your browser window, the contents stretch to fit? As it turns out, we were starcrossed lovers. This, in part due to James apt observations that the appearance of fullpage zoom spells the death of said mistress. I happen to agree.

Fullpage zoom is only available in modern browsers—nearly all browsers built after the year 2001, or in humanspeak: not IE6. That means users of said browser aren’t welcome here any more. That includes potential clients for my webdesign business; yep, I’m that serious. I won’t build your crap anymore! Shoo! Go back to your Ford T and speak of how the old days were better. All those are met with an unwelcome message.

No_IE6s_Club

I’m a fan of both simple, changing and not changing designs. Those are three core values that are fairly hard to wed. My attempt at doing so spells square shapes, no cut corners, a single column (another bandwagon I’m late to join) and changing backgrounds. Right now I’m really satisfied with the current Apophysis generated fractal flame gracing the underbelly of this vehicle of text, but it’ll change. From time to time. That and colors.

In fact, at one point I wanted every color to be so customizable that I tried to concoct deadly mechanisms to achieve my goals. The idea was to upload vectorized SVG icons, and colorize and convert them to PNGs on the fly, serving iconography fitted to the time of day, my mood, heck, even your mood. No such luck, this time around.

I also ditched the tabs;

Before:

Noscope_Before

After:

Noscope_After

Today, well, even back when I added the tabs in the first place, tabs indicate instant effect. This being an HTML powered website (the best type of powered website), the effects were never instant. So no more tabs, except on the frontpage, where the effect is instant. I knew this all along, but I told myself that I wanted to unite the various sections and bring focus to other content than just this journal. I have no such illusions any more, now I just want you to look once at my contact page, because I think it looks really nice.

18 thoughts on “No Redesign Today”

  1. Vindberg, A. says:

    Wow!

    Your darker sides are beginning to show – out with IE 6.0 and other archaic browsers. I agree with your position but I guess I don’t have the guts to proclaim my sentiment as directly 🙂

    Change is always good if it means improved userability. I can agree with your argument for removing the tabs (although they were beautiful), however, I would see new use for them at your http://noscope.com/journal page concerning “Links” and “Comments” although they would be upside-down.

    Finally giving in to the power of fixed width design (which i love)) should your searchbar not be fixed in the same space?

    Wonderful background graffiti!

  2. Bramick says:

    HAHHA!

    I love it. Way to make a stand. Maybe they’ll me me do it with website at work 🙂

  3. Joen says:

    Your darker sides are beginning to show – out with IE 6.0 and other archaic browsers. I agree with your position but I guess I don

  4. Scaught says:

    Joen I’ve been following you on Twitter and noticed you posted a lot of updates concerning Dreamweaver. I was wondering if it played a part in the re-design of the site, and if so, why do you choose to use it? I agree with your comments on Twitter that it always really annoys me to use, hehe.

  5. Joen says:

    I was wondering if it played a part in the re-design of the site, and if so, why do you choose to use it?

    I did use Dreamweaver, yes, for a number of reasons, none of them involving WYSIWYG, though;

    • I like the integrated FTP. I edit a file, save it, and press CTRL + SHIFT + U to upload.
    • I like the sitemap, where I can pick any file to edit it.
    • I can do regex search and replace in multiple files.
    • The syntax highlighting and CSS library is handy.

    What I don’t like, however, is that it’s mega slow and crashes a lot.

  6. Dave Child says:

    I’m a big fan of graceful degradation and progressive enhancement, which is why I’ve never blocked a specific browser from my site. I don’t care what the user uses to view my site – that’s their business and it’s not up to me to dictate to them.

    That said, my site is a hobby site, not my business (yet), and I can appreciate that your business needs might be different. I just think blocking is heavy handed when compared to the alternatives (not serving css to ie6, for example).

  7. Joen says:

    I just think blocking is heavy handed when compared to the alternatives (not serving css to ie6, for example).

    Hmm. Interesting. I’ll ponder that for a minute and I might do just that — unblock but remove the CSS. Maybe.

    I’ll let the current configuration sit for a while and see what people say. It still feels right.

    Edit: Addition: It’s not that I won’t listen to reason, it’s just that I feel that I’m the voice of reason in this case.

  8. Bilal says:

    Looks really good. I love it!

  9. mo says:

    from a straight edge content focused theme to a streamline semi transparent artistic theme focusing even more on the content than before.

    i think the bg art suits your artistic side very well.

    ditching IE6 (with a big banner) is a brave move, maybe we are the ones who are supposed to inform them so that this transfer takes over faster.

    seriously considering this myself.. saves me 99% of my time coding – why not?

    information bar / semi transparent design balancing header – at the top, i love this part the most.

    also like this blank-column-space in the content div on the right here 🙂

    well done.. mood color themes?

    my o my

    tell me if that ever happens

  10. Nice uprooting of your design! Good to see ou breathing life into your design again 🙂

    And irony of ironies, I’m using the one modern browser not to have implemented full-page zoom just yet: Safari.

  11. Joen says:

    also like this blank-column-space in the content div on the right here 🙂

    I was wondering if anyone was going to notice! I feel pretty good about that as well. There’s an added benefit, btw, as frontpage images are fullwidth 780px, and blog images are 600px.

  12. Joen says:

    And irony of ironies, I

  13. Vindberg, A. says:

    Why not just build everything in FLASH? Then it won

  14. Joen says:

    Opinions are always welcome here.

    You’re right, I probably will alienate potential clients. I even admit that it’s slightly arrogant.

    However, arrogant as the message may be, I believe it also communicates some gutsyness. Maybe, just maybe, the client I’m alienating will think “Hey, that’s progressive”, perhaps even “Wow, maybe it’s time I upgrade the browser I’ve had since 2001”. Possibly, the client will just think “Wow, I’m going elsewhere”.

    Right at this moment, I’m thinking all of the above is okay, and I’m going to try it out for a while and see how it plays out.

    As mentioned, I really don’t want to build IE6 compatible sites anymore; it’s a waste of time and effort better spent elsewhere. If I alienate customers who want IE6 compatible sites, perhaps that’s okay.

    Dave’s comment that I could serve the webpage without CSS for IE6 users, possibly a message explaining why, seems like the logical alternative to the current provocative one. Whether I do this or that, I’ll update here on what happens.

    As for Flash, I don’t build Flash sites any more. They’re rarely user-friendly, they take a lot more time to build, they’re lousy for search engines and they’re hard to hook up to CMSes.

  15. Jonas Rabbe says:

    I like it a lot. I hope to have time to look through the site a little more thoroughly later, but I already love the underlayed graphic at the top and how the menu looks. Very nice.

  16. Tristan says:

    Beautiful and unique, as always! Looking great. I love the stunning effect of the paint swipe, and the texture is great. It’s not worn-looking, but it’s not flat-looking either, it makes a good combination.

    I also love the custom ZP theme, looks like that’s working well.

  17. Joen says:

    Thanks for the comments.

    I also love the custom ZP theme, looks like that

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