Bernzilla Redesign 2007: Colorful Decay

Album Cover: Into the Wild

"I knew all the rules, but the rules did not know me...guaranteed."
Eddie Vedder / Guaranteed

Posted on July 28, 2007 11:54 AM in Web Design
Warning: This blog entry was written two or more years ago. Therefore, it may contain broken links, out-dated or misleading content, or information that is just plain wrong. Please read on with caution.

It's been a little over a year since I last redesigned my website (unless you count when I went I went pink for October), so it was beginning to feel a little overdue.

One might think that after dubbing that design so depressingly as "Requiem," I'd try and come up with something a little more lively and up-beat this time around. However, I've decided to name this new design "Colorful Decay," simply because it so accurately reflects the state of the photograph at the center of the design.

While maybe not in name, I do think I've addressed the drabness of the previous design somewhat. I like that the navigation bar doesn't completely obscure the upper details of the photo (that is, as long as you're not using a lame web browser), as that allows more of the colors to show through. I also really dig how the main title bar and content area jump out at you with their red and green hues, respectively.

Feature-wise, not a whole lot has changed. I did add a new section to above the sidebar where I'll be putting some of my favorite music lyrics. I've got a few up there now, but expect the number to grow quite a bit over the next few weeks. I also tried to finally become a good web standards citizen and start sending my site's content as application/xhtml+xml for UAs that support it. However, that proved to not be as straightforward as I would have liked it to be. First, I noticed that my Ajax search feature no longer worked once I was serving up the correct MIME type. Furthermore, I realized that a lot of the comments that have been left at my site contain invalid code and I'd either have to run another round (and continued rounds) of wholesale site validation or build in some better safeguarding against allowing invalid characters or entities in comments. I decided to roll back to my less desirable method until I have a better plan of action for those issues.

Anyway, it feels pretty good to finally have a new web design up. I put the finishing touches on it last night around 5am. When I woke up this morning, it passed the test, so I'm pretty pleased with it. I'd really like to hear what you think, though, so please leave a comment. Oh, and if you're reading this in a feed reader, why don't you drop on by and check it out?


Yoel Roth on July 28, 2007 at 12:51 PM:

I love it!

I've been meaning to redo my LiveJournal for a while now (since I lost my last theme to my former host's idiocy), but I keep going half way on a design and then getting bored of it. But I can always appreciate the work of others, and I really, really like this.

One comment: in Camino, the menu bar shifts around a little (the text, anyway) when you hover over it. It might just have something to do with Camino's funky font smoothing, and it's probably not worth worrying about. Just thought I'd let you know anyway..


Bernie Zimmermann on July 28, 2007 at 1:15 PM:

Yoel, thanks for the feedback. I'm glad to hear you like it.

I've noticed the menu bar shifting in Firefox, too, so I'm thinking it has something to do with Gecko.

I don't see the problem in Internet Explorer or Safari, so it looks like Trident and WebCore handle the rules I've set up correctly.

It is a little unsettling that something funky's going on, though, so I may have to do a little debugging and see if I can figure out what's up.


Ryan on July 29, 2007 at 1:01 AM:

Another home run, Bernie. Your style is always inspiring!


Bernie Zimmermann on July 29, 2007 at 12:41 PM:

Thanks, Ryan. Much appreciated.


Zim on July 29, 2007 at 4:55 PM:

Hey, I like it :)
The unique thing that I don't like so much is the blue highlight of your posts. The contrast looks a bit "1.0" (or not so much pretty). Maybe using the same color of the background, but lighter will work too...
Nice work!


Bernie Zimmermann on July 29, 2007 at 5:22 PM:

Zim, thanks for the feedback. The blue highlight of my comments was one of my least-favorite aspects of the new design, so your comment made it change-worthy. I took your advice and made my comments a lighter shade of green. Let me know what you think.


Chu Yeow on July 29, 2007 at 7:41 PM:

I especially like the nice tab touch at the bottom (not so sure about the different font though ;)).


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