Answering my own questions since 2001

A New Design for DarrenBarefoot.com

We’ve finally gotten around to launching the newest version of this website. It’s about nine years old, and I think this is version 4.0. There are still plenty of bugs to squash (and the Jobs section is going to be ‘coming soon’ for a while), but all the basics are in. I also need to think about what the best stuff to include in the sidebars of the site is. I welcome any suggestions on that front.

I didn’t have a lot of grand plans for the redesign. Mostly I just was tired of the old design, and thought it was high time for a new one. Plus, I wanted to broaden the main column space a bit, make the site widget-ready, implement threaded comments, get all the static pages into WordPress and tweak sundry other bits and pieces.

One Mashed-Up Header

I am particularly pleased about the way the header graphic came together. Regular readers may recall that, back in March, I ran a competition on Pixish (now defunct, sadly) to get a new header graphic designed. It looked like this:

Early Verison of new DB.com Header

That was designed by a guy named Sam, who lived in Brighton. It combined a photo that Roland took of a film lot directional sign (that really said ‘DB’–no Photoshopping required) with a photo of me that Phillip took at BarCamp.

I handed the header graphic to Tzaddi, who tweaked it and built out the rest of the site’s aesthetic. In early previews of the site, people weren’t keen on that photo, so we replaced it with one that Scott Beale took at Gnomedex.

The header is the happy result of an ad hoc collaboration between five people and powered by Creative Commons. Plus sixty4media did the installation and upgrading of WordPress, so I suppose that’s seven people.

Feedback Welcome

I welcome any and all feedback. I’m pretty happy with the aesthetics at this stage, but I’m open to suggestions. If you spot anything that’s funky aside from the obvious, feel free to leave a comment. And do let me know if you have an opinion on what belongs in a site’s sidebars.

17 Responses to “A New Design for DarrenBarefoot.com”

  1. Kimm

    very sharp, it’s nice to get 7 people to help you out like that :)

    The right sidebar looks unbalance to me, or is it expose to be like that?

  2. wader

    looks good. nice work! It’s a nice and needed upgrade.

  3. Raul

    I had already told you that I like it, but I figured I’d add my comment on your blog :)

  4. JohnB

    Ol’ fuddy-duddy here. I liked the old version better — it seemed to have a more personal (minimalist) feel to it … this simply looks a little too busy. But nobody is going to come here because of the layout and them … and nobody is going to stay away because of the layout and theme. People (well, I do, anyway) come here for your peripatetic [isn’t that such a great word!] musings and other content and I rather doubt that will change

  5. Tasha

    I like it, it’s purdy!

    The only feedback I have otherwise is that on my 17″ monitor at 1024×768, the header eats up 50% of the immediate viewing area. Not sure if this bothers me enough.. but that’s one big “D B” greeting me!

  6. Eva

    Giant ego arrow doesn’t do it for me. Looking at you from below isn’t that appealing either.

    Nice colors, though.

  7. gilliebean

    I like the design. However, I felt safe in the old design and this one makes me feel frightened.

  8. Roshan

    Has anyone told you that you look a lot like Matt Good? Especially in this pic. And some other guy (member of a brit band whose name I can’t remember)

  9. bobby

    Darren: remove the pose(s). MAkes you look like a big idiot which you’re not.

    Good upgrade otherwise. Am impressed.

    Hope that helps
    Bobby.

  10. jd

    I really like the colors, but am I the only one who thinks it’s strange to scroll through a post only to have to scroll all the way back up to the start to read through the comments?

  11. Erika Rathje

    Nice job, Darren! I like the colour palette; it’s harmonious. I also like the way the nav and search box are integrated into the header. Sorry I didn’t notice sooner, I’ve kind of dropped out of the loop the last couple months. Maybe the successive elections tired me out!

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