New Year, New Material Design.

I’m not proud of much. Pride isn’t something that I’m particularly comfortable with. It’s an emotion for other, successful, happy people who chose a field as a teenager that they now excel in. It’s not for a chancer who got into this job mainly because my list of skills were so narrow that “computer stuff” was basically inevitable.

I’ve done acceptable work before, in fact passable is what I trade in on a daily basis. But there’s always a hack in the code, or a flaw in the workflow, or just a poor design that stops me being proud of the work I do. I’m a fraud as a developer because I’m self taught, there’s numerous coding languages that I don’t know, and I’m barely even close to understanding Javascript task runners. As a designer, I’m even worst.

But, after that self indulgent outpouring of low self esteem, I’m really proud of how this site now looks. There, I’ve said it. I type “I have done a good job on this” and not feel like a fraud, or like I’m being boastful to cover an error. It’s by no means finished, there’s plenty more to be done on the site, which I’ll get into later (possibly).

Making Changes

The redesign was influenced by a few different sites. Firstly, I loved how A List Apart presents its articles, a big fat header/standfirst with the rest of the article being slimmer. Then Post Status went and did a similar thing, except with a big fat header image as well (this is coming as soon as I get good at images).

Then there was material design. The spec is full of phrases that I’m not clever or artistically minded enough to understand like “Material is the metaphor,” but what it did have was a lot of real examples that I could steal the CSS of, and a ready made colour palette to pick from. Picking colours is undoubtedly one of my biggest weaknesses.

I knew I wanted to keep the site pink and blue, so they’re the exact colours I chose from the spec. After re-doing the logo image, a point on which I am unmovable, material design or no. Lobster stays, as does the ridiculous stroke and drop shadow. The omnipresence of Lobster is probably a blog post in itself, so I’ll save my thoughts on that for there.

After that the design the was mainly done by itself. The last piece of the puzzle was really the light blue background, which is the point that I thought to myself “you’ve done a good job here.” Before then it was white (#fff) and lacked depth, but as soon as the light blue background was in the whole site just looked complete.

It’s not all good though

I’m still not happy with how the new theme handles sidebars, currently not at all. But the initial plan is to have three widgets below the loop, which I’ll put in as soon as I have the time/inclination to do so. Unfortunately, one of my favourite widgets, Murray, was hard coded into the Functions.php of the old theme, and due to a mix up has been lost. So Murray is no more.

I’ve also disabled the Comic Sans roulette and WP Doge, which makes this site a lot more boring. The Doge may be back soon.

Right, I’m publishing this now, as my inactive blog reminder email keeps making me sad. I’ll be back tomorrow, hopefully, with a justification of Awesome Mix 1.