The Humanaught v3 Has Arrived

My eyes are cooked, my ass is numb, my fingers are cramped… the redesign is done!

For anyone not reading this in their RSS feed reader or on a splog, the changes should be pretty apparent. But I’m going to run through some of them anyway πŸ™‚

First, I should mention, I’m not a big fan of switching themes. I think a blog develops some of its character from the look of it, and if it’s changing all the time, I feel it takes something away from it all.

That said, I really wanted to have a design that was all mine. Design, coded and styled from the ground up by me. It’s actually a little pecular that this site, my first, was the last one to get its own custom design.

Well, I should give some credit to Chris Murphy at Far From Fearless for giving me some healthy inspiration. His excellent design played a heavy influence in how I wanted my new look to look.

So, what’s new?

The blogroll has been shortened. Instead of listing one massively long list of links, I’ve limited it to a short random selection that changes every time the page loads. You can see all the links on the Links page.

The comments are now equipped with Gravatars. If you don’t know what Gravatars are, here’s the definition from the site:

A gravatar, or globally recognized avatar, is quite simply an 80Γ—80 pixel avatar image that follows you from weblog to weblog appearing beside your name when you comment on gravatar enabled sites. Avatars help identify your posts on web forums, so why not on weblogs?

It’s a cool way for you to personalize your comments on this blog, or any blog that supports gravatars. You just sign up for a free Gravatar account, upload your photo, and it does the rest. It works off of the e-mail you use when you comment. So if you sign up now all the posts you’ve commented on here will magically show your pretty picture.

Another change I tried to keep focused on with the redesign was attempting to clean up my sidebar. It’s not perfect, but it’s a bit more thought out than the previous one.

I’ve done my best to make everything as cross-browser compatible as possible, but I’ve very likely missed a few things here or there. Please let me know if anything is acting stupid.

Well, it’s 2 a.m., and I have to host a “Last Day Of English Summer Camp” party tomorrow morning… this boy needs sleep.

And for anyone that’s curious:
Version One of this blog was the initial blog I started upon moving to China back in January 2005.
Version Two was when I first moved to WordPress.

18 Responses

  1. I like the new look! The only thing that may be difficult to get used to is seeing the comments so far down the page. Unless you know to scroll down a lot it seems like there are no comments or comment form for the post.

  2. Haha! That’s because he wants all the glory, and doesn’t want pesky comments to distract from his magnificent posts!

    Nice job; in awe, as always.

  3. Hey guys, cheers. The comments thing is a “working issue”. I really like the look of having them down here in the footer over just under the post.

    The problem is that the sidebar is too long and forces the whole thing down. It’s particularly a problem on shorter posts.

    I’ve added a “Jump To Comments” link in the post’s meta, but it’s a little nondescript. I’ll work up a better solution this afternoon. πŸ˜‰

    @Chris: Regarding your Gravatar. It took a while for mine to show up too. Give it a while.

  4. I’d say make the related links smaller, stuff it into the “tag box thing”, get rid of or delete around 200pixels of stuff on the right side, perhaps you could move something to take the place of the life preview, which isn’t completely necessary. After all that move the comments section up right below the tags area. All in all a great design though! Very clean CSS.

  5. I like it a lot. Nice work man. Plus the ‘gravatar’ thingies are a cool idea. (Now I get to display my beautiful face in your comment box!)
    Keep it up.

  6. Hey John and Jason, thanks for the comments.

    I think I’ve come up with a solution to the white space created on short posts with long sidebars.

    You can see now that the sidebar dynamically creates depending on the length of the post’s content. More content, more elements.

    If anyone (for some strange reason) is curious how to do this – check out my new post over at Dao By Design.

  7. Wonderful. I’m jealous of your skills.

    I think you should consider releasing either your old theme or both your old and new theme to the public. Good looking free themes are big traffic generators and can do wonders to promote beginner designers.

  8. Great job on the new look! I gave up on mine months ago, lol. I’ve been keeping myself busy with the day job and working on building my name as a photographer. I’m also working on a new design for my site as well. I’ll let you know when it’s up.

  9. Sorry not a big fan of the new look. Maybe I just like familiarity. The comments format especially is not for me with the speech bubble boxes. I guess I am just a fan of minimalism and simplicity.

  10. @Jenn: Cheers!

    @fiLi: The last theme wasn’t really “mine”. It was a (rather modified) open-source theme. And though a lot of people release re-imagined themes, I dunno… would rather create my own.

    Which is something I’m planning to do. I definitely see the value in creating some good freebies to help get my name out there. Plus, I just like making them πŸ˜‰

    @Nathan: I’m having trouble even getting on your site now. πŸ™ Have been following your photography though – awesome stuff!

    @WAZG: I like minimalism too, but as this site has sorta become my “flagship” for what can be done with WordPress and skins in general, I wanted to make it a bit flashy while also adding to the function. And I love the comments now :-P, I really like being able to see people’s pretty little faces. Just adds a new level of interactivity in my opinion.

  11. Ryan, very very slick! I definitely wish I had your skills, as I spent nearly 2 full days just learning how to rip off other sites’ design aspects to tweak my template. This is definitely a sweet looking site; congrats on a kick-ass job.

  12. Pingback: Blog redesign, take 5-ish | A China Blog on Suzhou Expat Life

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