Monday, March 26, 2012

Extra Cool

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The above is one of the earliest versions of my website homepage (as opposed to my blog). The only thing older than that was a plain page with a list of links on it. The above dates from 2004 and I suppose you would describe it as clunky. It probably served its purpose when the amount of material on the site was small and it didn't stand out as too primitive in its day.

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By 2006 the material had expanded and this was then presented behind the expanded category headings in the left column. Meanwhile the centre column concentrated on drawing particular attention to a smaller number of items.

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An attempt was made later that year to drop the clunk, but the design wasn't great and the site lacked impact. One significant branding improvement was the use of the actual site name, which Nora had originally suggested as a combination of my own name and one of my hobbies.

Click on picture for a larger image

By 2008 Nora had taken a serious look at my attempts at layout and this led to a major qualitative leap in design. The site now had a clean and professional look. She worked the site name into a proper banner heading. The content of the site had expanded considerably, so access was through an expanded set of headings in the left column and the centre column was used to draw attention to new items and updates of older ones.

Click on picture for a larger image
or here to go direct to the site

Finally, Nora suggested dropping the text from the centre column and substituting a photo. Losing all that text space appalled me at first but I got used to it and it increased the impact on the visitor enormously.

I did think, however, that any regular visitors might just get bored with the one picture all the time, so I organised it to cycle through a series of photos, with a new one for each day of the month. The same cycle of photos is then repeated each month. At the moment they are Dublin photos but I have the possibility of substituting others, either of Dublin or elsewhere or on a particular theme.


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