Shockingly, it’s been almost three years since I last made major changes to this website. I’m actually still reasonably fond of the old layout, but I figured it was about time I made this thing responsive and better suited to the plethora of devices people browse with these days.
The new layout is based loosely off Anders Norén’s Wilson theme, because honestly, I didn’t feel like doing a responsive theme from scratch.
As someone who doesn’t do a lot of mobile browsing, I’m still kind of grumpy about having to account for the big changes in viewport sizes. Though there are still tiny inconsistencies between modern browsers, cross-browser compatibility has been way less of an issue since IE6 died its slow, slow death and IE in general is on its way out. But responsive design is the browser compatibility problem of this smart phone and tablet era, and I guess it’s only going to get more crazy from here.
In addition to giving the site a mobile version for small screens, I wanted to take better advantage of the huge desk monitors people have now. For portfolio display, the site is now full-width so images can display much bigger. Comic pages are back to going in a lightbox (though they still display full size) because I realized that there was really no reason for me to need a comment area on the pages. All of my comics are short oneshots or stand-alone strips and there are commentary venues on other sites I post on. In the unlikely event I ever do a longform, ongoing comic, I’d make a separate site anyway.
The main design problem I had with a full-width site is what to do with pages of mostly text. Image display is easy, but I personally really dislike when paragraphs stretch across the entire screen, making them long and narrow. I wanted a max-width on paragraphs, but with the sidebar on the left, would it be weird have blocks of content next to it at a max-width, leaving the rest oft he screen blank on large screens? But it’d also be weird to center the contents of the rest of the page to the middle of the area, right?
Oh well. In the end, I went with off-center because it bothered me least of the two options.
Responsiveness isn’t perfect on blog entry pages, as large images aren’t being auto-resized at the moment. I was running into some conflicts between the scripts handling the portfolio and the scripts running native gallery configuration and auto-selecting images in blog posts for display based on browser size is something that would’ve made both of those things even more difficult. :’) I think most people reading my essay-length blog entries are at a desktop anyway, probably with a big cup of caffeine, ready to kill 20 minutes with my verbosity.
Other than the new layout, I did also update almost all the pages of the site. I added more social media icons… I guess that’s about it.
My business cards for the last three years have matched my site layout, and I still have about a thousand cards of that design left. Hopefully people won’t be too confused though! All the same themes are there. My favourite colors are still painfully obvious, anyway.