Sunday, December 4

Grogmaster Redesign

I just finished putting up a redesign of the blog. Well, it’s more like a design, as up to now I was using a stock Blogger template. I decided to change things up to exercise my design skills and see how I could integrate some data stored on other websites into the blog.

I tried a little bit of Powazek’s idea of putting a lot of content at the bottom of the page (something I’ve written about here and on Buzz), stashing the recent posts and content from various other websites (, Flickr, and down there. Hopefully you’ll have somewhere fun to go when you’re done reading a post. is working on adding custom styles for its chart images, so once that’s available I’ll probably tweak those things a bit more.

There are also some elements of Nielsen’s usability guidelines for blogs. In particular, I’ve updated my bio a bit and I’m also planning on including links to useful/popular posts I’ve made (as soon as I make some). Though, looking at the logs, my post about the Hamster Dance song is far and away the most read; certainly not a highlight, even though it gets tons of search engine traffic.

The icons are all from playing in the Mac OS X Character Palette. I’ve recently taken to adding the skull-and-crossbones to the end of my name in work e-mail (because of Gmail’s Unicode support it’s become a bit of a fad at Google to put fun characters in your display name), and I wanted to incorporate that design into the site. The rest just sort of followed from that. I liked the finger especially, as it reminds me of the way P.T. Bridgeport would speak in old Pogo comics:

I have a few changes here and there to clean up, in particular the way images show up in posts. I liked the old template’s image borders, and I’ll probably add back something similar. Also, I haven’t tested it in IE yet. Meh to that browser.