If you’re reading this post via email or feed reader, please stop doing that and click on through to visit and admire the new site design.
Are you here? What do you think?
“Rhubarb rhubarb rhubarb.”
I’m sorry… what did you say?
“It looks a lot like the old theme, minus the sidebar.” (That’s you. That’s the hurtful thing you just said.)
Well, yes, that might be the most noticeable thing. But what about all the white space improvements? And…
Hey. Setting aside the myriad less-visible renovations, subtracting a column is a huge change, don’t you think? It might not be the “960 Grid System” or whatever, but going from two columns to one column is a big hairy deal, wouldn’t you say?
Go on. Say it. Say it now.
“Maybe,” you say, but you sound unconvinced. You’ve hardly noticed the difference. (Maybe because the old sidebar was so elegantly minimal.)
You go on: “Isn’t this about a two minute change? Delete the call to
get_sidebar(). There. You’re done.”
Why are you being so hostile?
A lot of sidebar paraphernalia could be harmlessly jettisoned on most sites, including this one, but I had to find new homes for the about, archives, and subscription links. They’re special, as you can see from their new placement at the top of the page.
A search box used to be on the side, and there needs to be a way to search this place, but that can go on the archives page. That’s what the archives are for: robes, candles, seeking. That kind of thing.
And there was the Creative Commons license. This is important to me, to let you know I’m freely sharing my work, but the license can go at the bottom of the page. People either won’t care about it, or if they do, they’ll be able to find it easily enough there. (Or on the policies page, which, sadly, is still here. It’s one of my least favorite pages. There are minimal changes there. Don’t waste your time looking at it. I’m not even going to link to it here.)
Random Quotes have been demoted to the footer. I love this feature, but it is, and should be, kind of a minor, um, side note. A little diversion to be stumbled upon.
There’s a whole new page for subscriptions. This is very exciting. I wanted a place to expound on the many convenient options for staying current with my voluminous output. I’ve attempted to make this new page entertaining for you. (I think about you and your needs as a reader all the time.)
If you haven’t read the “about” and archives pages before, they’re a hoot. I highly recommend them. They’ve been updated along with the new theme. And the archives page now explains the new “collection” feature. You’ll want to read about that.
Why the Change?
That creaky old sidebar started it.
I was thinking about how things are moving to “mobile,” and I wanted to create a mobile version of the site that would hide the sidebar. But then it seemed easier and more enlightened to try for a single design that looks decent on all devices.
As much as that’s possible, anyway. On my one mobile browser, the Kindle Fire, it starts zoomed out on the new layout, leaving unneeded margins on the left and right. It doesn’t look bad, but it could be better. I keep forgetting to borrow someone’s smartphone to see how the site looks there. Are you reading this on a small screen? Does it look okay? Does it look… awesome?
Along with the removal of the sidebar and dispersal of its population, I’ve spent many joy-filled hours tinkering with other elements of the layout, with my primary goal being to offer a streamlined experience for reading the crap I shovel onto this thing. If you’re going to eat shit, I’m sure you’d rather it be nicely presented.
My growing use of Instapaper and reading on the Kindle has contributed to this focus on “just the words.” Both writing them and reading them. There’s so much junk piled around the words we read online. You’re liable to step on a rusty nail and get tetanus.
While working on the site update, I found Marco Arment’s site. He’s the creator of Instapaper. His site provided additional inspiration for a sparer look. (Thanks, Marco, for Instapaper and for your good taste.)
And I’m producing many new words to pour into this vessel.
Real Soon Now…