v5: An Atypical Reboot

Posted November 19th, 2007 by Mike Cherim

In case you might not have noticed, I completely rebooted my my site’s main pages. The styling didn’t really change — I may do some tweaks in that department soon — but the underlying markup changed dramatically. I also completely rewrote all the scripting used to make the thing easier to upkeep. A complete rebuild, yet still a standalone as it always has been (the site is pre-blog), but now it’s tapped into the power of my blog’s style sheet as I did borrow the structure, throwing in a couple of new styles where needed. I think it was a sound decision.

No links were harmed in the making of what I’m calling “ v5.” I attempted to do it in a way that would remain virtually undetected unless I spilled the beans, just as I have spilled them on you. All new pages — including error pages — should validate and should pass an automated accessibility check to the priority three level. It just so happens there’s a link on the footer of each site page for checking this. (Learn how to do that on your site.)

Aside from the low contrast situation with my #99cc66-green headings, which is on my “styling tweaks” list, how’s it look? Everything seem up to snuff? Being the daring soul that I am, I haven’t checked it in Internet Explorer (IE) 6 — though I did look at it in Firefox, IE 7, Opera 9, and Safari 3 for Windows. If anyone sees anything funky, do give a shout.

Also, I have a question: Right now, on all of my the blog’s inner post singles and pages, the masthead points to the blog’s main page. And on the blog’s main page the masthead isn’t a link. But should I make it a link? And have it point to my main index, my “Home” page? I sort of think it should, while another part of me thinks it might lack intuitiveness and that I should leave it as is. Plus the text does say “Beast-Blog” so that might be an issue. And you say…

9 Responses to: “ v5: An Atypical Reboot”

  1. JackP responds:
    Posted: November 19th, 2007 at 6:36 am

    I have to admit I hardly ever (never?) visit the part of the site that doesn’t have /blog/ on it. I guess this is because I’m interested in Mike, and Mike’s opinions, rather than in Mike’s business.

    However, as the masthead on a blog entry takes you to the blog, it would maybe be appropriate for the blog masthead to take you to the main site. And it’s your site so you’re perfectly entitled to do what you like with it. But I kinda know what you mean about the title saying beast-blog too…

  2. Sarah Bourne responds:
    Posted: November 19th, 2007 at 11:19 am

    I think it would be a very bad idea to have the banner link behave differently on different pages. Also, you should have a prominent link to your Green-Beast site on every page. It’s very easy to get to from the blog home page, but not so easy to figure out if you come in at a post page, a frequent occurrence in our brave new Google First world.

    BTW, we did a reworking of all our code about this time last year, and then launched a complete visual make-over by loading a new style sheet a month or so later. (Well, we had to tweak some banner HTML, too.) It was a huge endeavor that addressed a host of outstanding accessibility tweaks, html coding errors, etc. and we were delighted when … nobody noticed! Here’s hoping the same for you!

  3. David Zemens responds:
    Posted: November 19th, 2007 at 4:24 pm

    I added a “ Home” link to my single pages next to the “Beast-Blog Home” link so hopefully that’ll make it easier

    I must be having a senior moment, Mike, but for the life of me I can’t figure out what you mean by this.

    For whatever my vote is worth, I think the header image should take the user back to the main site Home page. I feel it should be consistent across the website. But hey, what do I know! :-) I come to your site to learn things from you!

  4. wdray3 responds:
    Posted: November 19th, 2007 at 9:59 pm

    I checked it on IE6 it look’s good, I also flipped from Firefox back to IE6 too see If I notice any difference,
    good job. Like other’s I come to learn.

  5. The Joys of Consistent Web Practices - responds:
    Posted: November 27th, 2007 at 2:46 am

    […] Site-to-site consistency as it applies to a web site’s user interface is an important part of web usability. Certain things should be supplied while others avoided. Things like obscure “Mystery Meat” navigation should be avoided by the developer as it can destroy web site usability. The things that should be supplied have been determined by the web’s organic growth as user expectations and some consistent user habits have come to be. An example of this might be a clickable masthead, banner, or logo taking the user home (this was and is on my mind right now as it applies to this blog and my site). I would guess that most web users have grown to expect this. Another example might be the underlining of in-content links. And yet another example may be to provide an About page for the user. Or maybe a site map provision. I don’t wish to stifle creativity or visual design, but consideration needs to be given to the application of these site attributes. […]

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