When I rebuilt this site at the beginning of 2013, ready for the second cycle of the diary, I didn’t have time to finish the design of the pages. While all the behind-the-scenes code had been built from scratch, the visible parts didn’t get much attention. The monochrome look was functional but didn’t give the impression a website about a 17th century character should.
I didn’t expect it to take me so long to finish this, but finally the site now looks a little better. I’ve tried to balance a few things:
- To make the site look more appealing and more in-keeping with the theme.
- To keep it clear, readable and usable.
- To not start from scratch; this was more a lick of (traditional, heritage) paint on the existing framework rather than a complete remodelling of the structure.
- To make it work better on mobile devices.
- To not move things around too much; everything should work pretty much as before.
- To not take much time.
Hopefully I’ve succeeded with all but the final point! I dread to think how long it would have taken me if I’d undertaken a more fundamental redesign. All of the best aspects of the design are entirely down to ace designer and lovely chap Dean Vipond, while anything that’s not working or looking strange is down to my implementation of his work.
There are still things to finish. I’m going to work back through the Site News posts and In-Depth Articles to fix a lot of things which are now broken. And there are a few other rough edges that will get smoothed out over time. Please do post below if there’s something that looks wrong, or that doesn’t work, or simply makes your regular use of the site more difficult than it should be!
(For the technically-minded: The previous front-end was a slightly-tweaked version of Bootstrap v2. The new is a more heavily tweaked version of Bootstrap v3, hopefully less immediately recognisable.)
UPDATE. Here are some images of the different appearances of the site over the years: