Finally, the 3 month long redesign of nimbupani.com is complete. The design was first explored in nimbu.in, and, as you can see, I made minor changes while adapting it to this site. Here are some of the changes that you can look forward to:
This site uses HTML 5 markup and uses HTML 5 valid code (at least for the recent posts), which unfortunately means Firefox 2 users will get weird layout issues. Sorry Firefox 2 users, please subscribe or turn off styling for a better experience.
Better Reading Experience
My posts on this blog have become longer and the previous design did not allow readers to read the post comfortably. The default font size is bigger, and has more contrast with the background. I have removed other distracting elements like the delicious links (which are anyway bundled with the main feed) and twitter updates.
Exploration of Archives
There are more than 600 posts, dating from 27th July 2003, on this site. The previous design did not allow exploration of older posts (and a dysfunctional search form did not help). I am still tinkering with an efficient way of presenting the archives, but I am pleased that many people are already discovering older posts after the redesign.
I was, unfortunately, one of the mindless millions who enabled tagging on their blogs just because it was “cool” thing to do at that time. That has brought along an excess of tags that I really did not need, so I have grouped them in to mainly these categories: Illustration, Drupal, Web Design, Book Reviews, and Others. Others is where all the rest of tags go and die. This is a work in progress, and would change depending on how people use this site.
The good news is I actually have a search form on every page that works. I have also enabled advanced search on the main search page. If you are interested in the books I have reviewed, now you have a better chance of finding if I have reviewed them.
To say it was hard to develop in Drupal 6 is an understatement. Mark Boulton nails it. It seems to me, the answer to design questions for Drupal developers seems to be to create another module, use SQL queries, or Drupal functions. The UX for the Site Administrator functions has remained unchanged for 6 years, and still horrible. More details coming in a post about creating HTML5 themes for Drupal 6.
The last design used a ready-to-use print CSS available as a Drupal module. I included a print CSS with this design and uses paged media properties which is not supported by Safari and IE 7-.
The “portfolio” that was hanging on the homepage served no purpose. So, the blog again takes the main stage. My intention is this site will remain as a collection of all my writing online.
I would love to hear your opinions on the new design and experience of using nimbupani.com. You can either post them as comments here or as replies to my twitter updates.