C82 v9 launches

By Nicholas Rougeux, posted on January 26, 2008 in C82

New year…new design. I'm pleased to finally release the newest design for this site. The previous design has been feeling dated for a while now and it wasn't quite accomplishing what I wanted.

For the past few months, I've gone through 12 iterations of this design and while that was much longer than I wanted to spend working on it, I'm glad I kept trying new things and settled on this. Knowing that I would eventually settle on something, I decided to save each iteration. A sampling of them is them below. It's interesting—at least for me—to see how my ideas evolved and how I experimented with them.

Collage of design iterationsIterations of the new C82 design

Many designers like to sketch their ideas out before diving right into the final look of things. I've never had a lot of luck doing that. I usually start out with a picture similar to the final result in my head and like to play around with that and see where it takes me. I usually do my best work with as much real data and material as possible, otherwise I feel like I'm not designing something real.

The challenge

I wanted to put my portfolio on equal footing with my blog posts and as you can see, it wasn't an easy task. Since finding time to write is becoming difficult, it didn't make sense to put so much focus on the blog as I was doing. I will still write when I can find time of course. I knew I wanted a simple design that let the art speak for itself but had a hard time keepting it from looking too plain and boring.

After the first 10 iterations, I finally decided to play more with the typography than meaningless decorations and then it didn't take long to develop the theme you see. One thing that's always bothered me about a lot of sites is the size of the text. Since I have a 19" monitor at home and a 20" at work, I frequently have to increase the text size so I'm able to read what's on the screen. Based on others' browsing behaviors that I've seen and my traffic stats, I know I'm not the only one who has to do that. The driving force behind this redesign was reducing the need for doing so.

Features

Some of the new design features I had fun trying out were a deeper focus on typography, larger thumbnails, taking advantage of larger screen resolutions, and the new large features on the home page. Feel free to poke around and see what there is to see. I've also added a few new items to the portfolio.

What about version 8?

If you're wondering where version eight was—the previous was version 7—it was a minor redesign for an academic project that I never released to the public. There wasn't anything special about it so I won't be posting it anywhere.

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