Revamping the Blog - xanghe v2.0

This blog has always been an experiment. Every time I learned something new, I would try to implement it. Well, I did it again.

This new design was inspired by the Web 2.0 sites I frequent (eBay, Facebook, Trulia, etc), some sites that try to break the Web 2.0 look (W3 <MARKUP/>, a Wordpress theme, Cameron Moll's site), and of course the magic of jQuery. I don't hold a candle to those masters, but by meager imitation I hope to achieve something that is appealing to me and functional for the readers (if any).

I'm caught between contemporary design and grunge, between straight lines and organic forms, so I end up with geometric shapes with shifting opacity, all superimposed over color-rich backgrounds. I love interaction (hence the really-useless dragging in the old blog) so I've attempted to encourage visitors (even force them) to interact with the site to initiate anything - even just reading. The icon in the bottom right opens the Background Picker, which... well... picks the background. The great part about the "picker" is that it is populated live from a google spreadsheet rss feed (didn't use an AJAX call because my database is on another domain and I don't like proxies - thank goodness for JSON!), so as soon as I add more background options, the menu will repopulate on the next click without even reloading the page!!! Ok, maybe the exclamation marks are too much, but I think it's cool.

Bedtime. Now that I enjoy seeing my own blog again I should probably start posting more. Or maybe I'll just play with the sidebar tabs.


Amanda said...

Your blog is awesome! I don't know about half the jargon you used in this post but it's some pretty fancy stuff! Don't judge my simple minded ways...I do live in the South now!

xanghe said...

Well, you always knew I was a nerd. The funny thing is that I don't understand most of it, either!

Triet said...

Ok, I have to say, although I love the vision, and unique-ness of your blog, your transparency in the blog post column is really starting to bug me.

Every time the mouse leaves the blog post column, your column goes transparent and I cannot read it. This is a major headache since I typically am surfing from a laptop and do not have a scrollwheel on a mouse.

When I want to scroll down the page, I move my mouse over to the scrollbar on the right side of the screen, causing my reading field to go transparent, and then must move the mouse back over the reading field to continue.

I suggest aligning your blog column on the right side of the screen, to make it easy for people to read and scroll.

those are my two cents.

xanghe said...

I agree.

travel log
  • 02.13.08 - to the temple with Luan and his mom, good to be back
  • 02.14.08 - Mẫu's alive! and staying for the weekend
  • 02.15.08 - floor hockey and Thái food makes for some strange dreams
  • 02.17.08 - frisbee and swamp monster at the park: fun but I'm pooped!
  • 02.19.08 - just read Triết's response to my last post - game on!
  • 02.20.08 - raining and expected to continue through Sunday - thank goodness!
  • 02.21.08 - 3-hour nap is a bad idea right before bed
  • 02.23.08 - to the beach to watch kites, a baptism @ 5pm, and homemade bulgogi - what a day!
  • 02.25.08 - just gave myself a haircut - woo, cold head!
  • 02.26.08 - 75° and spring cleaning - couldn't feel better
  • 02.27.08 - fed the elders bún đậu tonight - think it's their first time
  • 03.01.08 - working on new background...
  • 03.02.08 - finalized javascript to change background without muffing up my other scripts
  • 03.03.08 - fhe: "In his strength I can do all things" (Alma 26:12)
  • 03.07.08 - some decisions are harder than others, but some are downright excruciating
  • 03.08.08 - there is life after work... i almost forgot
  • 03.11.08 - the distance between good and bad is much shorter than between better and best
  • 03.12.08 - conversion is sometimes a gradual process, so much so that we don't even notice
  • 03.14.08 - for some reason everything was a little harder today, looking forward for bed!
  • 03.15.08 - last night after blog reading, I missed OnlyBlue, today I find she's back
  • 03.16.08 - best day of my life!
  • 03.19.08 - "Pray for the answer that they've been looking for"
release notes v1.0 - FINALLY DONE!
  • 12.07 - first thought of starting a new blog
  • 01.08 - busy with election stuff but blog design still on back burner
  • 01.13.08 - first idea to imitate jk rowling with the "desk" theme
  • 01.28.08 - start sketching current design, breaking down development into phases
  • 02.02.08 - election only days away but still drafting final plans
  • 02.04.08 - v0.6 LAUNCH
    • main components (blog body, sidebar, header, etc) designed and implemented
    • styling for font, links, drop caps, etc. finished
  • 02.07.08 - v0.8 LAUNCH
    • image style to imitate polariod
    • moveability - post-it notes and static clings can be repositioned by drag and drop
    • release notes styled and written
  • 02.16.08 - travel log (beta) added in hopes of catching the mundane
  • 02.22.08 - lightbox 2.03 reinstalled and working fine (hopefully - let me know otherwise)
  • 02.26.08 - v0.9 LAUNCH
    • travel log seems to be working, so I'll keep it
    • lightbox also seems to have passed the test, so it's a keeper
    • some credits/info added to bottom (will expand)
    • keeping old Viet terms in archive for future viewing
  • 03.18.08 - v1.0 LAUNCH
    • installation and testing of time-sensitive background completed (for now)