As I briefly mentioned on Monday, I have finally redesigned Binary Moon.
I actually started redesigning about 2 years ago. Initially it was going to be an update rather than a totally new look, and I even built most of it, but I just wasn't entirely happy.
Then last year I started building what would become my soon to be released framework, Elemental, and the logical progression from that was to use it as the base for the site you see before you now.
The primary objective of the redesign was to make it easier for people to navigate, which in turn should make increase page views and hopefully encourage reader participation (ie comments).
I also wanted to make it easier to subscribe to the site, either through RSS feeds or with something like Twitter.
Another area that needed significant improvement was the homepage. It used to focus on a single post, but that meant there wasn't much incentive to browse the other areas - and there was nothing that displayed the breadth of content I have. The new home page that has 3 recent posts, and the three main categories of content, gives a much better idea of why the site exists.
I decided early on that I wanted to make the site more 'interactive', and jQuery was the obvious choice. I then plumped for the jQuery Tools library which allowed me to quickly add a whole bunch of dynamic content. You can see some of the interactivity by clicking the RSS or search buttons in the site header.
I wanted to try and keep things relevant, so rather than have the same sidebar content on all pages I use some simple conditional statements to show different elements based upon the category you are in. The web design category is currently the most full, with the entertainment category in second place (showcasing my games, and recent Binary Joy posts).
I intend to take this further in the future with more content for categories outside the two mentioned above, and even different designs to increase the distinction between areas.
I also wanted to make it clearer WHO the site was about. So I added a small photo and description of myself on every page. I also added my gravatar to every post, and will be rewriting the about page at some stage.
Technically there are quite a few new things going on under the hood and I intend to do some more detailed posts in the future explaining some of my concepts. These posts will actually all tie into Elemental as most of what I have done is included there.
What do you think?
I've had some really nice comments about the design but I would be really interested in hearing more specifically what you like or dislike, and for the techies among you - is there anything you would like me to explain in the tutorial posts I mentioned above?