More Site Mockups

Well gang, I’ll probably start building the new site next week. I’ve installed MAMP on my Macbook, so I can design the whole thing in a controlled test environment this time, and the transition should, then, be a simple matter once it’s done and not the huge catastrophe the last upgrade was.

So, other than new aesthetics, what’ll be different? Well, I’ll finally be switching to an AJAX gallery, using jQuery and Galleriffic. I chose Galleriffic because of how intelligently it loads images and saves bandwidth and load time, and because it generates friendly permalinks, so no more will my works have generic URLs like “?pid=400″ and will soon read more like “/paint#a-connection” Way better. The end goal is slide transitions, but it might be simple crossfades for the first release, we’ll have to see how the API integration goes.

The home page will continue to have a content rotator, but I’m simplifying it a bit based around the same system I used for Roberts. The menu-bar is going to be far slimmer, and subpages will be indicated inline.

I’m also switching to a 960 grid system, and sticking to it quite a lot, which gives the site a much more organized look.  Influenced by the BBC’s redesign I’m also working hard to unify my type-handling, although I’ll be keeping the monochrome, slightly ocher greys.  Influnced by my Zune these past several months, the site is going to follow suit and use far less “chrome” whenever I can, and I’ll be adding some more flash and dash. For example, when reading the blog, clicking to view comments will retract the post in to the title, then the comments will slide out, all without leaving the news stream. I’m also debating better use of one of jQuery’s tooltip plugins, we’ll see. I know Jennifer’s site makes good use of the mootools one.

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