Live Redesign, Step 2: Speeding things up

You’d be forgiven for thinking that I’m going to write about speeding up textpattern or some such rubbish here, but that’s not what this is about. Progress redesigning the site is slooooow. Maybe there’s a way to speed things up.

Ahem… mate, your site looks like crap!

Yeah, I know. I wasn’t happy with the way it looked before. In fact, I wasn’t happy with a whole lot of it, so I decided to deconstruct things, find out what I didn’t like and rebuild from what I’ve learnt, bearing in mind that this time I have some content here. So, the website currently looks very minimal while I’m gutting the place.

There are two problems with this redesign malarkey though.

Somewhere inside me there’s a designer wanting to let loose. I’m not a designer, I’m a developer. So why am I trying to be something I’m not? Well, that’s not really what it’s about – I at least want to try things out and see what I can do. The thing is, I think I’m going to be far too critical of what I’m doing when I get to some design work. Anyway, for the meantime I’m trying to restructure a few things around here and add new content before steaming ahead with some designing.

Steaming ahead

That’s the other problem. Work is very busy at the moment. I’m getting on top of the workload, but I’m at risk of getting behind again if I don’t concentrate on that. Alas, this means that a few side projects I’ve got on the boil have been put on hold. This is really annoying because I’m really into these side projects and I could easily get distracted.

I’m having real issues separating work from play at the moment. I’ve spent so much time working recently that I haven’t been working on content for this site or the redesign. Hopefully, this will become less of a problem once I get on track. To be honest though, certain aspects of work are getting me down meaning progress is slow there too. It might be a while before dotjay is back on its feet again.

Helping hand

I’ve been thinking about the process I’m going to go through with this redesign. I want the content to drive the design. With the last design, there was no content. But I also want to take this opportunity to change a few things and add a couple of things in. So, the idea was to deconstruct everything, add in some new bits, make a few tweaks and then build up a framework before coming up with a design. I’ve had a change of heart.

I never ask for help. I like to do things on my own. I like to feel like I’ve achieved something at the end of it all. Well, enough being selfish – I want to get a bit more interactive with this redesign. If I still have any readers left after such a quiet period, I want to know what you want to see on here. Also, as I go through this redesign, I’m going to suggest where I’m going to go with the next step. I’m hoping that I’ll be able to rely on readers to comment and tell me “that’s a really dumb idea, you idiot” or “you could do this, but it’s up to you”…

Where next?

Well, I’m figuring on trying to make a few of those changes I like to make to textpattern using plugins instead of hacking away at the PHP. I’m also going to take a look around for some cool textpattern plugins to try out. Any suggestions?