Unlucky for some, AqCom13 – the thirteen major redesign since I started – is a lot more image intensive than most designs I’ve used.
The three common elements to the Aquarionics “Brand” for want of a better phrase has been the typeface – Trebuchet MS since 2002, the blue “swish” curve in the top left corner (Since 2002 also), and the black and yellow Aquarius sign in a circle logo. All designs since v4 in 2002 have featured one or more of the above, and once or twice all three.
For v13 I’ve gone back to the idea of the big banner across the top, because I like creating them and it’s a quick way to change the “look” of the site. I’ve been somewhat put off this in recent designs, because the number of people actually seeing the designs regularly – with LJ feeds and RSS readers and such – has drastically decreased. I tend to ignore the fact that most of my visitors come from people searching Google for a single bit of information, who rarely bother to see past the page they get to.
This design doesn’t have the site title in it. Well, it does, but it’s in a very light effect in the top banner. Instead I’m relying heavily on the Aq-circle logo for “branding”. It removes one of the constant elements of the banners, too, which may make making new ones easier.
No more text based navigation – The big images down the left don’t look a lot like navigation, but that’s what they are. I’ll be making incremental changes to make that more obvious, I hope.
Back to the three-column layout. Can’t really escape it, it seems.
I’ve kept the mini-bio bit at the top right, and even added a photo. Narcissism, really, but it provides an answer to “Who wrote this”. If I ever get multiple authors, that’ll change depending who wrote what you’re looking at.
I’ve not provided a link back to older diary entries still. The archives are scary, I’d prefer navigation though search or relevant to this (i.e., the categories of the current item, the date links). Though I’ve also taken out the search box, that’ll be back.
The actual content design hasn’t changed much, although the thick, boxy look comes straight from v7. I don’t muck around with that too much, because text on white – or in this case very light grey – was put there for a good reason in the first place, plus there’s a number of custom styles that rely on it.
A more photo based than illustraty or designy layout, and one I quite like. The photos for the left nav came from MorgueFile, except the last from iStockPhoto. The banner and me images were taken by me. The default top banner is a view of a Cambridge sunrise from the top end of Mill Road (the building to the left is the swimming pool)
The Favicon is still my old glasses. Must fix that sometime…
Oh, side effect of the banner system being back, old banners are displayed with their entries. There was a new banner most weeks thoughout 2004