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A brand new look

Whilst it may have taken months of toil, a new design for this website is launched with mobile support, significant improvements in accessibility and a fresh new appearance.

I did make a previous promise to get the job done “by December 2013” and I have hopefully delivered with my new responsive and accessible website.

Adam Dimech's website displayed at three different sizes on a tablet, a phone and a monitor

As you may be able to discern, the content is much the same as before but the look is considerably different and – I hope – vastly improved. Mobile users should experience a major change for the better now that the design caters to their screen sizes and pixel densities.

This is my first major responsive web design (RWD), the scale of which is like nothing that I have previously attempted. RWD is so much slower and harder than old-style fixed-width web design but its benefits are considerable. As a result of this project, I feel that my HTML and CSS coding skills (especially the latter) have improved considerably. Aside from all of the websites that I have scoured in the pursuit of knowledge and code, I also owe much to the Shop Talk podcast series from which I have received invaluable advice via the various guests that have been on the show. This is a tremendous resource and I commend it to anyone who wants to sharpen their web designing skills.

So what were the inspirations for the design?

After many years of red, I decided to change the colour scheme to a more relaxed blue-green. A new logo has been created and contemporary web designs have formed part of the inspiration behind the design. I wanted a clean design but not one that lacked colour.

Performance was another major consideration for the new look and a number of technological changes have been employed with the aim of improving website performance for all users. This was especially challenging when the design had to work with a WordPress installation as well as static pages.

There are a number of small changes and upgrades that I will need to implement in the coming weeks as we approach Christmas and the new year but these should not affect most users. I will need to fully-implement HTML5 video on the small number of pages that contain video content. Because this task will require a conversion of videos from .flv to the various HTML5 video formats, I have decided to let that task wait until the Christmas holidays.

Scope

Visitors to Adam Dimech Online will notice that my sub-sites (such as the Story of Flowers, Australian Radio and so on) are not responsive nor particularly accessible. Updating all of these would be a massive undertaking and so they shall remain as-is for now. That said, all new websites that I design from this point will be designed responsively, using a ‘mobile first‘ approach. One of my next targets will be my Coding Blog.

Browser Support

At this point, I am saying goodbye to Internet Explorer 7 support. This antiquated browser is not fit for the modern internet. If you’re on IE7, it’s time to upgrade to IE11 (or the latest version that your operating system will support).

The new design partially supports Internet Explorer 8, with full support for IE9+, Firefox, Chrome, Safari and Opera.

Feedback

I sincerely hope that users appreciate the new design. Please feel free to leave a comment below or otherwise contact me directly. If you spot any broken links or components that don’t work properly (despite my rigourous testing), please let me know.

Finally, for those who are interested, this page features screen grabs of my website from its launch in 1998 until now.

   

Comments

2 responses to “A brand new look”

On 17 December 2013, Joan Nelson wrote: Hyperlink chain icon

I have recently come across a free site builder called webzai.com, that lets you design responsive websites from scratch without writing one line of code.

http://www.webzai.com

It’s pretty easy to use and once you get the hang of it it’s great.

By the way, they support browsers back to IE7 (included :D).

On 18 December 2013, Adam Dimech wrote: Hyperlink chain icon

Thanks Joan,

There are a number of tools out there that claim to do this, however these services seldom generate valid nor accessible code. As can be seen, the Webzai website currently has 9 coding errors and is not actually responsive (nor were the templates that I viewed). For me, this is an important consideration. I can’t comment about sites being started “from scratch” as I haven’t tried this out.

I think that the Macaw project looks exciting, but is still some way off.

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