Design Refresh - Brandon Walsh

Design Refresh

At long last, I am ready to unveil the project that I have been working on over the summer - a design refresh for site. The main drive behind this aesthetic: I noticed the sheer abundance of information that the basic octopress theme gives you. This setup leads to a lot of duplicate information that ultimately makes things feel cluttered. I tried to keep things very minimal in this design, eliminating as much overlapping information and noise as possible.

I used a few different models for the design of the site. The main inspirations came from the sites of Aijaz Ansari, Jeremy Boggs, and Daniel Carter. Ansari’s blog post on customizing Octopress, especially, proved essential as I worked through my own setup. There are still a few things that I could stand to change for this current design, but it felt as thought it was time to let the current iteration see the light of day.

A couple issues I ran into:

How minimal is too minimal in an aesthetic like this? I am not crazy about the search bar in the navigation setup, but it does feel necessary to have one. The function there outweighed the desire to keep the aesthetic. In a future refresh, I will probably try to make the search bar a bit more subtle. In addition, at one point I had my links only turn blue when hovered. This looks great, but it presents obvious problems: you never know what is a link. Again, I had to make some sacrifices for the site to function properly.

How to deal with images in a minimal aesthetic? I initially wanted to have some sort of a banner image at the top where my name serves as a heading. I might explore this in the future, but images offer whole new complications. What kind of image texture would keep the aesthetic alive? Content? Color? I punted the issue for now by opting for my name as the banner, but I will be returning to this in the future.

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