Jan Dennison

Iterative Design and Redesign

Feb 20, 2015

I've consistently update this site, so revisiting it for a redesign is a common activity for me. I already had my blog running Jekyll, and I did have Bootstrap CSS when I was learning how to use it, but I have since removed it in order to use 100% my own code. In addition, I already have a GitHub website tied to a custom domain (jandennison.com, my web dev portfolio repo). So, I feel that it is maturing quite nicely and in tandem with my own education.

I do still feel that there is quite a bit of room for growth, as well. It's not where I want it to be quite yet, but I'm working on it a little bit at a time. I'm going for an interesting and attractive, but clean and spacious look and feel for the entire site. I plan to carry over this layout to my web development portfolio as well, so that they have a consistent look.

I have received several good pieces of feedback about my blog, such as:

  • "Nice vibrant colors on your site. It's very eye-catching!"
  • "Love the colors and background pic in the header!"
  • "that is a vulgar amount of mustache!"
  • "I really like your blog layout and scheme."
  • "The layout works well on my phone."
  • "First impression, is oooh pretty. Scroll down, there's content! In Snoop Dogg latin too! Second impression, serious content follows the lorem ipsum."
  • "I love the look of the website! So pretty and clean looking. Inspired."

Some helpful, actionable feedback I've gotten has been:

  • "The Introduction link brings me down to the bottom of the page, but since the intro paragraph starts midway through the view of the bottom page, I had to look around for a little bit before I actually found it. This might confused others as well."
  • "I noticed that there are many links at the bottom, to pages I probably would have found more interesting, if I had seen them ten minutes ago. Oh look, those links are also at the top! Why did I not notice those links before?"
  • "The way the background image loads is visually jarring, make it smaller or more subtle"
  • General comments regarding text alignment and whitespace, and keeping link styles uniform

I plan to take all of these and use them to better my site. I've already moved the "Introduction" section up higher on the page so that it goes to the top when the anchor link is clicked. I'm also working on a modified nav of links that I'm actually pretty excited about. My typography as well could use some playing around with until it flows just right, and I'm working on finding a balanced approach of image resolution versus compression for the big header image. Typography continues to be one of the more challenging of design for me, but I won't give up!