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New Year, New Site Design

A change of scenery here at my personal site has been long overdue, I think, so I’m pleased to usher in 2012 with a refresh of the site’s design!

A screenshot of the new site design

Keeping Things Compact

The first thing you’ll likely notice is the new compact, fixed header, with the navigation to the major parts of the site. It stays fixed in place, so you can always get back to any of those pages at any time. (It also swaps out the legacy image gradients for exciting new CSS3 gradients where available!)

Who Shot the Serif?

I have also moved away from Bitstream Charter/Georgia as the main font around the site, in favour of Helvetica Neue/Helvetica/Arial, combined with the existing accents of Gill Sans (where available!) for the headings. I think the site now has a more contemporary feel — and reads particularly well on devices where Helvetica Neue is available, like the iPad.

There is also a new webfont in use for the ‘Peter Upfold’ text in the header — Charis SIL (generously licensed under the SIL Open Font Licence).

Practising What I Preach

Cookie picture, by amagill -- http://www.flickr.com/photos/amagill/34754258/

As a strong proponent of users having control over their privacy online, I am pleased that the Do Not Track initiative, for indicating the user’s preferences about tracking technology on the web, has gained traction in many web browsers. Because I support the rights of users to make choices about the code running in their browsers and what information it is collecting about them, I took this opportunity to begin the implementation of Do Not Track support on my site.

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SearchWiki, Gmail Themes and Keeping Things Simple

A couple of things have been bugging me recently. More specifically, two of Google’s new features they’ve added to their popular services haven’t sat very well with me.

Advance warning – this is a bit of a rant. I’m aware I’m being a little strong about two things which perhaps aren’t awfully important in the grand scheme of things. Anyway, here goes.

SearchWiki = Fail

The first is the Google SearchWiki thing. My friend Chris Van Patten shares my viewpoint on this and sums it up very well in this Twitter update.

It’s google’s job to craft my search results, not mine.

In addition to that, though, I find the new wiki controls next to each search result visually distracting. I mean, yes, they’re subtle, but the whole point of the Google interface is that it is effortless to use and really really simple.

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