When I attended the Blogcademy workshop in December last year, one of the main criticisms my site attracted was the fact that the design was too dark. It was difficult for most normal people to read, and the darkness – combined with the overall layout – dated the site terribly. What a horror!
So I called in Vail, my intrepid designer, and proceeded to brain-dump my rebrand ideas all over her. She came up with a new design concept – something that was minimal and elegant, while still retaining the badass edge I wanted. I said, “Yes – make it so!” and she did all the hard work to get it running again.
Here are some things you might notice as you flick around my beautiful new site:
I read in “high contrast” setting – so my monitor is set to show the screen as a black background with white words. This is 1000x easier for my wonky eyes to read, which is why I like all my websites in that colour scheme. I sometimes forget that I’m not normal. Plus, I’d figured, metal = DARK.
Not so, I learned. V, my designer, AB tested to new designs and the white background overwhelmingly won out. Gone too are cursive fonts and small lettering – everything here is designed to be easy on the eyes.
Also, links, headings and other text features are move obvious now.
I’ve cleaned up my navigation panel, so that it’s smaller and there are less options for people to be confuzzled by. The main page is simply a blog feed, and if you want to navigate around my site by subject, you can simply use the dropbown menu at the end of the sidebar, or by clicking on a category listing in an individual blog post.
You’ll also notice a new tab, Writing Courses, which details current dates for the community education courses I’m running in Auckland in 2015. The first courses start in March – come and join me!
What’s Coming Next?
In terms of the site design, I’ve got a few plans for the next month or so: getting some pretty clickable book covers into the sidebar, adding related posts at the bottom of each article, and tweaking my book pages and mailing list into proper landing pages with pretty buttons. Then, I have the arduous task of going back through nearly 700 posts and making sure they’re all in the correct categories and that the images are loading correctly.
There are still many tweaks to iron out, and if you happen to see something that looks really odd or doesn’t work, please let me know. Cheers!
The Sunken, my dark fantasy novel, is now available on Amazon.
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