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Hi! My name is John Slipper.

I do product management & frontend development in Auckland, New Zealand.

To the Drawing Board ...Again!

A more elegant design and simplified site layout from the ground up on a dynamically generated static platform. Confused?

It doesn’t seem that long ago I was writing about my brand new responsive Wordpress site. To tell the truth I was never happy with the design, it felt a little cramped and unfinished. I had been concentrating more on learning Wordpress template development and the Compass framework rather than on getting the actual design fundamentals correct.

My idea was that I would utilise every piece of screen real estate available to maximise the content available to the viewer. What of course I was failing to realise is that this is a simple portfolio/blog site, rather than a complex, jam-packed international news site. There is actually only a small amount content I need to get across, so why not try and achieve that as simply and elegantly as possible?

Alongside this new philosophy was the purchase of a laptop with a high density screen. I’ve become used to this idea on a phone or tablet screen but using it on a laptop for day to day work was a whole new experience! An experience I have to say is hard to come back from and has made me a little screen snobby when I have to go back to good standard PPI screens. Higher PPI screens need higher quality images to look good, but they also show text in a whole new light. We are finally approaching the point where consumer digital displays can rival print quality.

With the future looking a much higher PPI place for everyone I have aimed this new design with that in mind. I have put a much greater importance on the underlying type and icons, including branding in the form of .JS. This future comes at a price however as I have dropped legacy Internet Explorer support (for below 9) in favour of using the Foundation 5 framework. Now sites can be truly designed from mobile up.

From a backend standpoint (stop sniggering) I have also chosen to drop Wordpress. The site isn’t frequently updated nor does it have a high turnover of commenting visitors (well human visitors anyway) so I have turned to Jekyll to get the best of a blogging engine without the need for server side processing and databases.

So if I haven’t updated the site yet again, then you should be seeing the fruits of labour as you read. Hopefully I’ve nailed it this time!