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Perishable Press Redesign 2008

New design in effect at Perishable Press. With this 17th incarnation of the site, I drew heavily upon psychedelic influences, spiked it with the essence of the previous dark minimalist theme, and mixed in a healthy dose of cutting-edge JavaScript and PHP functionality.

I will be writing more on the details of the new design very soon. In the meantime, I encourage you to check things out and let me know what you think. For this design, I went to great lengths to ensure pixel-perfect precision across platforms and on all browsers, so please let me know if something looks out of place on your particular configuration.

As you can see, the design employs a great deal of carefully positioned background images and other elements, so I wouldn’t be surprised to discover display issues on untested systems. Needless to say, for the next few weeks, I will be combing through the archives and checking old posts on different browsers to see if anything looks freaky, and will also be keeping an eye out for any inconsistencies, errors, etc. Please contact me (or leave a comment) with any reports of functional or aesthetic misconduct. ;)

Let me know what you think!

Jeff Starr
About the Author
Jeff Starr = Web Developer. Security Specialist. WordPress Buff.

32 responses to “Perishable Press Redesign 2008”

  1. @Louis: Great to have you back online! Your ideas are slowly — one by one — being implemented here in the new design. Well, most of them, anyway. I really like the idea of beefing up the comment area. Things like the “quick-reply” JavaScript functionality for “@”-replies, comment quicktags, and even gravatars are all excellent ideas. Some of the other central concerns I have addressed on a recent post discussing ideas and improvements for the new design. You know, just between me and you, I am not as happy with this theme as I had thought I would be. Don’t tell anyone, but I am already in the process of another redesign..

  2. @ louis..nice and dirty JS indeed, though would a popup be a better option? i mean yes it obtrusive but it enforces th point…the again if they click the link they are not liekly to be here to spam…

    Prehaps an alternative is to have a small pop when you click submit comment that says ‘have you followed our posting regualtions?’ and have your dity show hide thing there…

    It could be controlled via usernames…ie a new commentor would get it or a commentor who has been marked as spam before gets it and not regualr commentors.

    RE gravtars… Yes we ar in reliance with them…I suppose you could use ‘get()’ to grab the most used gravtars and store/cache them locally to combat the lag to a level. Then again JS heavy as this theme is a few extra gravtars if they are pulled via a iframe approach…ie the iframe loads and gravtars within the total loadng time would mirror ala gravtar usage but the ‘readability’ time would not be affected and if the iframe fails (ie gravtar doesnt load etc) it would hang or stall page load times and could be replaced by a default image….somehing lie if page=loaded then display gravtar otherwise default.sprite.ico etc.

    Gravtars imo are good for communties and bran recongitions… each to his own

    Thanks for all the sugeestion helping me mould ideas for m theme ;)

  3. Jeff Starr 2008/10/12 1:28 pm

    @Donace: You’re planning a new theme too? Do you already have something in mind? I would be interested in hearing about it..

    As for my (next) new theme, it is still in the planning phase, and probably won’t see the light of day until early next year.. or maybe sooner, if I can get my hectic schedule cleared up..

  4. yea i’ve been imagining the perfect theme in my head for a while now!

    With your update i’ve actually started wrting up ideas etc and grabbing code scraps, due to my limited psd skills and coding skills it is gonna take a while.

    Sure shoot me an email and i’ll mail you my 2 abstracts with checklists :p

  5. Jeff Starr 2008/10/12 1:54 pm

    @Donace: email sent..

  6. Jeff Starr 2008/10/12 1:37 pm


    What’s the aim of having done such a sexy work on your HTTP request, using images sprites and co, if you destroy the performance of your pages by adding 25 new HTTP requests on another server you don’t control

    That’s pretty much the reason I decided not to implement them on this design in the first place. I really considered different ways of making them work, but I will probably just wait until the next (re)design. I do enjoy a “well-gravatared” comment area though. I wish more people used them! Btw, Donace certainly offers some good ideas in this department.

    Your “Archives” page is slick, although I would expect a cleaner implementation from such a vehement advocate of Web Standards. I could try a similar approach, but would need to chop my verbose Comment Policy down to just the minimum. Overall, I like the idea and will be using it in the next design.

    I think “reflexion” would make a good title for a blog ;)

  7. @Jeff:

    Your “Archives” page is slick, although I would expect a cleaner implementation from such a vehement advocate of Web Standards.

    I don’t maintain my blog anymore, from a technical point of view. I plan to switch from WordPress to MovableType, or, if I’m patient enough, write my own engine, as I already did1, but in a sexeh OO style.

    So you see, though the code on my blog is pretty clean in general, I don’t garanty transcendant code on every page, as I haven’t updated it since a long time. Next version will be either in HTML5 or XHTML2 served as XML. In both case, it won’t be displayed correctly on IE6 I suppose, but did I say I don’t care?

    Now, about Gravatar, I’ve thought a little, and I think that if you really like these little pictures, you should implement that feature, but as a bonus.

    You would add a layer of JS that would download the pictures post-onload. No loading time added, and you get this little extra. For users without JS, or people without a Gravatar account, it would display the default picture as a CSS background.

    On the “comment policy” thing, there are many ways to display an informationnal note. You can use a slider like I do, but you can also use a sexy looking tooltip bubble, or a lightbox-style overlay (shameless promotion :D), etc.

    In my opinion, designing a webpage is primarly the reflexon around content organisation/visualisation. What information should I put on this particular page, how should I present it (interface). That’s the real design. The rest is graphic illustration and coding.

    I shall backup my idea with a few examples:

    what makes Google so great, so well designed ?
    Great interface: one field that autofocus at loading, centered, no visual noise, instant loading.
    what makes Apple website so cool?
    Great content organisation: top menu, you-can-guess-em URLs, lickable huge photos of the products.

    So, to come back to what I was saying, you should embrace all the possibilities before making your choice final. On my archive page, I have a potential user interaction on the slided content (he can select some options with radio buttons). In the contrary, the comment policy here is just an informative note, so it may be better to use, let’s say, a tooltip bubble. That’s just an example of course – I don’t like tooltips a lot.

    PS: yep, a preview feature would really be nice. I hope that all my HTML will be okay :/

    I can grant you access to the labs if you are curious. Mail me in that case :p

  8. “Too girly?” It looks like a great design. Define “too girly!”

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Perishable Press is operated by Jeff Starr, a professional web developer and book author with two decades of experience. Here you will find posts about web development, WordPress, security, and more »
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