The Tar Pit: changes [iii]

016 January 2, 2014 -- (meta)

I am not a graphical designer. If I were one, I would be mediocre at best. Now, if we take a step back to get an overview of how the Web looks after almost twenty-five years of evolution, we'll figure out that this position is actually not bad at all and could possibly earn someone a decent salary. Still, I'd be constantly unsettled with my mediocrity and would die a sorry, unhappy man.

Having said that, a couple of months ago I had a good look at the previous iteration of The Tar Pit and decided that I didn't quite like how it looked. It wasn't that bad, yet it didn't look particularly good either. That is why I had to take my time and figure out where I'm heading with it; and here it is.

One of the things I'm trying to do is use CSS the way it was intended, as much as it is possible. Therefore I deemed the previous layout to be "not simple enough" and removed a lot of the boilerplate lying around in the code and replaced it with simpler, more down-to-earth stuff. This should be visible mainly in the page loading times; they should have been small enough anyway, but I just wanted to make sure. As an intended side effect, I made an update to aspects related to the fonts, which in retrospective might have been a particularly bad choice. If you had any doubts that I'm not a graphical designer, they should be cleared by now.

Regarding the site's structure, two things were fundamentally misplaced in the previous version(s). The first was the content of the home page, which for some reason included labels only because I didn't know where else to put them. Labels are now part of the archive, although I still use them more for semantic annotation than for actual archiving.

The second obvious problem was related to the Contact page: on one hand it lacked content and on the other it had possibly relevant information requiring an additional click from the reader. So the content from that page lies now in a dedicated section of the home page.

As I was saying a while ago, The Tar Pit is, like any software, supposed to evolve, grow organically and mature, which I have a feeling it slowly does. And I am quite happy with that, at least for the time being.