Web Site Revamp
Sunday 28 April 2013 — Category: Miscellaneous
After many months of use, lately I was feeling more and more dissatisfied with the design of this Web site.
The main concern was that I had built the entire structure using HTML frames, which, in these modern days, is considered bad and old-fashioned Web site design, and which causes numerous usability and accessibility problems.
This was particularly apparent when browsing the site on my beloved iPad Mini — iOS devices do not handle frames well, which made this site very difficult to use on my iPad.
For quite a while I had been mulling over the idea of creating a separate mobile version of this site specifically for modern mobile touch-screen devices. After finally finishing the processing of my backlog of photos — see OK, This Time 2012 Really IS Over! — with no other urgent projects to work on, I decided that the time was now!
But once I starting planning the design, I realized that rather than keeping the old site for traditional computers and making a new site just for mobile devices, it would be much better to create a new site which worked well on both types of computers, and then totally abandon the old site. So that is what I have done, and after a couple weeks of labor, I am unveiling today.
It was interesting to rethink the layout and navigation of the site from scratch. For example, the new home page (shown to the right) is much cleaner and simpler. All of the content which used to be on the home page has now been moved to the About page. This design choice gives the visitor a better first encounter, with the main sections of the site clearly presented, without overwhelming them with a lot of details.
Of course, in the end, there ARE a lot of details. As of today, this Web site contains 4,440 pages of content, including 3,908 photos grouped into 116 albums as well as 245 blog articles. With that much content, good organization, easy and intuitive navigation, as well as a decent search ability, are absolutely vital. It think I have done a fairly good job in implementing these goals. But just in case I haven’t, I've also added a Help page which explains the navigation options in detail.
All in all, I’m pretty happy with how everything turned out. Even if it’s not perfect, it’s a good step in the right direction, and a definite improvement over the old site. But if you find anything about this Web site that doesn’t seem to be working properly, I would LOVE to hear from you about it! Please e-mail me at brian(at)byrdphoto(dot)com.