New Site Design

As a part of two of my college courses, I am working on a new site design for Stroz.net. At this point, everything is very sketchy, and I don’t really know what I want to do yet.

I have a few ideas that I am going to implement:

  • Move blog off of the / directory. Most likely I will put it at blog.stroz.net, and link to it from the main page.
  • Portfolio page. I want to give links and descriptions of the web pages that I’ve constructed. I might even re-host some of the defunct stuff so that I can show that off too.
  • Sketch gallery. I have a sketch gallery, but it’s part of WordPress. I’d rather do something up that’s a bit more homebrew, and more engaging, completely separate from the blog.
  • Photoshop / Fireworks gallery. A similar gallery for all of my digital designs that aren’t sketches. Logo work, page layouts, etc. would be here.
  • Hosting Info. While the hosting part of the site isn’t exactly a strong venture, I’d like to put up some info about what I can offer. I have a few sites that are hosted right now, and I would like to expand that a little bit.
  • Online Presence. A page with links and info about all of the different communities and social networks to which I belong.

Like I said, it’s just a rough sketch as of late, and more planning will go into it over the coming weeks. If all goes right, I would like to have it in full swing before December 1, 2008. This will give me plenty of time to get things ready and bugs worked out for grading.

The overall feel I want to get with this is a more simplified browsing experience. I’d like to use solid colors, a good color scheme, and a less cluttered layout for every page that survives.

One thing I’m trying to figure is whether to have a splash page. A splash page is so 90s, but I’m not sure how else to present all of the different site pages. I’m sure there’s a better way, and I’m going mull this over for a long time before I settle on it.

One thing that I’m excited to get into is a totally table-less layout. I’m planning on using CSS divs and layers for the whole thing. My first goal will be XHTML and CSS validation, then, once that’s done, I’ll go back and fix it for the poor folk who are using Internet Explorer.

browser_share

According to this quickly hobbled together set of stats from August 2008, Internet Explorer takes up 52.7% of all visits to Stroz.net. I am extremely happy to see that only 16.3% is attributed to IE6, as that’s where the trouble with CSS design lies. Even completely validated pages tend to have problems in that archaic browser.

I’m sufficiently confident with IE7’s capabilities, and think that IE8 is a great step in the right direction toward standard integration.

In conclusion, validated XHTML THEN bug fixes for old browsers. I guess this is fairly commonplace with most developers. I’m putting this stuff out there to show a bit of my thought process.