Anne van Kesteren

New, err, design!

I took the old design down. A screenshot is available. I did some markup tweaks, but not much. Switching to HTML 4 is going to take a little longer. Of course, I could do it right now but it would be hack. I first need my weblog system to run on XML instead of the string-based “XHTML” generator I am using at the moment.

Eventually, I might write something about this. But I guess I won’t, since I did not use that many neat tricks. In fact, when you resize the font-size the search box is totally broken.


  1. Nice design! Very clean and simple, and that's what i like! ;)

    Posted by Jort at

  2. I noticed the transition. I refreshed the page and got a broken purple design; scratched my head; refreshed again, and got this.

    It’s very, ehm … minimal, and very, ehm … me-ish. Heh. I’ve been actively removing stuff from my personal site and sometimes wonder if—even though I’m a graphic designer—I’ll end up with default html display. I’m also a great appreciator of serif type headings and sans-serif flat text (for digital media, that is: for print I tend to do the exact oppostite).

    By the way, I sure am glad my box doesn’t recognize the 'Comic Sans' you have in your style sheet. What’s up with that?

    Posted by ACJ at

  3. Whatever happened to redesigning in one go?

    Posted by Hayo at

  4. Heh - partial myself to that black stripe across the top for sure. Funny, just today I was thinking of going fixed with mine after realizing how well it works on Code Poetry... Though putting Nav up there does make it more functional...

    Posted by Mike P. at

  5. Crikey, Anne! What did you do? I thought I'd clicked the wrong URL for a second, there. Will there be any color in the future?

    Posted by Simon Jessey at

  6. Nav: Home, Archive, and Test seem to be broken in Safari. I get no hover, no "actuate". About and Contact seem to work fine, however.

    Posted by Ryan Tomayko at

  7. Nevermind about my last comment, Anne. I had some CSS cached or something. Holding COMMAND+R for a couple of seconds brought back the new design. Looks good.

    Posted by Ryan Tomayko at

  8. Anne, surely there will be a design soon?

    Posted by Rob Mientjes at

  9. You know I never liked this green and purple...

    Posted by Dean Edwards at

  10. YES! thank you! the green and purple were killing my poor eyes....

    Posted by Vidar at

  11. You don't appear to care about stupid users, so why not block out IE by serving the pages as correct XHTML?

    Perhaps you should have a poll first, just to make sure :)

    I like this design, its very simple and it makes it easy to tweak with custom CSS :)

    Posted by The Wolf at

  12. I dug everything about your old design except for Mr. CSS Sucks.

    Your new design hates my scroll wheel; everything flickers and echoes on my way down the page. I also miss the old hover states for your links. Previously it was a pleasure to hover over your HREF links and watch them pop into prominence one by one. Now nothing changes but the underlines. I'm disheartened. My only joy in life is hover states.

    Posted by Mike Mariano at

  13. Love the new design. Simple is best.

    Posted by Randy Charles Morin at

  14. I'm also an addict to minimalism: my own website is actually quite simple.

    But I do not really support or like it at this extreme level. On my PC, I don't even have anti aliasing of fonts, so the thing looks even more like 1996 Internet.

    I regret it when 'simple design' means in fact 'devoid of any design'.

    Posted by phnk at

  15. So you were the one who redesigned FoxNews! ;-) Just kidding about the FN comment, but this design is pretty wrenched! Theoretically the design is a more usable, but... The design isn't pleasing to look at all, and thus it's hard to use. Furthermore, the previous one oozed personality. Where is the spirit or the character in this one (besides "crack the whip")?

    Posted by Jimmy Cerra at

  16. Maybe you'd be interested in trying Syncato.

    Posted by Devon at

  17. I like it!

    The colours in the old design were so loud they hurt my ears! :)

    Posted by Tommy at

  18. Err I kinda dislike the lack of colours. I hate to say it...but I liked your old design better.

    Posted by Joël Kuiper at

  19. No, I cannot say I like it, I have never been a fan of the semi-imitation framed interface; though it's not as bad as some. I also don't find it very useful having the hyperlinks in black only, to boot.

    Posted by Robert Wellock at

  20. I think this would be the ideal design would we have electronic paper. Sadly we do not. Anyway, I actually like the previous and this one, so... ;)

    Posted by Frenzie at

  21. Did Arthur have a fit? Or did you design it? ;-) Com'on, Anne, we expect better than this!

    Posted by Mark Wubben at

  22. I want the old one back :(

    Posted by Olly at

  23. Hmm, to bad that you have changed your design. I was getting very used to the old layout and it is quit a shock to see the new black and white design (Is it a tribute to Michael?).

    The new design isn't very useable in my humble opinion. I very much liked the way how you did the menu on the left hand side and how the href section was shown right.

    I hope that it is just a way of getting used with your new design...

    Posted by Regular reader at

  24. Add a touch of primary colour to offset the black & white. Otherwise I think it is a very nice design. I particularly like the fixed header/footer.

    Posted by Dean Edwards at

  25. As interesting it is to see something new, I have to admit this new design is a bit too minimalistic for me. Is this the finished one, or are you planning on adding more style?

    If this is the final style, perhaps you could re-add the old style as an alternative stylesheet for us neophobes? ;)

    Posted by Björn at

  26. I am planning to do some more tweaking. However, time is short these days. (Not that I did not create this in half an hour.)

    Posted by Anne at

  27. Wel ehm... *coughs* I'll be honest but I think this design is quite horrible. Your previous one was nice and very 'different' nevertheless. This one sure as hell is different too but in my humble opinion not in the right way. Judging from your previous design you're quite capable of coming up with something really good looking.

    Of course I know it's the content which really counts and not the packaging but it's also true that good packaging enhances already great content. Right now I have an opposite feeling. This design doesn't do justice to your excellent content.

    Just my honest opinion of course.

    Also ... forcing your commenters to manually mark up their comments feels like a bit too much to me.... It also refuses perfectly fine tags such as the i tag... boggles my mind really.

    Posted by Marco at

  28. I just loved the previous design. It was so unique and distinctive. Also I didn't see or encounter any usability problem with it (I am your average able-bodied web user though).

    I don't like the current, err, design for these reasons :

    1. It fills only half my screen, so more vertical scrolling (by the way the search form disappears when I scroll down)
    2. Too much flashy white, hurts my eyes
    3. I don't like the fixed top bar, and I really don't need to have a copyright notice always visible
    4. I wasn't consulted on this
    5. I miss the old design

    Posted by ghola at

  29. Marco, Anne's weblog is about the semantic web, not the apparent web. That is, it's about adding non-presentational metadata to hypertext. That's why content has to be marked up; it's part of the theme!

    Also note that although there are some legit uses of <i> tags, most people abuse them. That's probably why Anne disallows their use in comments.

    Posted by Jimmy Cerra at

  30. You realy like this Anne?
    I think you can better than this, this is to sad.

    Posted by w3news at

  31. I see you've added blue to the links. I think I preferred them black and white.

    The main problem is the sidebar. It appears not to have a fixed width. So now you have added a very long link and it has pushed half of the first post title down, leaving an ugly gap. (I see "text/xml is" then a large gap then "seriously broken over HTTP".)

    Also, as others have said, the search form isn't fixed, so it scrolls away.

    As for the layout itself, I preferred the old one (except the black on green was not the easiest thing to read), but this one is nice too! Maybe expand the black bars to the full screen width?

    One last thing. The header on the comment preview page is hidden by the black bar at the top.

    Posted by Chris Hester at

  32. Chris, that Opera has a bug is not really a problem with my CSS file. (The form is inside the fixed header and should therefore scroll along with it.) I agree with the non declared width for sidebar, I should add a line for that.

    Posted by Anne at

  33. Anne, I just saw your new design in Firefox and it is indeed a very different experience.

    In FF the header expands all the way across the window when it shouldn't. The proper rendering is Opera's. Your #header is 100% of the body, which has a max-width of 70 ems, and therefore should not spread 100% of the viewport (whatever that may be) or HTML, at least in my case (1280x1024 pixels display) and with your font settings.

    About the form scrolling away, replacing position:absolute; with position:fixed; fixes it in Opera.

    Don't you want to be nice to Opera?

    Posted by ghola at

  34. Also adding _position:absolute; after position:fixed; in div#header form thusly :

     div#header form{  position:fixed;  _position:absolute; } 

    fixes the mess in IE 6. I didn't test any other browsers or versions.

    Posted by ghola at

  35. ghola, you are incorrect. For fixed positioned elements the containing block is established by the viewport, not by its parent element. So Opera is wrong, again.

    Posted by Anne at

  36. Anne, you are of course right. Silly me. Thanks for the pointers.

    Still, are we condemned to look at that awkward layout in Opera? You're using hacks for IE, why not check for Opera too?

    Posted by ghola at

  37. Mzzz, accidentaly pressed ctrl+F5; now I finally see what the fuzz is really about :P

    Posted by Tino Zijdel at

  38. I have to say I really liked the old design, except as another poster commented:

    I dug everything about your old design except for Mr. CSS Sucks.

    I thought the old page had a good balance. My page design is several years old and needs a facelift, and your old design gave me ideas.

    Like others have posted, hopefully you'll finish this design.

    Otherwise, good site. ;)

    Posted by deoren at

  39. What's the purpose of the horizontal scrollbar on the frontpage? (FF 1.0)

    Posted by Kees at

  40. Kees, check: “IE 7 Code!!!!!!!”

    There is one ridiculously long source IRI; that's the purpose.

    Posted by Remy at

  41. Puik werk toch, Anne, dit design. Het doet 't m wel :)

    Posted by Remy at

  42. It's nice, but I'd touch it up with a bit of colour instead of black for the top and bottom. :)

    Great job.

    Posted by David House at

  43. Hey Anne... :-/
    Why did you take the cool old design down and replaced it with this simple - errh layout? Personally, I absolutely don't like the new design. You had a great design that was different from the usual blog style. And your new design does not have any recall value.

    Please move back to the old design.

    Posted by Konstantin Käfer at

  44. Please don't go back to the old one. I wouldn't mind seeing the old design as an alternate stylesheet, but I think you should go ahead and finish this new design, now that you've started.

    Posted by Björn at

  45. position:fixed is a pain with a mobie phone... your footer is covering half of the screen. :p

    Posted by zcorpan at

  46. no design is a sort of design, too, just like a zero is an important number we should not discriminate against.

    Posted by Moose at

  47. By the way, why are you reverting to HTML4 ? Shouldn't that be HTML 4.01? Or are you reálly going backwards now?

    Posted by Hayo Bethlehem at

  48. As I'm reading your blog via bloglines [what is a result of your of your blogentries] I was quiet suprised by your new layout. It's great!

    Weniger ist Mehr

    Posted by ben at

  49. Clean. Very clean. I like it!

    But why IRI instead of URI? You said it yourself, Anne:

    The Internationalized Resource Identifier (IRI) is a superset of the Uniform Resource Identifier (URI)

    Oh well. I'd like some more Fitts, but still this design kicks ass.

    Posted by Mathias Bynens at

  50. Mathias, you know what a superset is?

    Posted by Anne at

  51. Not very appealling compared to your previous site, I preferred your old site design.

    Posted by Thomas at

  52. when you resize the font-size the search box is totally broken

    May I suggest:

     div#header form{
     position:fixed; /* for Opera */
     min-width:36em; /* leave some space for H1 */
     _width: 70em; /* for IE */


    Posted by zcorpan at

  53. I know many don't like the design, so if you don't then specify a user stylesheet with #annevankesteren-nl-200503 as the id to fix what you don't like about it. I'm pretty sure Moose has already done it by adding Michelle somewhere in the page XD.

    Posted by Dustin Wilson at

  54. You have set the font-size of html to 10px and then use a value ≥ 1em for copy (and a whopping 4em for headings). That does not work nicely at all when the user style sheet forces the font-size of html to -moz-initial. Screenshot. (The paragraph beginning with “I think” is at my preferred size.)

    And why keep the copyright notice stuck to the bottom of the view port?

    Posted by Henri Sivonen at

  55. BTW, the comment validator supports single-quoted attributes at the preview stage but errs on final submit.

    Posted by Henri Sivonen at

  56. Henri, are you changing the font-size on other elements as well? That seems to be the case when I view your screenshot. About the validation, I hope that is fixed in my XML based weblog.

    Posted by Anne at

  57. Yes. The style sheet I used.

    Regardless of my particular user style sheet, setting the font-size of html, body or p to anything but the user’s setting is a bad idea.

    Posted by Henri Sivonen at

  58. I see there are no font families set in the stylesheet. My browser was set to Verdana for sans-serif. I just changed it to Trebuchet MS (but didn't alter the size) and now all the text is smaller. It looks nice for the paragraphs, but not so nice for the header. (I could, of course, up the size.) I guess your post titles can also be changed if they are merely set with "serif".

    Not sure why you want to do this. The design will differ for each user. (That OS X screenshot was radically different to what I see in Windows.) After all, the new Gecko versions now allow per-site custom stylesheets, so if we don't like your site's fonts, we could change it that way. Or if you have added a CSS Signature, that's another way. (People will shout "Accessibility!" here, but what if someone has set their browser by mistake to an unreadable default sans-serif font, and they don't know how to change it?)

    Perhaps this design is not quite finished. :-)

    Posted by Chris at

  59. Errm.... too nasty if you ask me. As far as I'm concerned, you just seem to be going backwards in everything Anne...

    Posted by Faruk Ates at

  60. Putting up an unfinished design is really harmful for the user experience and currently, my eyes.

    I would strongly advice putting the old one back until you sort the new design out.

    Posted by Hayo at

  61. 3 points…

    Posted by Paul Arzul at

  62. Mathias, you know what a superset is?


    Given two sets, A and B, A is a superset of B if all elements of B are also elements of A. Contrast with subset.

    Another thing I learned today. *runs*

    Posted by Mathias Bynens at