Igor, it’s Alive! It’s Alive!

December 27, 2012

Actually I can’t tell if my blog looks better than yours, but statistically speaking there should be a high chance it does and here is why:
Fist of all I had some really good inspirations. Since I first saw Aen Tans blog I played with the idea to design a blog for myself. At first the driving force behind this thought was not to publish, but to design a blog with the highest possible user experience.

Platform

Scriptogr.am seemed to be a simple and clean choice because it uses markdown files stored in a Dropbox folder. The idea is great: just write your article with the tool of  your choice and upload it to Dropbox. While Scriptogr.am is very lean and smart, the data needs to be stored on Dropbox which makes Scriptogr.am unusable for me due to Dropbox data policy (just think about the Patriot Act).
When reading about markdown language I stumbled upon Svbtle, a closed blogging plattform with a very neat administration panel that uses a markdown editor. Furthermore I really like the idea to give kudos (or recommendations) for a nice read which is a clear break from the boring facebook likes that nobody really likes to give. Since Svbtle is not open for public I was happy to learn that there are a few clones like Obtverse or Orbvt. Finally I decided to go with wp-svbtle because I’m already used to WordPress and some of it’s 3rd party apps.

Design & Usability

Svbtle looks already gorgeous but in my opinion it carries too many unneccesary elements. The huge logo and the link to the plattform had to go. Furthermore I wasn’t fond of the current date that was always visible on top of the article overview. Instead each article is now connected with the publishing date. At the end of each article I added links to the next/last article and to the article overview.
To improve readability, I increased the size of running text and set the background to a slight grey which mimics the effect of reading a book or newspaper. Information Architects, Minimallyminimal and Medium were good inspirations in this aspect.
As language can be a barrier and a usability issue as such, I decided to write this blog in English even though I could express myself far more elaborated and fluently in German.

Content

To breathe some life into this blog I will post irregularely about design, tech and handcrafted goods. A positive side effect of this blog will hopefully be to force myself to take more photographs.

What’s next?

Design shouldn’t be a condition but a process that evolves simultaneously with the content. For example at the starting point of this blog it makes no sense to create lots of different but empty categories while at a later stage, when the blog is further developed, different categories are helpful to increase usability. Moreover I’m still struggling with the fonts and might change them over time.