Design Overhaul

Whaaaaa, what happened around here?

No, it’s not your device, it’s me.

I realized this week that I have now been blogging for eight years, with the same theme and layout. During this time, viewing possibilities, blogging styles and my own writing focus have changed, and this design overhaul is my trying to adjust the blog to those changes.

Many of you are accessing Eye Bags via mobile or tablet, which should now be a seamless viewing experience due to a responsive layout. To avoid cluttering small screens, I’ve also done some pruning regarding the widgets that used to live in the sidebar.

My intention is to ensure easy reading of posts and fiction, and uncluttered viewing pleasure of hot mezzos in pants and the occasional soprano or kitchen adventure. Easy reading also means not having to strain your eyes over small light fonts on dark background. It must be the mass of student essays I’ve graded over the past years, or simply the years: late at night or on the road, I had to squint at the blog myself, the letters started to blur. That should, hopefully, be a thing of the past for all of us.

I know the change is drastic – operatic, if you will, with Baroque chiaroscuro – but I hope you will come around to it as I have over the past weeks, and end up with a more comfortable reading and commenting experience. With more space, with more clarity, independent of the device you use.

What has changed, exactly?

The biggest changes are the switch from a dark to a light color scheme and the cut of the sidebar.

Like with lipsticks, I am generally drawn to darker shades in designs, but that does not mean they work for me.

Since Eye Bags is a text-heavy blog, I decided to let go of the dark color scheme in favor of easier readability, particularly on smaller screens and on the go.

I also tried to clear up as much space as possible: the sidebar is gone, which leaves more room for reading and commenting. The blog stats, the category listing for access, the search function and the RSS link have found a new home in the footer area (not on the main page, but on all posts). There is a menu for quick access to the most relevant pages, tags and categories at the top of the site (extendable from a button on tablets and phones).

Some of the large widgets I used to have – Tag Cloud and Blogroll – have been nixed, to keep scrolling and loading to a minimum on mobile devices.

Chances are that you will not even notice that much of a change if you tend to come here by mobile: the display has been a generic, gobbled-up light-color scheme version for a while, which had nothing to do with the actual design and layout. That has changed, as you should find a consistent design no matter by what device you access the site, with only a few layout details  depending on the size of your screen.

Feedback

My motivation for this overhaul is to make the reading and writing, browsing and commenting smoother (and prettier!) for all of us.

If there is anything that does not work for you, please let me know – broken links, out-of-line images, anything out of sorts.

If you miss navigating via links or the tag cloud, tell me, and I’ll try to find a way to include those. If you miss a tag or a category in the menu above: let me know what you would like to see there or what you find unnecessary.

I’m looking forward to more shared years of blogging, fiction and swooning over White Shirts with you.

10 thoughts on “Design Overhaul”

  1. I like it very much. Will give a try from my tablet, to see how it looks like. Not by mobile, I’m too short-sighted for that!! And will take into account your reasons for change for my own blogs. :-d

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  2. I find this theme much easier to read, thanks. Unless it will be onerous, I’d welcome another link, to a list of recent posts, because some related posts (Mitridate, anyone?) have other posts between them; when I go back and forth in such a set, links are easier navigation than scrolling is.

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    1. Thank you for the feedback; I’ll try to figure out a way to include that. The issue is that I cannot put widgets (Recent Posts, Search) in the menu and the widgets at the bottom of the page only appear on posts, not on the main site. I think I can improvise via an empty post.

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      1. I’ve set up a fix now – it’s not as elegant since it still requires an extra click, but it may still be easier than scrolling.

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  3. I like it too. Looking good on my iPad and much easier for fiction reading. Thank you, it must have taken ages.

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