June 6, 2000
3:08 PM   Subscribe

Rampant Redesigns: It seems to me that everyone is spending their time redesigning. Could this trend among blogs be revealing a weakness... that the same old thing can and will get boring?
posted by pasties (19 comments total)
For some of us, keeping a weblog has been a learning process. The more we look around at the web, the more ideas we get for what we could do, and the more we learn about how to do it. I've got my own redesign (among other changes) in the works; it will probably still look pretty amateurish, but it's a lot better than I could have done before I started weblogging.
posted by harmful at 3:14 PM on June 6, 2000

I sometimes get annoyed at the energy put towards redesigns rather than content, but i think that's just a fundamental part of web pages. Or something.
posted by milhous at 3:19 PM on June 6, 2000

Milhous, that's like saying it's a waste of energy to select good wood when building furniture. I think the web is now a totally integrated medium: presentation and design are just as important as content (I think some folks would do to remember that content is just as important as appearance, though).

For me, it's like calligraphy, which I also do. Somebody says something pithy and poignant, and you can render that quote in nice, clean Times New Roman. Or I can take my pens and my paintbrushes and create a presentation that conveys the idea more viscerally than the text alone could have. Likewise, the ink and the paint are useless without something worth saying.

And I agree with Harmful. If I had to stay with the same design forever, I never would have gotten started because I would never be satisfied that it was perfect enough for posterity.

Transient things are the most beautiful.
posted by Spyderella at 3:44 PM on June 6, 2000

I don't think it's a bad thing at all. People who want to write, generally try to spend their time writing; people who love to take pictures, generally try to spend their time behind a camera... and people who love to design web pages can hardly be blamed for putting continued effort into the design of their sites.

posted by Mars Saxman at 4:00 PM on June 6, 2000

Yikes... I never said design was bad. I never meant to mean redesign was bad. But using 80% of energy towards design and 20% towards content, unless it's design driven, doesn't make sense to me.

When building furniture, why not pick out good wood to begin with rather than building on a shoddy foundation?
posted by milhous at 4:34 PM on June 6, 2000

I think content matters most, but redesigns are inevitable, some people get tired of the same layout, other are just too fidgety I think, and can't keep quiet, but if the spirit moves you, in the end it's your site...
posted by meaning at 4:36 PM on June 6, 2000

Exactly. That's what the 'or something' meant.
posted by milhous at 4:37 PM on June 6, 2000

Having just done a redesign myself, I'd have to say something about the redesign bug.
I'd resisted for about 4 months, thanks to Nik Nolan telling me not to change: i'd scrapped three or four designs in that process. It wasn't 'til I realised why I needed to change that I finally bit the bullet.
Unless a design has major UI issues, there really is no need; in fact, if you've got pages other than your blog, it can be a real pain in the arse.
I think there is valid reason to change the design for the sake of changing the design - if that's your schtick. I realised for myself, and watching, for certain other people, a change in the design occured when the function of the page went with it.
That's where the best redesigns come from; when chaninging the design so that it matches both new form AND function.
That's not saying I've had a "best" redesign. I just think that's when they tend to occur. The others, unless they are really special, are just changing the trimming.
posted by Neale at 5:40 PM on June 6, 2000

Two things. I think The Same Old Design gets viewers comfortable. So in that sense, redesign should be resisted. At the same time, who sees the page most? The author. If the designer gets bored with it, some renewed excitement can show in the writing.

Second, what mars saxman said 100%. Many weblogs aren't FOR the viewer. They're for fun.

posted by flestrin at 6:02 PM on June 6, 2000

I think the fact that webloggers look at their own site a bunch of times in one day has to do with it. Unlike a personal site, which might get updated a few times a week...weblogs are updated many times per day. Constantly looking at your own site (to see if posts look well, grammar, spelling...) all day, you get sick of it quickly.
posted by mkn at 6:43 PM on June 6, 2000

I just like to code things.

If someone actually wants to read the stuff I code around, that's good too.
posted by Sapphireblue at 10:49 PM on June 6, 2000

I haven't redesigned in at least a month and a half. The last redesign was as much a reflection of me and my current situation as my content. I had just gone through a break-up and was cleaning out my life and dealing with new things in a more upbeat light. So I took my dark gray site and made it white. I wanted a total package. For me, I want to convey the whole message both visually and verbally.

Also though, as was mentioned earlier - I'm a designer - I design. Just like a painter can't stop with one really good painting or a musician cannot stop at one really good song, a designer can't stop with one really good design. For those who DO design, the design process is part of the self discovery that they also do in their writing. Images and good design ARE content. Read the design as you would a work of art. Some things cannot be said in words.
posted by thinkdink at 8:28 AM on June 7, 2000

content is more important than style.
content is more important than style.
content is more important than style.

That's my mantra, baby! Please repeat as often as possible, until it's burned into your synapses.
posted by Mr. skullhead at 10:39 AM on June 7, 2000

Yep, content is more important than style (inject sarcasm here) and that's how Matisse, Rembrandt, Van Gogh, Picasso, O'Keefe, Michaelangelo, Warhol, Basquiat, Degas, Dali, etc... feel too.

I say sometimes style IS content.
posted by thinkdink at 11:27 AM on June 7, 2000

Aww. I'm flattered.

Oh. You meant O'Keeffe. Never mind.
posted by harmful at 11:46 AM on June 7, 2000

ooops. BAD headaches (see misspell migraine) impare spelling.

And oh, yes, harmful too...
posted by thinkdink at 12:21 PM on June 7, 2000

My design mantra is more like "form follows function", but after flailing about and finding my form failing to function, I feel foolish. So, the Foop is non-functional for up to a fortnight. Fudge.
posted by wendell at 4:30 PM on June 7, 2000

asinine alliteration? always appropriate.
posted by thinkdink at 10:31 PM on June 7, 2000

which ocean is better, the atlantic or the pacific?
posted by Zeldman at 12:59 AM on June 8, 2000

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