April 10, 2006

Weblog design

Lots of people are thinking about weblog design. What belongs in a weblog or a personal information page? Kathryn Cramer has a long and interesting discussion of the problem. She says she's tired of writing on a roll of paper towels.

When there are sudden changes of circumstance -- such as for a few hours having the best site on the planet concerning the NOLA levee breaks -- I down want to mess around with CSS.

The problem here, I think, is that it's easy to build incredibly messy stylesheets with lots of ad hoc styles. Conversely, it's tricky to plan and execute a design where you have lots of modules, and lots of links, and to make all the parts work together visually while retaining visual distinctness.

I think it can be done, though, if you clean your style sheets. Refactoring is crucial. Don't set the font family in ten differently places if you can set it once. Don't set the colors in ten places if you can set them once.

Kiwi weblog designer Rachel Cunliffe has an interesting series on her new design scheme, in which she reserves one column for business blogging and another for informal notes and personal observations.