If you’re a regular visitor to my blog, you’ll have noticed by now that there have been some radical changes made to the blog’s design. Based on comments and feedback from visitors, friends and colleagues – including the results of my own informal survey – it would seem that the previous theme (though elegantly simple and well suited to a classic journal-style blog) was considered by many to be visually “unexciting”, aesthetically uninspiring and a tad on the “conservative” side (which, of course, is young person code for “boring”). “Well, that won’t do!” I thought.
Especially since it’s primarily young people I’m trying to reach out to. Some complained that the grey text on the textured background of the previous theme was difficult to read and hard on the eyes after a while (not good for such a text-heavy blog). Many found the articles “insightful” and “useful”, but added that they also found the writing style “intimidating” – hinting that I could perhaps “lighten the mood” a little. Others (particularly women) bemoaned the absence of my silly mug on the site (bless them). In fact, my dear friend Ros insisted that I set the photo that accompanies this post as the background picture for the landing page. I chose not to for several reasons. Firstly, it’s very posed and deliberately sultry. Secondly, I don’t really judge or define myself by my appearance these days – and would prefer it if others didn’t either. But most of all, I found it to be self-indulgently distracting from my message.
But I understood Ros’s rationale and motives for a little harmless window dressing – and reluctantly agreed to have the portrait feature (in aptly doppelgänger form) on the Contact page. I settled on the existing landing page picture because it’s a candidly and unforgivingly close-up shot of my face (sans make-up, contact lenses or touch-ups) and allows one a good look into my eyes. I’m of the firm belief that “the eyes don’t lie” and that they really do offer a glimpse into a person’s soul. But my main motivation for a complete design overhaul was based on the reality that most visitors to this blog are using tablets and other mobile devices to browse articles – and that the previous design apparently wasn’t as “responsive” (my new tech jargon word of the week) as it could have been to different formats. And so, with a little help from my fantastic web development and design team, I’m proud to present the theme to my new-look blog. This is me lightening up a little. I hope you like it.