September 14th, 2004

I have been busying myself behind the scenes of this site, tinkering with the inner-workings in order to serve up semantically correct code as well as a greater user-experience that typifies my work on day to day projects here at the Open University. Indeed this site with it’s simplistic navigation and minimalist design somewhat betrays the experience I have in the areas of graphical interface design, usability, accessibility and all the other oft-mentioned web design buzzwords. Call me lazy or call me exceedingly busy, I’ve neglected this site for some time since I first crafted the current incarnation over two years ago. Back then CSS was all the rage. We were all throwing tables (the HTML kind) out of the window with vengence in order to demonstrate the latest style-sheet wizardry that was CSS-P.

Of course the mainstream has now caught up and CSS designs are the norm to the clunky old deprecated mess that was 20th Century web design. Yet I’ve left the information architecture and HTML code largely untouched for aeons. Projects have come and go in my daily work. My experience and ability has grown tenfold and if so many of my portfolio pieces weren’t locked behind intranets and student-only frontiers I’d be able to demonstrate this fact with ease. I’m actually hoping to gather one or two pieces and upload them onto this server so I can give certain projects the write-ups they deserve. But I’m still buzzing away on a cranky old 56k modem at home and after working all day in front of the dual cathode rays I like to give my eyes a little respite from the radiation. With the approach of autumn I may find the warmth generated from my over clocked PC a temptation too strong to resist. I guess that’ll be the time to make some headway. In the meantime, why not use this site as a glittering demonstration to backup my claims of greatness? It seems obvious really.

As I said at the start of this entry, I’ve been tinkering. I’ve now slashed the code down to the rich semantics. Waved goodbye to nested div tags and the like. I’ve been fine-tuning my Movable Type templates so each and every article produces some keyword and description meta tags. The archives are more logical and navigation is incredibly obvious. There’s still much to do. The design will take a little time as I’m working up a few ideas in the lunch-hour at work. I still find the current design aesthetically pleasing enough in its simplicity. I hope the new design will add to the experience rather than take away. I’m even contemplating creating a logo for the site. That’d certainly be a first around these parts. I will of course keep updating you on my progress but I hope this article gives you some idea as to why the postings on the site have been a little infrequent of late. Work is going on, just off stage.