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ROHDESIGN is the website of designer Mike Rohde, who writes on design, sketching, drawing, sketchnotes, technology, travel, cycling, books & coffee.
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Tuesday
Aug242004

Rohdesign Redesign Status and CSS Thoughts

Oh yeah, I'm supposed to be redesigning this site, aren't I?

Busted. ;-)

Ok, It's been a while since I've last mentioned my weblog redesign, because honestly, I've done nothing on it for several weeks. Looking back, I can see our vacation break in July putting me off track, along with our busy summer schedule.

This has, however, been a good thing. I've had a chance to break away from the project and clear the cache in my brain. When I had a peek at my latest design yesterday, I found a several things to change, which I hadn't noticed during the redesign process.

Often, design projects haven't much margin for this time of separation, since there are usually hot deadlines. This experience reminds me that stepping away mentally, even for a short time, can be very beneficial.

Callisto SpaceI also have more experience with Cascading Style Sheets (CSS), after completing the redesign of the Callisto Space website, a long time client of MakaluMedia (the company I work for). This project was a great opportunity to explore some new areas of CSS and XHTML that I hadn't worked with before. Overall, I feel the project turned out quite nicely.

CSS has been a challenge for me, partly because my roots are in print-based graphic design and several years of old-school (once called 3rd generation) web design using tables with invisible spacers (per David Siegel's Creating Killer Websites) . It's always difficult to step away from something you know, into things you must learn, especially a language like CSS.

I've found with CSS, that things don't always work as I might expect, or what I expect to be easy to do, is usually more complex than it appears. However, with each of these CSS challenges, I've found I'm getting a much better feel for CSS. It can be a hassle and a pain, but I try to stay optimistic, reminding myself regularly that I'm learning a language, and growing through my experiences.

Of course, tutorials on CSS techniques, like those found at AListApart and SimpleBits, are indispensable. I've also found books, such as Jeffery Zeldman's Designing with Web Standards and Eric Meyer's Cascading Style Sheets: The Definitive Guide and Eric Meyer on CSS very useful as well.

Overall, I'm really loving CSS, despite how strange and challenging it often is. I find the power CSS offers me, far outweighs the comfort of old-school web design. The idea of changing a single style sheet which effects an entire website is just too good to let go of now. I suppose I'm hooked. :-)

So, despite the gap in activity, I'm back to focusing on the redesign once again. I've planned to start template construction later this week and weekend, hoping to put up a demo for you all to see on Monday.

If you have any feedback on the redesign so far, feel free to drop a line. For reference, here are all previous entries related to the project:

Rohdesign Redesign Project
Rohdesign Redesign: Part 1
Rohdesign Redesign: Status Report
Rohdesign Redesign: Part 2
Rohdesign Redesign: Part 3
Rohdesign Redesign: Part 4
Rohdesign Redesign: Part 5
Rohdesign Redesign: Part 6

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