I was feeling a bit nocturnal last night. I’d had the design bug for the last few days (if you check my delicious bookmarks, you can see that I’ve been trying to brush up) and finally around 11PM last night I figured it was time to actually DO something. So I fired up Photoshop and set about mocking up some sort of layout. At first it was for this site, but after finding a font that I liked, I realized that I was in the process of designing something that would be much better for jennvargas.com. I pushed pixels around for a few hours and settled on something I liked. It was still slightly a work in progress, but I decided to start to code it up. If I didn’t start then I knew the design would be doomed to live in its .PSD form forever. By around 5:30PM, I was putting the finishing touches on - adding a border here or some padding there. It’s quite a drastic change from the old version, if you ask me.

This design was the product of a completely different process for me. Normally I open up Photoshop with no idea of what I want but the urge to make something new. I usually just stare at a blank image for a while and start to add things in until it looks at least decent. This time I actually spent a lot of time looking around at other sites, clipping out the bits I liked, writing notes about it, saving color schemes and fonts, viewing sources to see how some elements were made, it was kind of like the olden days when I was first learning HTML. I tried to make an effort to use things that I don’t normally use and try out newer CSS elements instead of just making something that’s my “usual.” In the end, I think it did turn out looking a bit like my “usual,” but I think the more important part about the process is that I learned to love learning about new techniques again.

Anyway…sleepiness hit me around 6AM, so I decided to call it a night and would pick up my tweaking in the morning. I ended up having a nightmare about the design completely breaking in Firefox. Luckily, when I woke up, it turned out just to be a float issue. Phew. A few more tweaks later (adding in a background image and some drop shadows) and I was done. I’d say about 5 hours from start to finish. Not bad.

While I was uploading the new site to the main server I realized that the last changed date on some of the folders was 2/2/08. It’s been almost exactly a year to the day since I launched jennvargas.com! And even more coincidental is that I launched it on Super Bowl Sunday last time as well! It’s funny how things work like that.

Head over to jennvargas.com to take a gander at the new look!

And here’s the old design, for posterity’s sake: [[[caption id=”attachment_1085” align=”aligncenter” width=”610” caption=”JennVargas.com Design: 02/02/2008 - 02/01/2009”]02/02/2008 - 02/01/2009[/caption]]]