I am not a visual designer. That’s a statement that’s probably obvious to anyone who’s spent much time on one of the sites for which I am solely responsible. Thankfully I have numerous friends and colleagues who are designers and thanks to them there are a number of projects which have come out looking good.

For a long time I’ve been wanting to redesign this site. To give it more presence, to make it a bit friendlier, but mainly to make it neater. I’ve had numerous ideas, but always lacked either the time or the skill to make them a reality. But today, finally, I have at least achieved the third of my aims. It’s all thanks to the CSS framework of the moment, blueprint, and a little free time to work on it.

I’m not really a fan of the various toolkits for grid-based design. I don’t like presentation-focussed class names cluttering my HTML. But they do help in getting a clean design out the door quickly, and so I’ve conceded in this case to use blueprint and hope that the microformats included alongside it redeem the use of class names like ‘column’ and ‘span-10’.

If I had still more time I’d like to write a parser that will use those class names as a base and generate stylesheets that apply the same styling to the more appropriate class names the HTML already holds. But I don’t, so for now, things are as they are. Please let me know if you spot any glitches—I’m sure there are some I’ve yet to spot—and hopefully the new design will make this site a little easier to follow.

Next I need to take the blog’s look and apply it across the rest of the site.

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