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Posts Tagged ‘web design’

Big Ch-changes!

So …. I know I mentioned this ages ago, but I’ve been working on a website redo. Actually, instead of a “website redo” let’s call it MONDO MIGRATION 2012. That sounds  much more epic.

And as you might be able to tell by how long it’s taken me to even mention it again, it hasn’t been the most seamless process. For one, my knowledge of web design has been buried in tables (oh tables, how I will always love you!) and only recently have I started coding at a 2005-era level. So since the plan was to revamp my site in WordPress, this has taken me a wee bit of time to learn what’s what. Over the next couple days, I’ll keep you guys informed of what’s going on so when it’s live, hopefully there won’t be too many problems.

Oh, who am I kidding. My method of web design is like that of a cornered badger – a combination of frozen terror and things flying everywhere. But I promise I will hack and claw away until everything is working properly! For the most part, I’m pretty proud of what I’ve been able to accomplish thus far.

Here are some annoying things that will happen:

  • Some of the links to my pages will probably change. So, if you had any particular pages bookmarked, you’ll need to find them again and re-bookmark. This shouldn’t be too painful, but unfortunately necessary.
  • Any comments that people have left on my comic will disappear. *sniff sniff* But not on the blog – if you’ve left blog comments, they’ll be safe!
  • My blog will permanently switch over to my main site, so all of my posts here will migrate over to eatyourlipstick.com, so please follow me over there once the switch is complete!

And it’ll have simpler navigation and more fun things to look at, to boot! But enough with all the whining, here’s a sneak peek at what it’ll look like!

 

Ooooooooh

 

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Incognito

I have to apologize for being a bit in hibernation over here. I’ve been wanting to redesign my website for a long time, only recently settling on creating a new site in WordPress, and I’m afraid it’s going to take me a while to figure all this stuff out! I’m pretty old school HTML/CSS. It’s like I want to rip WordPress apart and see the nuts and bolts, but then I go “Woaaahhh” when I see the nuts and bolts and remember I don’t know PHP or jQuery. I decided the best thing for me to do rather than create a whole site from scratch was to buy a template and play around from there, but apparently it’s still going to take me a while to figure things out. I wanted a site that was clean, minimal, and better organized than my current site, but when I started creating one I realized I kind of found it a bit boring. LOL. Clearly there’s going to be no satisfying me!

So anyway, if I’m a bit quiet over here, it’s because I’m spending my nights and weekends yelling at my computer screen. In the meantime, here are some pics from my recent trip to pretty, pretty Portland!

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Et Voila!

Since I mentioned in this post, I’m bad at thoroughly planning a project out before I get too excited and want to see it … I’ve updated the main page of my website!

It used to look like this:

….Aaaaand now it looks like this!

I wanted the image at the top to be my latest-and-greatest work, so it will change depending on what I’ve worked on lately and liked. But since it was a picture of my Lipstick & Malice character Nona La Bete, and she was angrily smoking, my friends thought it might give viewers the impression that I was an angry smoker. So I added a little lipstick (as is my custom) and tried to make her look a little happier. I also don’t think it particularly looks like me (hello, she has boobs), but apparently I do have a tendency to slouch.

Let me know what you guys think! I know it doesn’t match anything else on the site yet, but gradually it will. I have lots of plans to redesign my comics pages so they’re much easier to navigate, add a comments functionality, etc. In the meantime, if you guys have any critiques of my current site, I’d love to hear them!

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Webby Webby Bang Bang

So I’m working on revamping my website.

Which is a pretty daunting task, considering how much time it normally takes me just to edit one page or (god forbid) revamp the entire concept I have for a series of pages. When you have 291 pages of one single webcomic, the thought of restructuring it usually doesn’t go too far in my head before it hits a brick wall. I could spend 4 hours revamping a series of pages, or actually post a comic page. Or, y’know, go get something to eat.

Over the years I’ve gone through a few design phases, but mainly I’ve relied heavily on image maps.

2003

2007

Image maps always appealed to me because I could switch up the layout, images, and color palette without having to do to much coding around it. I loved the idea of big, bright images that people could click on, rather than having to navigate through tables and text links. But anytime I wanted to change a page, I did it individually, without considering the bigger picture. So my site has haphazardly grown over the years into a bunch of pages that may/may not match one another’s overall theme:

Main Page

Bio Page

Portfolio Page

Comics Page

Store Page

Links Page

As you can see, any sense of an overall design scheme is pretty much nonexistent. Recently, I’ve learned a lot more CSS, HTML5, and JavaScript, so I’ve been itching to redesign it. But if I worked in the way I normally work, it would remain pretty much the same. An updated piece here, an outdated piece there. I’m terrible at stepping back and painstakingly planning a process once I’m excited about something. I want to DO it, so let’s do it! Instant gratification! Yay!

Luckily for me, I attended the HOW Interactive Design conference last week (as I may have over-mentioned already), and it helped me realize the value of putting on the brakes. Since this is such a HUGE change I’m looking to make, I’d like to make sure and do it right. (And by right, I mean the way that I define right, which could very well still include fake links and messed up pages. And probably will.) So, like  a proper grown-up, I’ve started with the first steps. Some sketches of the overall page structure/layout.

Next comes the wireframe, which is a black and white no-frills version of the navigation and what needs to happen.

(Okay, truth – I started the wireframe and then got excited/sidetracked by creating a mood board full of different things that I want to include):

Yep, off to a good start already. But I’ll keep you guys updated on my process along the way, and I’d love to hear if any of you out there have gone through a similar site-wide redesign. Were you able to wait until the entire thing was planned? Or did you just start coding left and right, process be damned?

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Little by little, I’m revamping my website. But going at a snail’s pace is really difficult when you know what you want to do but … not how to do it. I knew I wanted my portfolio page to be separated into sections (latest work, work done for hire, etc.), but I couldn’t decide how best to present that information. I had originally listed oodles of thumbnails which, when clicked, gave you larger images. But who wants to do all that clicking? I liked the idea of having big images visible without an extra click, but I wasn’t sure how to show all of them at once. Splitting each section into scrollable parts was irritating and aggravated my tendonitis with all the places to click and drag.

Finally I discovered all these gorgeous, endlessly side-scrolling websites like JessicaFortner.com and  Klas Fahlen (both recommended by HOW) that I desperately wanted to emulate. But, the sneaky thing they both had that I couldn’t for the life of me figure out was the fixed menu. The images could scroll beautifully by, but a fixed header? Surely you jest.

Since my approach to web design leans toward the haphazard and CSS still makes me a bit squeamish (we’re getting to know one another, but we haven’t exactly gotten to any bases yet), I wasn’t sure I’d be able to work this one out.

BUT! I am thrilled to announce that after hours of frustrating trial and error, ending with just a wee bit of CSS wrangling (mainly adding <div> tags around the parts of the page I wanted fixed, and adding a position:fixed style to them, then putting the scrolling items in a table surrounded by <div> tags – you can check my code for the messy deets), voila!

A shiny new portfolio page!

 

So far only the “recent work” and “for hire” areas are ready to be seen on the side menu, but there’ll be plenty more adding and adjusting to come. I was just too giddy giddy gumdrops not to share this!

Oh: and also, as stated, I was so excited to get this up that I’m sure there will be browser conflicts – if you encounter any, please let me know! And if you’ve the wherewithal, feel free to throw any suggestions my way in how to make it work!

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