design variations

we have an upgrade, me thinks.

I don't have a habit of announcing minor changes to the visual design on my sites, but now I will make an exception. The change is not “fantastic”, not even “great” in any way, but it has been a long time coming.

The header-background for this site's wide-screen design, with a cloudy sky – intro­duced June 11, 2015, is now officially under test in this design. If it survives scrutiny over the next few weeks, it may stay part of the site-wide design for a while.

This site's overall design has not changed much over the last four years, and will probably be kept for quite a while. I have no plans of dumping the “virtual nature” theme I started out with back in January 2011, only details will be altered / swapped from time to time.

The new back­ground is taken from a real picture, unlike the previous back­ground which was com­puter-designed for this site. Not that I think “real” or “artificial” makes much of a difference in web design – everything “web” is virtual anyway. Including something that at least has roots in the real world, cannot hurt though.

Whether this new design variation is an upgrade or downgrade in appear­ance compared to the previous, more stylized one, is of course up to the individual visitor to decide. example of january 2011 example of june 2015
I obviously like the new variant – see update notes.

Some may think that I have gone too far by gray'ing out every­thing in the overall site design. Maybe so, but now I can be as colorful as I like in the content sections, without the risk of having the design fight the content for attention.
To me the main thing about a design, is how well it carries content through to visitors without intro­ducing unneces­sary dis­trac­tions. In my opinion this new design variant is at least as efficient as the previous variant in that respect.

the original…

The original picture is in my private archive, taken on our farm an early morning in June 2014. A section – see red corner markings on picture below – was cropped out of the full-size (3888×2592px) original, and the lower part of this section was made gradually transparent to blend in smoothly with the quilted background on the rest of the page.

The original in color, with the red'ish top of the clouds as they was lightened up by the morning sun, did not fit in well with the overall gray'ish design theme. The gray-toned and light / contrast adjusted version I ended up using, does in my opinion go well with my “virtual nature” theme.

why this cloudy variant…

As none of the overlayed elements from previous design version has been removed or altered – see screen­shots above, they set the premises for the visual header back­ground. “High flying birds” called for an “airy” back­ground, and I happened to pick this one out amongst quite a few suitable pictures I have in my archives, when I decided to make a change.

The header-space is the most prominent area in a web page. So, what I am about to check up on over the nest few days and weeks, is how well various content-related design elements and decorations on top of the article and side­note areas balance in with the new header-background.
Not that I expect to find any major, unintended, clashes as I go through pages on site, but a few visual details here and there can surely be improved on.

sincerely  georg; sign

Hageland 12.jun.2015
last rev: 02.jul.2015 advice upgrade advice upgrade navigation