First a disclaimer. I could probably sit on this site for another 3 months tinkering with it. There’s still a few bugs I know about that need to be fixed and a long list of improvements / added features I indeed to get to. However, after a little encouragement from some good friends I knew it was time to get it out in the open and see what people think of it. I’ll continue to improve it over the next few months but for now (I guess) I’m happy with it.
Just before the New Year I decided it was time to redesign my site. Initially I planned to just make the old design responsive but the markup and CSS weren’t great (damn former me – although to be fair I was still learning CSS) and I didn’t really like the design that much anyway so decided it was time for a fresh start.
I came up with a few ideas of how I wanted the site to work and sketched them down. However, when I tried to translate these ideas into designs they never quite looked as slick as they did in my head.
During this time one of the designers at Fi, Tobias van Schnieder, had just moved from the Stockholm office to NYC. I explained my predicament to him, showed him my sketches and asked if I could pick his brain on design stuff once I had something half decent in Photoshop. The very next day, without me asking, he came in with designs for me!
I loved the stuff Tobias came up with and you can see from the screenshots below that the final site changed very little from his original designs.
A couple of people I spoke to thought it was a little strange that, being a web developer, I didn’t design my own site. However, I have to disagree. Let me put it this way, if I was going to build my own house I’d get an architect to design it otherwise I’d end up living somewhere like this.
One of the main requirements for my site, which I think Tobias got spot on, was that I needed something to look great but I don’t necessarily have lots of nice images that I can use. Plus prepping graphics for a blog post takes time and might put me off adding content. I was worried that without images my blog would just look plain and boring but, with the colors, I think it looks great!
Another great thing about the designs is that all my old blog posts from over the past few years fit nicely with minimal work required to integrate them. Whether they should all still be here is another debate and I may well delete some of the older, now irrelevant posts.
Flash Monkey alias retires
I think the thing that finally pushed me over the edge is that since LinkedIn added the endorsements feature people keep endorsing me for Flash related skills! I don’t do Flash anymore, stop endorsing me for it!
So a huge thanks to Tobias for the awesome designs and also for keeping me motivated and pushing me to get the site to the point it is today. Also, some appreciation to my girlfriend Junith who’s been patient over the past month whilst I’ve spent many evenings putting this site together. All the late nights reminded me of why I stopped doing freelance on the side many moons ago.
Now I need to start writing regularly to make all the work worthwhile! I’m planning a series of posts about stuff I’ve learnt whilst making the site so watch this space.
Desige is great,I love it.16 Jun 2013
Site design is great! Each slides gives new posts. But how to go for specific one. Any navigation other than sliding mean moving directly to a specific post.14 May 2013
I love this design!13 May 2013
Really love this site. A great example of “plain design” with amazing and seamless interaction.11 Apr 2013
It’s amazing! I like it!20 Mar 2013
the site design and functionality is great. It reminds me of my pantone swatch books13 Mar 2013
Looking at your site makes me want to move to NYC and work with you!
Best,12 Mar 2013
Great job !11 Mar 2013
Nice site!9 Mar 2013
Thank you so much for sharing, and giving us a cool site to play around with.8 Mar 2013
You’ve got a brilliant website. Well done!7 Mar 2013
Wicked stuff man! The future is now.6 Mar 2013
Your site looks awesome. The colors do make it engaging and it is fun to look around. Think you did a great job! Props to you!4 Mar 2013
Thanks everyone for such positive comments! 🙂 I plan on posting more on how I build the site when I get some time.
@Monty – Thanks for the tip. I plan on doing some updates on the site soon and have a few little bugs to fix too.27 Feb 2013
Incredible site.25 Feb 2013
Great job with the new site! Looks awesome!22 Feb 2013
A really beautiful site. 🙂20 Feb 2013
Great job!19 Feb 2013
very nice modern site steve.. light, fluid and degrades nicely to mobile too.. have you got some links to good resources to learning stuff like the page transitions? minor point but i recommend bundling your scripts and css server side to reduce your http requests.19 Feb 2013
You’ve knocked your socks off with this website.14 Feb 2013
I absolutely love the new design. The animations are very smooth and the responsiveness transitions exceptionally well, especially with such simple navigation. Great work!13 Feb 2013
I like ur website, very simple and cool animation13 Feb 2013
Best monkey site ever!11 Feb 2013
Interesting.11 Feb 2013
Gud work ..nice site. 🙂11 Feb 2013
I’m really loving the design and approach! Well done!10 Feb 2013
Love the website! Bookmarked9 Feb 2013
Really unique experience! 😉8 Feb 2013
All best in NY in FI.
Well done! What about the development part? Could you tell us how you did for the wordpress + single page + History API integration? Wich tools did you used to start (html5 blank wordpress theme?…)? Thank you8 Feb 2013
Got my eyes on the first sight! A unique design.8 Feb 2013
Wow!! This is one the best minimal, responsive and absolutely stunningly beautiful website I have ever seen!! Its damn colorful too!! I just love it!! Would it be right if I took some inspiration from this awesomely amazingly designed website?8 Feb 2013
Wow.. The most interesting responsive style I have ever seen. Great design. Great work.8 Feb 2013
Outstanding site – awesome work Steve!8 Feb 2013
Absolutely Beautiful! Colors are fantastic and I love how minimal it is.7 Feb 2013
Even your old man managed to navigate the site, so it must be user friendly. Well done mate.7 Feb 2013
Beatiful design and interaction — love it.7 Feb 2013
I’m so mad that you have this design and not me. Blargh, it’s so unbelievably beautiful.7 Feb 2013
Top job mate, really love it. Inspiring me to finally make my site!7 Feb 2013
Fresh! soft colors, easy to read, smooth animations….Great job Mister!7 Feb 2013
all I can say is beautiful….”simply” beautiful7 Feb 2013
looks great, love the minimal style7 Feb 2013
Really digging the site! Love all the animations and even the tutorials on here! Will be visiting on a regular basis to keep up to date on what you’re doing!
Great job once again!7 Feb 2013
New design and functionality is all wonderful – it took some playing around to really appreciate it. Like the arrows left/right on single posts to navigate, or the small ( x ) in the top right to take me home. Feels more like an app and less like a site, well done!6 Feb 2013
Holy flying monkeys! This site is great. Love the silky-smooth transitions/animations. Please do a blog post on your development process!6 Feb 2013
This is an amazing piece. I pretty much love every piece of it. The only thing is that horizontal scrolling doesn’t make good friends with Wacom pan/scroll.6 Feb 2013