Small Theme Cleanup

This blog got bubbled up to the front page of Digg and Reddit once or twice in the past. I remember that the browser post turned out to be a huge hit that made my server blow up. It’s always fun when that happens! But every time I get a bigger surge of strangers visiting the site, someone always has to make a snappy comment about the kubrick theme. These people don’t know me as well as you guys do. They don’t know that I have a black belt equivalent mastery level in procrastination.

Because of this I have been “just getting around to change my theme” since around the year, fucking 2006. So remember that folks – when I say I’m going to do something soon, the realistic ETA you should put in your books is “approximately 2 years from now”. Now if I give you a concrete date and time, then it’s a different story. But I don’t commit to concrete dates easily.

Anyway, I got sick of having my blog look exactly like every other WordPress blog out there and I decided to do a little cleanup. The goal was to inject some semblance of originality and uniqueness into this page, without me having to do any actual work. Over the years, I have tweaked this theme in various random ways, adding custom hacks here and there, and never bothering to comment them. At this point I’d need to diff it with a clean Kubrick theme to figure out which bits are mine, and which are original. Then I would probably need to carefully transplant all these custom hacks onto a new template. That seemed like way to much work. I decided to take my existing theme and beat it with a stick, until it starts looking less generic.

You can’t really call it a redesign. I just added more orange in the body of the blog, dropped the gradient header, and the gray sidebar, repositioned some elements and etc. I was shooting for something simpler and more minimalistic in spirit than what I had before. As usual, constructive criticism, thoughts, comments, suggestions are always appreciated. :)

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31 Responses to Small Theme Cleanup

  1. Steve CANADA Mozilla Firefox Windows Terminalist says:

    Hmm…I don’t think the “new” design has enough orange in it :)

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  2. Matt` UNITED KINGDOM Mozilla Firefox Windows says:

    At first I thought my browser was broken, and somehow displaying the header in negative (orange on white instead of white on orange… or was it black on orange, goddamn I forget old designs quickly)

    But of course a negative wouldn’t still be orange at all, and I eventually realised it was intentional redesign, and duly reacted with hostility initially :P

    I still think the old header looked nicer than the current one, but these things always take a little while to grow on me. If you asked again in a week/months time I’d probably love the new header and not know what I ever saw in the old one.

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  3. Luke Maciak UNITED STATES Mozilla Firefox Ubuntu Linux Terminalist says:

    @Steve: Yeah, I think so too. I initially tried the orange-on-orange with orange text, but reading was kinda difficult so I ended up with this.

    @Matt`: Heh, don’t we all hate the change. I kinda liked the gradient header too, but it was just so generic…

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  4. freelancer SWEDEN Mozilla Firefox Windows Terminalist says:

    Heh, I thought it looked kinda different, but I wasn’t sure how… I actually can’t remember what it used to look like (I don’t really pay attention to things like that), so I can’t say whether or not I like this better. I’ve always liked simplistic designs though :)

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  5. mcai8sh4 UNITED KINGDOM Opera Linux Terminalist says:

    In general, I like it! Clean and easy to read, but to be honest as long as it doesn’t give me a headache I dont really care, I come here for the content.
    I’m not sure about the mouse in the header, very nicely drawn, but I think a mouse is a little generic. Plus, with the name “terminally incoherent” I would’ve thought a keyboard would make more sense (Terminal..!). Also, on my browser (opera) the header is slightly offset to the right from the rest of the page.

    Like I said, all in all I like it. Just please don’t change the style of your content.

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  6. mcai8sh4 UNITED KINGDOM Opera Linux Terminalist says:

    oops, either you’ve fixed the header to be inline with the rest of the page, or dropping my laptop may have shook it back into place! Anyways, it’s all good now.

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  7. Luke Maciak UNITED STATES Mozilla Firefox Ubuntu Linux Terminalist says:

    @mcai8sh4: Thanks. I think I fixed this issue for Opera, but it still is offset in IE. It is driving me nuts!

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  8. mcai8sh4 UNITED KINGDOM Opera Linux Terminalist says:

    I thought I was going mad. I had the same problem with a web site I was updating about a month ago. After an hour of not being able to fix it I threw it at somone else – I’ll see if what they did might be able to help you.

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  9. Luke Maciak UNITED STATES Mozilla Firefox Ubuntu Linux Terminalist says:

    Ok, I think I got it now. God, I hate IE so much!

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  10. Ajzimm3rman UNITED STATES Mozilla Firefox Windows Terminalist says:

    lols. Anything orange looks fine to me. Great stuff.
    Keep it minimalist like you do. ;)

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  11. Ajzimm3rman UNITED STATES Mozilla Firefox Windows Terminalist says:

    [quote comment=”10998″]Ok, I think I got it now. God, I hate IE so much![/quote]
    lols, anyone using i.e won’t be comin here n e way.. rofl.

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  12. Luke Maciak UNITED STATES Mozilla Firefox Ubuntu Linux Terminalist says:

    @mcai8sh4: Apparently me and the designed of the Kubrick theme differ on what the personalheader.jpg should be. I thought it was supposed to be an image that would replace kubrickheader.jpg and include the drops hadow and the rounded corners. Apparently it is supposed to be a rectangular banner that is supposed to be placed over the kubrickheader.jpg or something like that.

    Needless to say, I needed to slightly tweak the alignment and it all went to hell. I ended up going back to the original settings (which worked in IE) and carefully tweaking it again. I over-tweaked the first time around it seems. :P

    [quote post=”2767″]lols, anyone using i.e won’t be comin here n e way.. rofl. [/quote]

    True. LOL But I’d rather have it looking presentable if someone does for some reason use IE. Or if they want to see how my website looks in different browsers.

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  13. Square UNITED STATES Mozilla Firefox Linux says:

    It’s looking minimalistic, that’s for sure. The only issue I have with the new layout is that it seems to be too minimalistic – or lacking any personal touch. I do read for content though, so the layout isn’t much of a big deal :D

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  14. Ajzimm3rman UNITED STATES Mozilla Firefox Windows Terminalist says:

    [quote comment=”11002″]It’s looking minimalistic, that’s for sure. The only issue I have with the new layout is that it seems to be too minimalistic – or lacking any personal touch. I do read for content though, so the layout isn’t much of a big deal :D[/quote]

    Maybe a dark framing for the top title will restore some original contrast.

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  15. Square UNITED STATES Mozilla Firefox Linux says:

    Possibly. If going that route, I’d like to see the same technique used to add contrast to the links on the right side as well.

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  16. Ajzimm3rman UNITED STATES Mozilla Firefox Windows Terminalist says:

    [quote comment=”11004″]Possibly. If going that route, I’d like to see the same technique used to add contrast to the links on the right side as well.[/quote]
    This has turned productive! :D
    I agree. If there was contrast to the links (in my preference) a brown would go nicely right next to them. How about making the arrows on their left brown. Yum.

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  17. Mart SINGAPORE Mozilla Firefox Windows Terminalist says:

    Love the orange mouse in the header image! Where’d you steal that from? :D

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  18. vacri AUSTRALIA Mozilla Firefox Windows says:

    orange on white/light is making my eyes bleed, particularly on the sidebar… what about using a darker orange or a darker background? Currently I’ve got to specifically focus on anything that’s orange on the page to read it.

    I like mcai8sh4’s keyboard idea though

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  19. Luke Maciak UNITED STATES Mozilla Firefox Windows Terminalist says:

    @Mart: I stole it from… Google images. I don’t know. I found it, and appropriated it. Don’t tell anyone. :P

    @vacri: Hmmm…. Good point there. I will need to fiddle with the color. To my defense – I had no issues reading it on the 3 monitors I used to test it. Of course all 3 were CRT’s…

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  20. Mart SINGAPORE Mozilla Firefox Windows Terminalist says:

    @ vacri: I kinda liked the orange-y theme. But that’s just because I like that particular colour. :P

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  21. Milos UNITED STATES Mozilla Firefox Windows Terminalist says:

    Luke, it looks good. Overall, I like it, it’s nice to do a little design refresh every once in a while. Considering that your content is solid day in and day out, design aspects are easy to get overlooked and put aside.

    Btw, now that I’m looking at it a bit on my laptop, a darker orange could be helpful. Also, I have finally cleaned up and reorganized my RSS feeds to only important and good stuff so I will be back more frequently once again. :)

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  22. Ajzimm3rman UNITED STATES Mozilla Firefox Windows Terminalist says:

    [quote]

    @vacri: Hmmm…. Good point there. I will need to fiddle with the color. To my defense – I had no issues reading it on the 3 monitors I used to test it. Of course all 3 were CRT’s…[/quote]

    Yeh, I have no trouble reading it. (Took longer to load in IE, get right on that jackson!)

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  23. Looks nice – but not enough orange, as noted earlier :)

    No, really – it still lacks something, but I’m not sure what. I’m no designer :)

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  24. Alphast NETHERLANDS Mozilla Firefox Ubuntu Linux Terminalist says:

    I am late in the battle, but I want to say that I like the new theme. It is lighter without feeling empty. And living in the Netherlands, believe me if I tell you that I appreciate that there is less orange in it… :-D

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  25. Ajzimm3rman UNITED STATES Mozilla Firefox Windows Terminalist says:

    [quote comment=”11020″]Looks nice – but not enough orange, as noted earlier :)

    No, really – it still lacks something, but I’m not sure what. I’m no designer :)[/quote]

    I’ve got it! The background on the sides needs to be a little darker of a white.

    Maybe add some metallic like texture to that. Mac OSX style.

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  26. Matt` UNITED KINGDOM Mozilla Firefox Windows says:

    I’m not sure I like the mouse, it seems a little bit too… “clip-art”… for a site like this (by which i mean a good site ;))

    I’m also thinking that the title being set against white is making it fade into the background. Could do with a frame of some kind. Or maybe a block of colour with the text reversed out… you could even have it gradient-y :P :mrgreen:

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  27. Ajzimm3rman UNITED STATES Mozilla Firefox Windows Terminalist says:

    [quote comment=”11026″]I’m not sure I like the mouse, it seems a little bit too… “clip-art”… for a site like this (by which i mean a good site ;))
    [/quote]

    I agree. Maybe a redone penguin would suffice. One with an orange coat on.

    Anyone an artist?

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  28. jambarama UNITED STATES Mozilla Firefox Windows Terminalist says:

    I think it looks good. Orange on white wouldn’t have been my choice – it is quite bright – but it reminds me of a creamsicle, which is good ;) . You could always have a contest for some of the stuff too, if you wanted – like a logo or something. DCoT did that a while ago and ended up with a pretty nice one.

    As a side note, I found your blog because of a post that hit reddit – “A day without X”. I tried everything you listed there, great stuff. Later I actually needed to download from a website and I didn’t have X, thank goodness I’d read your post. I’ve stuck around because you post good stuff regularly – many other blogs post infrequently, with inconsistent quality, and cover topics of dubious interest. I think twitter, and blogs like twitter have become my nemeses. (is that right for plural nemesis?)

    Writing makes you formalize your thoughts, which makes you think more critically. Good blogging makes you smarter. Nice work on the redesign.

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  29. Luke Maciak UNITED STATES Mozilla Firefox Windows Terminalist says:

    Btw, I went with the keyboard suggestion. @mcai8sh4 was nice enough to provide me with an appropriately formatted and colored picture for that purpose. Thanks!

    Yes, if you give me suggestions I may put you to work. I appreciate any and all help I can get here, and I’m always open to new things. Especially if these things allow me to continue being lazy and not actually do the design work. :)

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  30. Ajzimm3rman UNITED STATES Mozilla Firefox Linux Terminalist says:

    [quote comment=”11038″]

    Yes, if you give me suggestions I may put you to work. I appreciate any and all help I can get here, and I’m always open to new things. Especially if these things allow me to continue being lazy and not actually do the design work. :)[/quote]

    I wish there was an option to edit my comments.
    I thought I did preview, but I guess it posted it. Meh.

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  31. mcai8sh4 UNITED KINGDOM Opera Linux Terminalist says:

    @Luke – I like it (but then again I am biased :D )
    I don’t think it’s about you being lazy – like Ajzimm3rman said, you keep us informed and amused, in return I’m sure your readers would be happy to help you.
    Keep up the good work.

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