I had started this blog in late 2012 with the only motivation of exploring WordPress.com as a platform. Gradually, I realized that the blog acted as a catalyst in the process of improving my vocabulary (Yeah, I’m slowly getting there. Be nice, Grammar Nazis!). I continued writing and the attachment with the blog kept on growing.
I started off with some lame internet tricks (I was studying Computer Engineering back then) and some poetries, then slowly shifted towards programming. I started posting the programs that we wrote during our college practicals. The idea was to help the peers getting through the kinda useless practical labs (Teachers didn’t teach much and students didn’t give much f*ck either).
By the end of my Engineering, I was hinged to web design. Did a considerable freelance gigs and was pretty much enjoying it, to an extent that I chose design as a career over engineering. So yeah, now I mostly write about Product+Design. I would rather prefer the term Internet-made-Designer over Self-made-Designer. Internet made me who I’m today, and it’s only fair to return the learnings.
It’s been good 4 years of blogging at DarshanGajara.com. And it was time I respected the evolution of this blog by giving it a new and more focused look. This post is going to be about the break down of the problems and the solutions to the same. And yeah, before actually starting it,
I would like to thank all the Readers and Supporters of this blog. I believe that the blog only evolves with the evolution of its Readers.
The Problems with the Old Look
1. Missing Context
As I mentioned in the beginning, this blog ain’t no more about random stuff, it’s mostly about Product+Design now. Having said that, the theme didn’t do justice with the context. It was more like a pretty and seasonal place, best suited for philosophy or poetry blogs.
Solution: I tried bringing more focus on the content by removing less-important widgets from the sidebar and in return giving more breathing room to the actual content. I wish I could completely eliminate the sidebar, but damn the theme (WordPress.com, are you listening?). Also notice that there are only 3 colors now in the blog color palette. Hence, making it look more professional and readable.
2. No Provision to Showcase Content
A provision to showcase featured content was missing. The theme didn’t have no slider, feature grid or any such option to bring content to the forefront. This was certainly affecting the way content was consumed.
Solution: I had wanted to go with a full-width slider for showcase, but damn the free themes again. Themes which had nice full-width sliders didn’t have better blog post layout and vice-versa. These are the kind of trade-offs you’ve to make when you’re running a low budget blog (Oh, I’m open to sponsorships, if any!).
3. Poor Readability and Typography
Yes, WordPress.com did recently introduce Google Fonts for all themes, but then I couldn’t see any of the font-pairing helping improve the readability of old theme. Basically, the missing advanced options to control type like size, kerning and leading was what made the fonts look ugly on my old theme (WordPress.com, are you listening again?).
Solution: I found this new theme with improved readability. Font size, kerning and leading was already taken care of. All I had to do was find a better font-pair. Serif for Body and Sans Serif for Headings being an obvious choice.
4. Sad Blog Post Page
No shame in admitting that my blog post page looked aesthetically sad. Apart from in-post images, I had no other way to make it look better.
Solution: This theme comes with a nice full-width featured image, falls in the recent web design trends. Headings and Blockquotes also look pretty impressive here, no?
5. Broken Navigation
Oh man, how I struggled with navigation in the old theme. I wanted to have clear organization and hierarchy of the links, pages and social profiles, but the theme just won’t allow me do it.
Solution: This theme has nice 3-way navigation. Universal or main links sit well on top of the theme with social profiles (Yeah, some icons are missing though). Then there’s content navigation right below the header. And there’s this nice footer space which can be used for promotion (Sponsors, it’s for you, grab it quick).
P.S. I haven’t added any screenshots because I trust your memory and want you to discover the blog by yourself. Please be nice and ramble around.
That’s pretty much it. I’m still working on a few sections here and there, evolution is a continuous process, remember? In the meantime, any kind of feedback on the new look is much appreciated.
Come, let’s make it better, together 🙂