Dec 9, 2016

2016 sq1.net.au website redesign

Earlier this year I started using Google's Material Design Lite (MDL) as my preferred web design framework for bespoke websites. This was a departure from my previous long-standing Blogger/WordPress CMS approach. Somewhat related, recently I was asked to assist with the upkeep of the Square One Studios website, sq1.net.au. As one good idea leads to another, I thought that it would be a great idea to combine the two. So I prepared a template, copied the content from the existing website to my proposed MDL prototype, and tweaked it while waiting for the right moment to pitch it to the manager. Soon enough we sat down for a workshop session to apply requested changes, and it was ready for upload.

The advantages of the new design are many, but these are the main points:

  • Contemporary website layouts are expected to transform automatically to fit any device that they are viewed on, so now that's up to date.
  • Sophisticated layout elements are available from the MDL framework and can be applied with relative ease. 
  • Site maintenance is simplified by needing to edit only one HTML file.
  • The use of codepen.io for editing enables expert facilitated rapid prototyping in a workshop session that is client oriented and user-friendly.

Between the dynamic layout and the relatively flexible design elements, this site is now ripe for change via incremental improvements if you like that sort of thing as I do.

 

Nov 18, 2016

On creating concentric arc graphs

   


I saw this graphic via Knight Frank and had to try it for myself.

At first glance these graphs might look cool, but IMO they are mostly illustrative and belong in the realm of fancy looking infographics rather than being useful for data analysis. If these were pie charts then the pies would not only get sliced into sectors but also each sector would come from a different sized pie. One should not mix metaphors.

Once you have the all the parts of your graph in place, try different combinations of fill, effects, fonts sizes, etc. When you have a few different versions, pick what looks best.