May 28, 2010

2 Out of Three Redux

The initial design for 2 Out of Three was over three years ago, an eternity in the web world. As new technologies and design methods appeared over the years the flaws I kept seeing on the site were magnified, even if it was only in my mind. So it felt like the right time for a redesign. What started out as a fresh coat of paint quickly snowballed into much more and in the end I found myself overhauling the entire foundation of the 2 Out of Three’s website. Now, a couple months after kicking off the project, it’s ready and I’ve got a brand spankin’ new website that I’m excited to show off and get feedback from you all.

What about those design flaws?

Many of the flaws on the previous site could have been solved with a touch up here and there but it was more fun to start from scratch and re-imagine what the website could be. The aesthetics remain very simple and focused on delivering the content, text and images in the most readable way, while maintaining the functional ethos I established for 2 Out of Three a few years ago. The layout now rests on a solid grid-based foundation creating consistency in design throughout the site. And the typography leverages the new cool kid on the html block – @font-face to delivery a non-standard web font.

How does the code look?

Yes, I’ll admit it there we’re some efficiency problems with the previous version of the site. The photo albums and the portfolio section were tedious to update, keeping me from posting new content regularly. The blog also suffered with a few less than dynamic features. So, in an effort to keep all the content standard and in one place I’ve now fully embraced WordPress over my own custom built php content management system. And Flickr has taken over the hosting duties for the photos, which are integrated into the website via the kick ass WordPress plug-in Eli @ Random Byte. A byproduct of all these new tools is that they are able to generate new pages from existing content adding a level of depth to the site that was not present before.

Hey, where’s The Flash?

All the Flash has been stripped out of this latest incarnation of 2 Out of Three. It’s not that I’m taking sides in the current spat of Adobe vs Apple but the primary motivator for me was iPhone accessibility. I do believe that Flash has a place on the web, in certain specific and limited situations. But the bottom line is you can’t currently view it on an iPhone and most of the animations I desired were available in DHTML. I’ll leave the merits of the argument of whether or not a Flash Player should be allowed on the iPhone up to John Gruber.

Iteration, iteration, iteration.

Good websites are constantly iterating and improving. I’ve already got a list of features I want to implement and efficiencies I want to solve. But, for now the flaws I saw on 2 Out of Three a few months ago are now largely gone. So, I’m going to take a moment to enjoy the new 2 Out of Three as it is, and I can only hope that in another three years this version holds up as well as it’s predecessor…who for now will live on right here.

One comment on “”