The Prototypes

Just thought I’d show three of the designs that (nearly) made it.

Ubermorgen

This first one went through three revisions itself – pushing the sky on the left? horizontal? on the right? – before I found the genius idea of putting it between the content and the sidebar. And then I looked at it and thought, “wow, that’s so…. white….” and I really couldn’t figure out where to put the colours into it. Interesting design exercise, though.

For some reason, I called the design above “ubermorgen” (“very morning” in German). I have no idea why.

bw

This one was a lot more straightforward naming – “b+w”, and was one of those ideas that sounds really quite good in my head, but just doesn’t translate to paper (or screen, as it were). Again, my issue here became that if I introduced any colour, it would throw things off. I liked the little stripes I had going there though, as well as the translucent sidebar. Maybe in another life.

Vert

This, I think, was just about the shortest-lived design I had, as evidenced by the lack of any lorem ipsum in the content. I called it “Vert”, as the whole thing just seemed to want to scroll (maybe I should’ve called it “scroll”?). Again, an idea that worked really well in my head, but just didn’t quite pan out when I played around with it. It was all well and good to have the Really Big Textâ„¢ on the home page, but when you got to the content, it was a distraction, big and bold – so the title would have to translate to a smaller, horizontal one, and then you lost the branding impact.

And finally…

 stripe

Out of the ashes of “Vert” was “Stripe” born. I played with the design a little, giving the giant header a black background like you see on the side of this design. And then, to make the colours mesh, I had to play around a little… and then the blue stripe emerged out of somewhere, and suddenly we were cruising, or at least on a path I liked. I dropped the orange in the title in favour of simplifying to a 3 colour primary palette, letting the brand define itself. Et voila, pushing the sky, version 4.

Version 4

It’s rough around the edges, and it’s nothing fancy, but dammit, it’s mine. I’ve learnt WordPress during the building of this theme, and that should make me proud.

(except for the part where it doesn’t matter that much in the long run)

I’ve still yet to figure out where to put the sidebar stuff, or if I’m going to stay with the asides in their current format, to the style that I did once upon a time. Or if I should introduce colours, effects and all those fancy things that generally are completely useless to the blog. What this does for me though is refocus: it gets the blog back to its basic purpose, which is to carry a message.

Inspired a little by Subtraction, assisted a little by innumerable WordPress themes, indebted to the brilliance of XRAY, the result of about 4 discarded designs which were way too busy, I hope this makes me a little more involved because it was my own product.

Completely untested outside the Mac. I’ll have to look at it in IE at work tomorrow.

Lemme know what you think! Remember, this is raw 0.1 stuff, so it’s open to assault and rework.

Design 4

Edition 4 of Pushing the Sky has begun coding (after 4 discarded graphical mockups), with the CSS to be finalised first based on the Sandbox to get me going on the PHP side (though in the end I’m going to rip all that out in favour of slimming down the class overkill).

picture-2.png

As you might guess from the top left 27,225 pixels… why I’m a little annoyed at the sudden rush of darker designs =P

Photos Revamped

Some of you may remember when I first posted “pushing the photos”, an attempt to put my photos up on the site, out of a desire to keep things in-house in a sense rather than using flickr (for a myriad of reasons, chief among them the desire to avoid paying for pro).

So while I’d posted about 40 photos, I never really did anything much with it, but part of the reason was that I didn’t want to use Jack’s space unnecessarily (little knowing that there’s gigs and gigs of space on the hosting plan for so cheap that it didn’t really matter, but in any case). The other part was that I was much too busy (*ahem* lazy) to upload photos. But then after my Europe trip, I uploaded a bunch of photos to share with the other people on the trip, and I did it on my own hosting. Now that I’ve moved the blog across…

In any case, re-welcome to pushing the photos.

And we’re back.

My, didn’t that not go quite to plan…

Basically, up until now, Pushing the Sky had been hosted on Jack’s hosting, which was more out of pragmatism on my part because I didn’t have a credit card – indeed, once upon a time had a moral objection to them – and the internets didn’t work without that.

So when Jack prodded me about a month ago to get off his turf, I thought, “sure, I’ll move it in a jiffy, and then I’ll have control over my own destiny!”, followed by some cackling laughter (ok no really; i mean, who says “Jiffy” these days?). Only it’s not so easy to move, and it ended up taking a little longer than I thought, and I think I ended up costing Jack a bit when they had to remove the referral fees (sorry dude).

But anywho! Hopefully now that I can actually remember my FTP password, and can play with the hosting a bit, I’ll be able to poke around the site more and do some fun stuff (says I, as ever optimistic). We shall see.

Rotating Heads

In case you haven’t noticed, the header image (up there. look up. no, not if you’re in a news reader *sigh*) rotates with images that I’ve taken from around my gorgeous, gorgeous city (can’t you tell how much I’m in love with it?), and I’ve just added a few more. Refresh (or just wait till your next visit) if you’d like to see more.

For the record, here are the places I took the photos:

  • The wide harbour ones (e.g. bridge and house): Circular Quay station (most gorgeous place to get on/off a train)
  • The closer-up shots of the Opera House: From the boss’ desk at work
  • Flowers: just outside the garage
  • Tall ship (the one with the sails) and the city skyline: On a Manly ferry last year
  • Smiley yellow face: from the kitchen
  • Long sweeping shore: Bald Hill Lookout, between Sydney and Wollongong
  • Inner harbour (sunset): From the meeting room next to my desk
  • Blue smiley + ornate vase: the family room

… and I think that’s it… but I’ll try to keep fresh ones coming :)

New Feautre: Comment editing

I’ve just put in a plugin which should allow you guys to edit your comment, for at least 10 minutes after putting your comment in. You shouldn’t have to be registered or anything! Have a play and report any issues =)

Removed; was causing some oddness on mine, and kirsty mentioned it screwed her system so i’m guessing it’s indicative of bigger problems in the plugin.