Helping Creative People Create

The Brand New LifeDev Design

I’ve been dropping hints here and there that I’ve wrapped up the new LifeDev theme, and as you can see… things look a bit different :)

So. Whatcha think?

I’m still working out some kinks here and there, and if you see anything out of whack, do let me know either in the comments of this post or the contact form. Please excuse the dust as we settle in to the new digs. Oh, and make yourself at home.

Special Thanks

A couple people were absolutely instrumental in me finishing this theme, and I’d be quite ungrateful if I didn’t point them out to you.

  • Cath Duncan – A cheeky lady who has no problem telling me that a) I’m a dork and b) when a design doesn’t work.
  • Charlie Gilkey – Charlie was my “nagger”, and I mean that in the best way possible. He emailed me, DM’d me and kept me accountable throughout the whole process. What a champ. I hereby dub Charlie as “Mr. Follow-up”.

Jonathan Fields and Karl Staib also gave me some great input as well. Thanks guys!

Major Changes

So if you’re a design geek and what to know what’s different under the hood.

1. Custom Theme

Yup, I designed this baby all by myself. No more stock theme (as some have complained about in the past). I probably went through four revisions before I settled on the theme that I liked.

I built the theme on the excellent Thesis framework. It’s my first real attempt at customizing a framework as opposed to a theme, and I’d highly recommend it. It has a bit of a learning curve, but once you get it down, there are plenty of benefits to the theme.

This theme is tons leaner, and is supported by all browsers except IE6. If you’re still running IE 6, you’ll notice that lots of sites don’t look so hot either. You really should upgrade if at all possible.

2. Introducing @font-face

I’ve been itching to try some new font-faces. Typically people design sites with just a handful of fonts that are “browser safe”. Now that font-face has become mainstream (Google just entered the the game), it’s a lot easier to create pages with unique fonts.

Without going too crazy, I used three:

So far I really like the new fonts. I think they add a little sizzle that’s harder to get with just the standard ‘ol fonts.

3. New Identity

While the other theme was easy and cheap free, it didn’t really give any indication of who I really am. I’m a playful, gregarious, “swarthy” (thanks Cath) guy. This theme I think does a pretty good job of reflecting that. The other theme said I was “easy and cheap”. Not the best endorsement, huh?

Things to come

There are a couple things that I might add in the near future to the blog.

Video

I’d like to start getting into posting the occasional video here and there. If anything just to test it with you guys and see if it’s something that’s valuable. If not, I’ll scrap it.

I’ve seen more and more bloggers start posting videos on their sites, and I love it. It adds personality and creates a connection that straight text just can’t provide. So we’ll see.

Newsletter

This is a big maybe. I mean, you can always get these posts delivered in your email, but I’m talking about a private, non-on-the-blog type of thing. Dunno. Still on the fence on this one.

Tumblelog

I used to have a link log of sorts for LifeDev stuff, but like most things back in those days, I gave up on it pretty quickly. I kind of regret it because there were plenty of excellent resources that would have been cool to have searchable across the site.

Also, I like sharing information with people. Typically I do this on Twitter, but sometimes you find something that needs more than a retweet.

So there we are. I’d love any comments on the new theme below.

Oh, and thanks again for being here.

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  • Looks great, Glen!

    • glen

      Thanks Joel!

  • Well, you’re obviously very creative and artistically minded. I wish you well with the new theme.

  • Glen, great work on the site. I’ve been updating mine as well and came across your site by way of Mr. Follow Up.

    I think that the video feature would be great, but definitely use it sparingly. I work with video a lot in one of my businesses, so if you ever have a question, shoot me an email.

    • Thanks Jason. Mr. Follow Up is quite a guy, isn’t he? ;)

      Also, thanks for the possible help with the videos. I may have to give you a holler.

  • Looks wicked, Glen. Love it! Good job. I’ll let you bask in the glow a bit before I take you up on that “cheeky lady” thing…

    • That’s right, Cath. Keep it cheeky! :)

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  • Hi Glen, well this looks like a lovely place you’ve made for us. I think everyone will be happy here:) I just redesigned my blog using Thesis as the theme too. Definitely a good move. I think you should get the email news list though. Mind you, it depends on your goals. Hopefully big:) Really glad you’ve picked up blogging again.

    • If there is enough interest in a list, I could definitely see myself doing that. I love the idea of a scheduled but more private-ish way to reach people weekly or bi-weekly. Still working out what that would look like.

      Thanks for the kind words!

  • Looks good! I especially like the use of white-space, it really gives the text a bit more impact, especially with that nice heading typeface.

    Speaking of which, how did you find using @font-face? Specifically, I’m afraid I’ll drown in the sheer number of fonts to choose from, and I’m concerned that whatever fonts I go with might render nicely in Windows but not OSX (or vice versa) or vary in sharpness from one browser to another.

    • Thanks Dan! Using @font-face was pretty easy if you use a Google’s Font Directory or the font-face kit from Font Squirrel.

      As for sharpness, clarity, etc… I really couldn’t notice too much of a difference between browsers. If you’re really worried about it, just use one of the fonts provided in the Google Font Directory. Easy peasy.

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