I’ve been slowly evolving the design of For A Beautiful Web over the last few months since I relaunched it in April. Back then I stripped it back from its almost universally unpopular first design, then added hints of a future direction on the home page. Now that design has matured and today I launched its sister site at Transcending CSS.
For A Beautiful Web now sports the branding that I designed for the three New Riders DVDs that I recorded earlier this year (to be published in Autumn/Fall): Designing with CSS, Designing with Microformats and Designing web accessibility.
I tied the colours of both the home page and internal pages into the DVD artwork, with those internal pages taking on a warm, reddish hue. I also designed several promotional panels for the DVDs and for our new workshops, the latest of which I announced this week.
In general, I am pleased about the way that the site's design has evolved gradually as I have learned to live with it over time. I also hope that I can finally put any readability concerns to bed.
My (first) book's site has been showing its age for a while. That said, it has earned its keep considering that I designed and built it in less than a day at the end of what had become an exhausting book writing process. With the infrastructure of For A Beautiful Web solid, I decided to relaunch Transcending CSS using the same design foundations.
Transcending CSS and For A Beautiful Web share more than just the same bloodline. Both have been developed using an ExpressionEngine Multiple Site Manager powered, Stuff and Nonsense publishing framework that Owen Gregory and I have been working on for a while.
Both sites share the same weblogs for blog entries, workshop dates, and other content. In fact, if you leave a comment on an entry that is published on both sites, your comment will be displayed on both. This sharing of content will allow me to publish entries in one place and have them distributed across all of my sites. Multiple Site Manager also allows me to share embedded content modules, including my workshop and DVD promotional panels, vcards, footer and other content across domains.
I already know Multiple Site Manager to be incredibly flexible (if far from perfect) and that it will save me time in updating multiple sites and hopefully help in serving my content to a wider audience.
I'm also sure that I will iterate both these designs over the coming weeks and month, but looking at the two sites now, I'm more happy with both of them, on and under the surface, than I ever have been before.