Think Artificial Redesigned for 2008

Think Artificial design in 2007 and 2008
Ladies and gentlemen, put your 3D glasses on now. Finally, Think Artificial launches a custom design to go with the content. It took me time to get around to, but better late than never. Tailored to usher in tales from the future, from science fiction to science fact, this metamorphosis echoes ambition for the new year. And oh, does a side-by-side comparison make the last design look prehistoric. A dinosaur, and not the animatronic kind.

Featured Entries

Aside from clean cut aesthetics, you’ll notice I’ve created a featured bar for flagship entries I want you to read. Not that I don’t want you to read all of my entries. But too often I’ve held back posting something simply because I don’t want to see another article float down into the dark corners of the archives.

Featured entries screenshot

I’ve also come to appreciate this arrangement on other sites — a nifty way to quickly get to know a site and make a decision on whether to push that lush, orange subscription button.

Visual Diversity

Visual diversity in the new layoutI develop new ideas rapidly. It doesn’t take me long to outgrow a certain design, to start loathing a specific illustration or to otherwise long for something new to shake free from a rut. This design harbors visual flexibility; the header is large with an extra dose of clear space, enabling freedom and flexibility for a range of image types that I switch when I feel like it. When I’m content with the header, the featured entries’ images are spices that ensure a frequent change of frontpage flavor.

Technical- and Meta Info

When deciding to create a new theme, there were two themes I trusted and considered for building on; Rapid Access by my buddy John Pozadzides, and Grid Focus by fellow 9ruler Derek Punsalan. I went with the latter, mainly because I am more comfortable with a fixed-width design and quickly realized how I could modify it to suit my needs. If you’re on the lookout for WordPress themes, I recommend having a look at these two. My thanks to the guys for offering them free of charge.

How’s My Driving?

I have several other improvements in mind; features that didn’t make the cut in this first version of rebirth. We’ll see some changes trickle in as we dig into the new year. I’m open to- and appreciate comments, as usual.

Welcome to the new Think Artificial. If you enjoyed last year’s stream of content, you’ll love 2008. Tell a stranger. Tell your robot.

Links and References

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10 Comments, Comment or Ping

  1. Awesome, Hrafn! Looks really nice!!

  2. I like the addition of a raven in the header. A nice redesign, it looks like there’s loads for people to explore through. Good work.

  3. Thanks both of you :)

  4. Nice! Each redesign is better and better. :)

  5. Hrafn,

    I like the redesign a lot. For blogs like yours and also WebUrbanist, who both use lots of custom imagery, it is difficult to fit into a variable width theme like mine. This one was a good choice for you, and if you ever need help with any customization just let me know.

    One little suggestion though. I would removed the META GENERATOR element from your header. It allows people to quickly search for the exact version of WordPress you are using to target any security flaws that might exist in that version.

    Take care,

    John

  6. Thank you Tyme, always trying to improve in all areas.

    Thanks John, the advice you gave me for my last revision came in handy (it validates, for example ;) ). Yes, custom imagery’s a priority. I find it easier to jolt my creative side if I have more than one medium to express myself.

    Thanks for the tip on the Meta info — took care of that!

  7. Diljá

    Love it, love it, love it. And I love the little guy in the header ;)

  8. Quite a nice change; well done. Like the others, I love the raven. :)

  9. love the redesign :) it looks great – I’d be interested to know what the uplift is on people clicking those top articles and any associated decrease in clicks to your newest stories for people coming direct to the site? Will you monitor it?

    Also you should add subscribe “via email” below the “via rss” on the top right..

  10. @Josh
    Oh yah, that little guy gets love all around :) Thanks for the compliments!

    @Riaz
    Thanks for the compliments and advice — it’s a good idea to add via email there as well.

    I’d be interested to know what the uplift is on people clicking those top articles

    So would I ;) I’m tracking the site and’ll give it some time while things get back to normal — folks are slowly getting back to their regular browsing behavior after the holidays.

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