One of my common refrains at work is ‘Don’t be afraid of the whitespace.’ Paper is beautiful, even more so when it’s not be smothered in ink.
Then I’d look at my site. I was rolling with black backgrounds, with arguably cool visuals, but a little difficult to read sometimes, and a lot going on in terms of design (I tend to let the koi get a little over-populated sometimes).
So, as a classic spring habit (this has been a yearly thing with me for a while now) I started on version 6 of this site. One of the spiffiest things about the evolution of blogs in my opinion is the accessibility of easy to use content management systems. Design a new look and deploy it. It it’s unsuccessful, switch it back with a couple of drop down menus. It’s design without consequences (unless you count readers getting confused by the new look, and I have no readers, so it’s a non-problem)
In doing this I made a discovery. Web based whitespace is different. It’s a whole different animal that wants to do different things. As I layout the pages I cant help but see empty space as real estate for menus or text-blocks, violating what I’m telling folks at the office. There’s also the issue of the (my non-existent) reader perspective: the page looks a lot different on my 1920×1200 resolution at work than it does at 1024 on my laptop screen. The conclusion I finally came too was that it was better to press on and crank something new out, especially with the ability to switch back to the old method when the whim strikes.
So we have a new design that I’m not sure I like, but at least is trying something new. While it’s not exactly on pretty paper, maybe the folks cramming their pages full of Google ads will be thankful for the reprieve.