DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD XHTML 1.0 Strict//EN" ""> A New Design for Tribe
Lo-Fi Monk

A New Design for Tribe

It is obvious, I think. I am trying out a new design on Tribe.

I wanted to trim the site bloat, as much as possible. So, this design has almost zero graphic images either in the design itself, or in the individual posts. I am trying to go with an extremely lite site. I’m also suddenly interested in typography, scalability, accessibility, fluidity, and graceful degradation. It’s all about the content and reader accessibility. I want to put my content in the browsers of as many people as possible. Now, this site works perfectly all the way back to IE 5.5, and I’m only using one css stylesheet with a total of 83 lines. Hooray!


  1. Makeesha Fisher
    Posted December 12, 2007 at 5:19 pm | Permalink

    the type is very tiny on firefox on my macbook - almost illegible

  2. Shawn Anthony
    Posted December 12, 2007 at 6:01 pm | Permalink

    Thanks for the info., Makeesha. Try clicking the blue “+” sign under the blog title and description. It should make it larger.

    I went with the small type purely for an aesthetic feel I was gunning for, but I may up the default size to prevent the sort of illegibility you are encountering.

    Thanks for the input! It is most helpful!

  3. Billy Chia
    Posted December 12, 2007 at 6:38 pm | Permalink

    Love the slim new site.

    Although it is hard to read words that go all the way across the screen. I tend to like divs that are around 500px across.

  4. Shawn Anthony
    Posted December 12, 2007 at 6:56 pm | Permalink

    Yeah, I’m breaking some rules regarding “the preferred line width,” but …

    I’m going for an aesthetic that is trumping practicality at the moment.

    If you jack up the font size via the “+” sign at the top of the page, it will shrink the feeling of long line widths.

  5. Bill Lollar
    Posted December 12, 2007 at 7:09 pm | Permalink

    Sorry, Shawn, but I think the new design really sucks compared to your previous one. Smoke signals would be more progressive. :)

  6. Shawn Anthony
    Posted December 12, 2007 at 7:13 pm | Permalink

    Bill! Tell me how you really feel, brother! :)

    I’m looking at it. I can see changes might be needed!

  7. Makeesha Fisher
    Posted December 12, 2007 at 7:19 pm | Permalink

    ah, derrr… hehe…thanks,

    I gotta say though, it’s not my favorite, I’m very keen on sleek and minimalist but this feels “old school” and not in a fun ironic kind of way and it’s also very stark lacking in much personality IMO. But…if that’s what you’re going for then you’ve succeeded! LOL

  8. Will Wilkins
    Posted December 12, 2007 at 8:35 pm | Permalink

    Shawn, I really like the minimalism of the site. However, I think it would be better as a narrow single column design. But that is just my opinion and it may be too similar to your previous designs for your liking.

    I have also become more and more interested in typography, scalability, and accessibility in my site designs. I hope to have my redesign finished before the end of the year.

    Also, I agree with Makeesha. The default text size is about one-step too small for me (Firefox - iMac). But being able to adjust the font-size with the buttons at the top is nice.

  9. Shawn Anthony
    Posted December 12, 2007 at 8:49 pm | Permalink

    @Makeesha: Old school is definitely what I was trying to capture, but I may have captured more than just the “essence!” LOL!

    @Will: I think you are right. I’m going to try a few gentle adjustments to reel it back in just a bit. I’m also going to up that font em a bit.

    I love exploring the typographic aspects of design. Scalability is something too. These technical aspects of design are fascinating and go a bit beyond “the look” of the site. I want a great, minimalistic look that actually works right in those areas too. It’s fun, bro! I can’t wait to see what you come up with. I’m sure it’ll be great, as usual!

  10. Will Wilkins
    Posted December 12, 2007 at 9:03 pm | Permalink

    Can’t wait to see the “nudges” you implement.

    Some of the best points of design are in the technical details before the “looks” are ever even conceived.

  11. Shawn Anthony
    Posted December 12, 2007 at 9:08 pm | Permalink

    Right on. These technical aspects are things I’m just now getting into … and throw SEO issues into that pot too. I think is actually the first time I have ever really built that foundation before heading directly into “looks”.

    So, if you notice anything, feel free to shout at me. Your expertise is coveted, bro.

  12. Ben
    Posted December 13, 2007 at 12:00 am | Permalink

    On my 24″ iMac the font size is fine. Then again, I’ve got 28 year old eyes ***not a shot at Bill ;) ***

    The design rocks. Of course, I love minimalism. I agree with all of the above that the line width makes it hard to go from the end of one line on the right all the way back to the beginning of the next line on the left without losing my place.

    I totally dig the retro/minimalism/sleek style. What if you just shrunk the width down to about 600px and kept all the content floated to the left of the browser? That way you still keep the minimalism, basic, retro feel but the line width is more manageable.

  13. Shawn Anthony
    Posted December 13, 2007 at 10:52 am | Permalink

    @Ben: Good idea, bro. I was messing with that last evening, but wasn’t totally settled. I’m messing with some things today, for a bit. We’ll see what I can figure out. I’m pretty restless with the design, so …

    Cue: U2’s I still haven’t found what I’m looking for.”

  14. Makeesha Fisher
    Posted December 13, 2007 at 11:10 am | Permalink

    better now - Ben, I have 29 year old eyes friend so that doesn’t fly ;)

  15. Ben
    Posted December 13, 2007 at 11:32 am | Permalink

    Yeah, that shorter line width really adds a lot to the site. I love it.

  16. Bill Lollar
    Posted December 13, 2007 at 12:49 pm | Permalink

    Your eyes don’t REALLY open till you turn 40 ***a shot directly at Ben*** ;)

    Shawn, you should call this new theme “Wal*Mart” :: it looks just like one of their thermal-printed receipts. j/k ;) Or you could call it, “Busker” with the tagline, “Brother, can you spare some color?” ROFL

  17. Shawn Anthony
    Posted December 13, 2007 at 1:27 pm | Permalink

    Yes, I’m not happy with it yet. I have to reel this thing in and get something going.

  18. Will Wilkins
    Posted December 13, 2007 at 2:04 pm | Permalink

    I like the changes Shawn. Still minimal with improved line width. Keep it up!

  19. Ben
    Posted December 13, 2007 at 2:09 pm | Permalink

    @ Bill: :D LOL. Are you talking about bifocals?

  20. Makeesha Fisher
    Posted December 13, 2007 at 2:32 pm | Permalink

    honestly, I really only read blogs in a reader most of the time so I generally don’t care about design - so I say - do what makes you feel good Shawn (am I a good postmodern or what?! lol)

  21. Shawn Anthony
    Posted December 13, 2007 at 2:41 pm | Permalink

    @Makeesha: You are an awesome postmodern! I honestly thought about most people reading via feed readers before I started peeling this onion. What you say makes perfect sense.

    I’m just really frustrated at the limitations that the traditional blog layout forces us all towards. Seriously, I’m tired of the header, content, sidebar, and footer blocks. Man, it’s boring. I’m restless and might peel this thing again before the evening is over!

    Anyone else tired of the same format? Ideas? Thoughts?

  22. Ben
    Posted December 13, 2007 at 3:38 pm | Permalink

    I agree with you and Makeesha. 1) most people read in a reader and 2) I’m sick of the traditional blog layout. Eventually they all start looking the same.

  23. Makeesha Fisher
    Posted December 13, 2007 at 7:25 pm | Permalink

    I’m tired of it too but any time I try to make radical changes I hate them and go back to the same style and header and everything that I’ve had for ages. I personally like a “magazine” site layout but haven’t put in the time to load up a template and then manipulate and change it so that it’s how I want it. What I have now took me long enough when I did it at that time.

  24. Shawn Anthony
    Posted December 13, 2007 at 7:40 pm | Permalink

    I dig your current design, Makeesha. Well done!

  25. Will Wilkins
    Posted December 13, 2007 at 9:03 pm | Permalink

    I completely agree with you Shawn on the traditional blog layout. I always try to think of ways to break the mold but in the end the results usually still have a similar layout. I believe it is a nice way of presenting information. It gets old though.

    However, I may not be of the norm in that I prefer to read posts on the author’s site rather than in my new reader. I like to read the text in a format and styling that the author intended it to be viewed in. This especially holds true to the sites of a lot of favorite designers, this site and openswitch. You never know what the site may look like on your next visit!

  26. Makeesha Fisher
    Posted December 13, 2007 at 11:15 pm | Permalink

    thanks Shawn. yes Will, I like to pop in on occasion too - I usually can get the blog image in my head so that when I read it in the reader I can imagine the blog…cuz the design really does say something

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