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January 04, 2004

SWG - Part Deaux

HammerHead Blog Designs is proud to announce the birth of a new baby boy!

Eric, the Straight White Guy now has a brand new custom designed look! Go over and check it out and buy Eric a cigar... or a grilling Apron!

Pamibe over at Drowning at 2 Feet Sea Level did all the banners and graphics and buttons for the site [more than once, I might add]. I just can't describe how well she responds to what the site owner wants and comes out with something unique for each individual project. Just a marvelous talent as far as I'm concerned.

Madfish Willie had to pull out the big hammer and do some serious beating about Eric's head and shoulders for extended periods of time. Just kidding... actually it was probably the other way around, although we did run into some unique design challenges to make the site operational for his readers viewing exclusively with 800x600 resolution.

Eric decided it was time for a change and decided he wanted a three column design. So we did the three layout and put it up on his main site. Needless to say, there was much gnashing of teeth and raising of hell! So, we decided to take the site down, put up his old site and direct everyone over the HammerHead design studio at MadLab. Eric did a post directing his readers to come by the site and leave comments on what they were seeing with what browser at what resolution. We left it up there for a couple of days and worked out each problem as it came up.

We finally worked out the main design challenge - which was making the site viewable in 800x600 resolution. A three column design is just not conducive for 800x600 viewing. My inspiration and guidelines for overcoming this issue came from Jim at Snooze Button Dreams. I have a test skin up over there that he points to and accesses via a different index file and associated stylesheet. So, I tore that page out of his book added a script from JaveScript.com and adapted it for Eric's site. As you go to Eric's main page, you will notice a button labeled [View Old Format] in the left sidebar. When you click that button, it takes you to his old two column layout. We formatted the site using the new stylesheet and adapted the three column index to the two column layout. We were both real pleased at the outcome and the flexibility it gives him in presenting his site.

One of the features of this method is that when he posts to his main site, both sites are updated when the index is rebuilt! Cool beans! I also used some modular techniques in order to update the links in both indexes with just one edit.

We did most of the debugging and troubleshooting via MS Messenger so I could respond immediately to his change requests. At each edit we would either approve the change and move forward or go back and start over. It was a very effective way get things done for both of us.

Here is a list of some of the other features we designed for Eric:

  • Custom 3 column design
  • Custom 2 column design
  • Custom banners & logos
  • Custom graphics in sidebars
  • Custom archive pages logos
  • Custom comment pages logos
  • Custom trackback page logo
  • Custom sidebar background images
  • Custom body background image
  • Custom blog background image
  • Custom archive page designs
  • Custom comment page designs
  • Custom trackback page design
  • Custom display trackback pings code
  • Expanding & collapsing extended entry scripts
  • Expanding & collapsing comments viewer scripts
  • Text formatting buttons in comment listing and comment preview templates
  • Coding based on heavy use of modular programming techniques
  • Access to a secondary site updating with primary site data for 800x600 viewers

by Madfish Willie on January 4, 2004 05:39 PM

Great people talk about ideas, average people talk about things, and small people talk about wine. Fran Lebowitz (1950 - )

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