Inspiredology Lab 4.0 Design
We are super excited to announce the launch of The Lab 4.0. I wouldn’t classify this as a redesign but more of a re-align. Even though V3 was launched July 2010, it doesn’t feel like very long ago, and an update was well overdue. With the 4th variation of Inspiredology we wanted to make the site more clean and minimal as well as make it lighter, faster and responsive.
The site is much more open with a light colour scheme and more drastic horizontal lines to help keep content clean. The lab desk has been continued full screen which helps to create a real header, also breaking barriers around the content to give the columns more room. If you’re looking for the navigation menu, you will also notice we hid the menu under the pull string, taking advantage of modern smoothing ideas. Overall we removed a lot of the harsh elements and put more emphasis on the post title and meta details. The sidebar offers you many ways to connect with Inspiredology and the various projects we work on. For you grid people — we still have the grid view!
Sticky Post View
My favourite part of the new design is the single post detail page. I really wanted to concentrate on the content and let everything around it be accessible if you wanted it to be. The post detail page introduces a 3 column sticky layout, with the content column scrolling through as the two exterior columns stay put. The main benefits of this is that the two columns only offer information that is at the upmost importance. The share buttons are easy to get to and we decided to use the big 3 for the time being (facebook, twitter, and G+). The author column puts more focus on our writers which are so important to us and the backbone of Inspiredology; this gives them even MORE credit for the hard work they do for us. We have a catalog of over 100 authors on our website, and we continue to gain more, we are so proud to be able to offer diverse content – so we wanted to put the author front and center.
The biggest thing that some of you will notice is that the site is now responsive and views much better on your mobile phones and tablets. The sites optimal resolution is 1280×1024, and we made sure it looked good going down to your standard iPhone size. This was a fun experience thinking of how the site would look on multiple resolutions. This was my first project that I had the chance to play with responsive design so there was a lot of challenges, but a great learning experience.
I know for a long time the site speed has been an issue, one being the previous theme was a little bulking and the code wasn’t efficient. I will take the blame for that, I developed it and at the time I was unaware of some of the ways I could help boost the speed of the site. So this time around, the theme is lighter, less graphics to load and we are going to be working on the site speed in the next month or so after we get some traffic under it’s belt.
Since last year we have brought on our new companion, Mike, to help drive out awesome content. He has created his very own post series called For Your Inspiration that posts every Tuesday. If you haven’t seen it yet, you’re missing out, he usually posts 5 inspiring videos showcasing some great creative design.
Also in the near future we are going to be posting a Designer Spotlight on Thursdays, we will select the best designers around and show some of their stellar work. The objective is to offer you even more inspirational content everyday of the week!
Thank you to Buzu who was integral to the design of The Lab 4.0. He is a wizard with code and he did a lot of the back-end work. He will also be responsible for making the site faster as well.
We Want to Hear From You!
As usual we want to hear all your thoughts about the new design, good or bad, it’s extremely important to get user feedback.
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