Notes from on the ground

or: the what and why.

So after a redesign period of over a month I’m back. And what do I have to show for it? Well, you’re soaking in it. This is it. This is the new face of the Nonist. I can imagine what might be going through some of your minds on first sight- “No header image? No giant logo? No sidebar? No blogroll? No nav-bar? One column? What the hell?!” The design savvy among you might add “No image replacement? No ‘holy grail?’ No liquid or elastic? No yellow fade effects?” Some of you might even take this train of thought further down the line and arrive at- “It took a month to design this?”

Believe me when I tell you, I’m as surprised as anyone at where the redesign ultimately landed. If you’ll indulge me I’d like to talk a little about the process which got me here, explain the reasoning behind my decisions, and lay out a few of the changes…


And so that, as they say, is that. This is the new Nonist, an attempt at elegance in form and readability in function. As stated I’m not yet certain whether I’ve succeeded in these attempts, but for better or worse it’s done. We hear over and over that content is king. This new site is set up such that it will sink or swim on its content alone. Its a self-imposed challenge for me to craft some fine quality goodies because if I don’t there won’t be much else to look at.

I’m sure there will be hiccups and necessary tweaks (as such I encourage you all to let me know if you encounter problems). There are also a couple sections I’m still planning on launching (a gallery, a forum, a store, etc) but truth be told I’m sick of looking at code. So we’ll just take it all as it comes. Now all that remains is to see if I can remember how to blog. Here’s hoping.

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04.30. filed under: announcements. !. design. ideas.


Well, it’s clean that’s for damn sure.
When the hell did you get so smart anyway? You sound practically erudite and quite frankly it’s unsettling. I prefer you hurling whiskey bottles at a woman’s head and screaming ‘A man can do no wrong in his own home!’
Oh, and speaking as one of the users who occasionally contributed to your delusions of the editorial ‘we’ believe me it was more of a digital guilt trip than anything else.
Can’t wait to see what you have in store.

posted on 04.30 at 11:28 PM.


It looks great—welcome back: In This Comment I Can Get Over Months Of Initial-Letter Decaptialization-Anxiety!

posted on 05.01 at 11:56 AMmisteraitch


@ Tom: I have not become more erudite I have become less drunk. Perhaps a little better rested as well.

@ Aitch:  Shhhh… Some Pharmaceutical R&D people might hear you! ads warning against I.L.D.A. might pop up any minute. please don’t encourage them. (And thanks, I’m glad to be back.)

posted on 05.01 at 12:08 PMjmorrison


The design was always less important to me than your erudition (regardless of whether it’s drunken or less-drunken). As for de-capitalization, I kinda miss the way it messed with my mind.

emocleW kcab!

posted on 05.01 at 12:43 PMMrBaliHai


By the way, did you change or break your RSS feed? I didn’t see any of these new posts show up in my aggregator.

posted on 05.01 at 12:45 PMMrBaliHai


@ MrB- Thanks for the head’s up. I spaced on that detail. This is technically a completely new weblog whose main page just happens to occupy the same space as the old one, so the address of the feeds have changed. I’ve posted to the old site to alert subscribers. Much appreciated.

posted on 05.01 at 03:01 PMjmorrison


Minimalism is fine with me. The only complaint I have is that the font size and column width do not work well together. The width is to big for a small font. Sure I can ‘correct’ it myself ... but as a great typomaster you might consider this ...

posted on 05.01 at 03:39 PMorangeguru


Only perfect.

posted on 05.01 at 04:21 PMCoudal


Beautifully done.  Bravo!

posted on 05.01 at 04:30 PMVlad Spears


@ OG- I wrestled with the line length vs. font size a bit, and I realize where I landed is just slightly above the 66 - 75 character ideal, but I couldn’t bear to have body text set at over 14px. I have not decided whether I’m satisfied quite yet and might eventually make the column slightly more narrow to compensate. Maybe not. we shall see…

@ Jim & Vlad- Thanks guys. As stated I’m still getting used to it myself. This kind of simplicity does not scream out as “cool” or illicit any “wows” but I think it serves the content pretty well. Again, we shall see.

posted on 05.01 at 05:24 PMjmorrison


I know the struggle. But the normal ‘paper’ values usually don’t work for me on the web. Readability always comes first. ;-)

posted on 05.01 at 07:32 PMorangeguru


how humble… me likes

posted on 05.01 at 09:36 PMH6


It makes me want to clean my room.

And that’s a good thing.

posted on 05.01 at 09:56 PMPaul Davidson


Absolutely beautiful design. The typography is practically a pleasure to read.

posted on 05.02 at 03:45 PMBen


You have articulated the salient website design concepts that most people doubtless feel. I agree with it all. And I love the redesign, seriously. Minimalism rocks. Content rules. [there be a web design guru fandom future in them there words]
One minor thought…the mouseover text on the permalinks will potentially be seen many many more times than the erstwhile sidebar.

posted on 05.02 at 06:09 PMpeacay


beautiful design. Good to have you back.

posted on 05.03 at 07:03 AMmoon


@ Pk- Point well taken. And considering everything I said in this post, you are exactly correct. I’ll give everyone a little time to familiarize themselves with the icons and then remove the tool-tip. Glad you like it b.t.w. was wondering when you’d weigh in.

@ Paul- Indeed. The “nagging-mother” aesthetic. That’s just what I was going for.

@ H6, Ben, & Moon- Much appreciated.

posted on 05.03 at 07:16 AMjmorrison


Very very nice work. I like the depth you get around the column.

How do you get the title boxes to format like that? Stunning.

posted on 05.03 at 12:34 PMsteve


Minimal? I find the simplicity stunning and that new car smell intoxicating,
much like a scented collarbone.

When the page opened… I said “wow!”

posted on 05.03 at 02:49 PM.


I do miss the header, but apart from that, I adore the new design (and the soft gray is so classy). I am a minimalist, and this suits me fine. And thank you also for sharing your design thoughts…hearing about your process was very enlightening.

I also always wondered what the membership was for, anyway. Doing away with it seems to make sense.

So, welcome back!

posted on 05.08 at 07:58 AMbluewyvern


really good job this !

posted on 05.11 at 04:19 PM.

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