18 Apr 2012 7 pm eastern

Redesigning in Public Again

I FINALLY GOT A COUPLE OF HOURS free, enabling me to do something I’ve been itching to try since I first saw the web on a modern mobile device: redesign this website.

First I cranked up the type size. With glorious web fonts and today’s displays, why not?

Then I ditched the sidebar. Multiple columns are so 1990s.

This site has always been about content first. But the layout was a holdover from the days when inverted L shapes dotted the cyber landscape; when men were men, and all websites bragged two columns, laid out with table cells as the Lord intended.

The previous redesign deliberately hearkened back to the old, old days of this site. It was fun (even if I was the only one who got the joke). But my journey down Retro Lane coincided unfortunately with the first big news in web design since the anchor tag (mobile-first, content-first, responsive, etc). Today’s little design exercise here redresses all that.

This is not a finished work. I may make some things squeeze-y that are now rock-hard. I might lock the viewport and play with padding and things. But the site is now much closer to where I’ve wanted it for the past two years.

Page backward, if you wish, to see how it rolls out so far.

Thanks to Tim Murtaugh, who helped me debug more than one maddening straggler.

Filed under: Web Design, Web Standards, Zeldman, zeldman.com

122 Responses to “Redesigning in Public Again”

  1. Chris Harrison said on

    Surprisingly, I actually like the large, one-column approach here – especially when viewing it on my iPad. Glad to see you’re tinkering. Only thing I would suggest is – and I know it’s still a work in progress – make the comment fields/text/textarea larger. They feel exceptionally small compared to everything else.

    I look forward to seeing where else you’ll take this.

  2. Shane Hudson said on

    Woah, I like the font size in the content but think the comments should be smaller! Would help to separate the content anyway.

  3. Amanda said on

    The first thing I did was zoom the screen down to 75%. Even now, this massive text I am writing makes me feel overwhelmed like I want to push your website away from me.

    Bravo for reworking the design in public!

  4. Eric Likness said on

    The one column choice reminds me a lot of Dave Winer’s “River of News”. Even though that’s geared towards RSS feeds, it still is all the content on one big scrolly page. I like it.

  5. Chris Lee said on

    No, sorry. When you page first displayed with this new design, I thought one of your CSS files failed to load.

    Gotta disagree with you here. I don’t like this design. At all.

    I get that you are experimenting and tinkering. Thank God. Play, but please don’t go permanent with this silly design.

    “Multiple columns are so 1990s.” Huh? What? Columns are, if designed with well-placed navigation, one of the most effective methods to anchor yourself around a site—and very relevant and useful—particularly if you are dropped into a sub-page from a search engine. Now I have to scroll down to China to see other articles and/or helpful links at the bottom of this page. Annoying, especially on a Dell U3011 monitor—where your font height is the size of Wyoming. Single columns are not going to be the permanent norm anywhere, except for maybe touted on a few designer/speaker promo sites at a MIX convention.

    Not all of us are visiting with mobile phones, whispering Wroblewski mobile statistics from the mountaintops, and/or browsing with Apple, Inc. proprietary devices (sorry, it’s still a very active desktop PC world in some locations, thanks)—and unfortunately this site looks ridiculous and difficult to navigate on a standard desktop monitor. Remember, there are lots of those things around.

    Be cool and trendy if you have to for a blog, use responsive web design, but don’t drop basics like multi-columns and bury easily-accessible navigation at the bottom. Web sites are more then just textual content stacking down a single-column page. Now, THAT’S actually very late 1990’s Nokia handheld.

    I’m sure you (and everyone else here) will disagree and think I’m utterly ridiculous with this sentiment…but that’s my take on browsing your new site design today.

    You are a major influence of the direction of the web—and the most important individual to be on the www since Tim Berners-Lee—and awakened the web standards giant in all of us. So yeah, I’m a bit surprised and dismayed here to see this new design coming from you.

  6. Eduf said on

    Pretty good. But the fonts could be a little bit smaller. I would also kill the footer as it is now. Maybe redo everything as just text links.

  7. enderFP said on

    If I’m holding my iPad in portrait mode, I love it. But since I almost always have it in landscape mode, it feels huge.

    Other than that quibble, love it! Definitely going to attack my ancient, fixed px site this weekend. If only we could get implemented instaneously….

  8. MT said on

    Looks like a belated 1-april joke.

    Completely unable to read on my 1680×1050 without zooming-out about at least 2 times of original (really gigantic) font size.

  9. Aaron Delani said on

    … please use sparkly .gifs in your background!

  10. Clint Gunter said on

    The site looks much better on my iPhone than on my Mac. (Maybe because of webkit text resizing?) On my Mac I feel like I have to zoom out a couple of times. Otherwise, it’s overbearing. Looks great on the iPhone, except the site is not centered there for some reason.

  11. patrick foster said on

    I like it a lot. Why the hell not?

  12. Adam said on

    My 80 year old grandpa can read it just fine! he loves it, he does not have to move closer to the monitor to read, Also works fantastico! on my iphone. Can’t stop the hustle! Content first is HOTZ

  13. Bob Monsour said on

    As a 56 year old with deteriorating eyesight….thank you!

  14. Dave said on

    I like the idea of designing in public. Very cool and something I will do when I redesign my site. I’m all about launching sooner rather than later and just fixing things and tweaking in production. Very cool.

  15. Terrence Ryan said on

    I think it’s an acknowledgment that content is all anyone cares about on the web, and this design puts that front and center.

    I think it looks awesome full screen, and awesome on my phone. But it doesn’t look awesome on a desktop in a browser window smaller then 800px. The fixed width of the content does not scale smaller then that.

    Other then that, it looks great.

  16. Mark said on

    I found myself needing to move my iPad out to arm’s length to read it, with my glasses off. It was too big!

    But really, this is a good thing. My iPad should not be 15″ from my face.

  17. Sean said on

    Looks amazing on the iPhone

  18. Neal G said on

    Media queries…?

  19. Blake Watson said on

    On desktop display, I am having trouble reading more than a few lines at a time without looking away and resetting.

  20. Michael Zajac said on

    Lovely. That chicken wants to be a big, crisp png.

  21. Aaron T. Grogg said on

    Wow, always fun to see the gambit of emotion a redesign can invoke… Not always so much fun to be the direct recipient of those emotions… :-)

    So, here’s one more…

    I like the redesign, I think columns still have their place, but honestly, when your site is about content, not recirculation and ads, a single column really does play well.

    I was personally a little bummed to see the CSS approach you chose, leaving resizing a browser with no effect on the layout. It’s one of my favorite parts of the web now-days, taking a well-done site and dragging the bottom-right corner around to see what magic lies in wait…

    But, it looks fine on my laptop, fine on my HTC, fine on my iPhone, and I expect fine on my desktop (will try to remember to look next time I’m there…).

    Cheers, and keep up the great work,

  22. Webstandard-Blog said on

    Nice idea Jeffrey to remove the sidebar, but the font-size is really a little bit to big. I think I can touch the text, but I’m one meter away from the monitor.

  23. Matija said on

    Looks kinda good zoomed out to 50%, if I disregard that there’s not enough letters per line, and that navigation is nowhere to be found (ah, wait it’s on the bottom).

    The text boxes are weird. 32px for the main font, 14px for input.

    Thankfully there’s still RSS.

  24. Erik Edhagen said on

    I like the simplicity, but the font size is too big on a large screen.
    Although I appreciate the idea of content-first and readability, I don’t see the point in scaling font size with screen size.

    If you use ems all the way, you will actually get font sizes that adjusts with screen resolution, which means text will be equally big and readable across all devices.

    Except this, I think the layout idea works great. Content-heavy focus for a content-heavy site. Nice work!

  25. Michael Thorne said on

    All my friends and colleagues think I have _really_ bad eyesight when they see me reading zeldman.com – which is often. I agree that the font-size should drop a little.

  26. M said on

    The font is so big that I stop reading word by word and start reading letter by letter. It is as tiresome as a small font. But the font size in the textfield where I write right now is all right.

  27. Michael Wiik said on

    The font is a bit large, though perhaps this is only the first iteration in a ‘Mobile First’ strategy.

    I have a fairly brutal test for web design w.r.t. narrative pages: Would I prefer to read this in Safari Reader? And for about 99% of such sites, my answer is absolutely Yes. For this page I can’t tell, since Safari is not picking up whatever it needs to enable its Reader option.

  28. Chris Cox said on

    Comment fields and submit button need to be larger, they’re quite difficult to acquire on mobile. Rest of the site is an improvement though. Haven’t checked on desktop yet, but if the body text eqhates to larger than 16-18px I’d agree that the big and bold is overdone for extended reading.

  29. Rares said on

    I don’t get it. This must be a joke, right?
    Or.. what is exactly wrong with the media queries?

  30. Chris Hunt said on

    It might look OK on a mobile or an iPad, but on a regular PC it looks pretty ridiculous.

    The content is folded into a tiny column in the middle of the screen, with acres of whitespace left and right. If you resize the font down to something less shouty, the fonts on the black links block are too small to read.

    Links are identified by a really dark grey instead of black. The difference is really hard to pick up – I didn’t spot that there *was* a difference at first. And since when did navigation become some annoying 1990s concept?

    The one long column look is OK for Tumblr, but pretty rubbish for a grown up website.

  31. Gary Bury said on

    I like it, I now don’t have to squint at my massive screen to read your articles – which always seems a bizzare thing to be doing.

  32. Sacha Greif said on

    I have to say that on my 15″ MBP the text is very hard to read. I think you can safely take it down a couple notches :)

  33. Alessandro said on

    Maybe it looks great on the iPhone, but in a pc display this version of the site is impossible to enjoy without zooming back 3 times. I think you published it too early.

  34. Andy Hawkes said on

    The new font sizing is perfect… if I want to read the site from the other side of a large room.

    From anywhere closer than that it’s like having someone shouting directly in my face, which I generally consider to be an unwelcome experience.

    Otherwise it looks… ok.

  35. Matt said on

    Interesting to read about people complaining about the font size being too big. What’s wrong with hitting CTRL – a couple of times to decrease the size a bit? The other way around, creating websites with 12px size text which people with anything but perfect eyesight can’t read and have to enlarge every time, happens ALL the time and I don’t hear as many people complain about that …. ;)

    Anyway, shows how important it is we (developers) build all our sites with body font-size 100% and let visitors decide what font size they prefer (by their system/browser settings).

  36. Harryzimm said on

    Have you gone nuts?

  37. Aankhen said on

    Great design! It’s nice to not have to bump up the font four or five sizes, and the content-first approach is a clear winner. FWIW, I’m reading this on a 22″, 1680×1050 display, where the browser is taking up about half of the screen, and the size of the text is about what I normally change it to. The only quibbles I have are that the comment submission form, as mentioned previously, has some anomalies in size, and the margins seem to be overly large. Then again, I’m not a designer.

  38. Rares said on

    A long time ago, somebody wrote a book called Designing With Web Standards. Somehow one of its headings came back to me: Party Like It’s 1997.

    I suppose the heading will be back in fashion soon: Party Like It’s 2012 :)

  39. Phil Ricketts said on

    Public redesigns are awesome.

    But the font-size is so large on my desktop, that it makes for really uncomfortable viewing at normal distances. I have to browser zoom outwards, or move my chair back!

    It’s probably quite nice on a tablet, though.

  40. Phil Ricketts said on

    One Last Thought: I only noticed the ads because someone else mentioned the footer above, and I was curious.

  41. Ben said on

    The font-size is FAR TO BIG!!!!!!!!!!


  42. tommy said on

    Kind of horrible. I get that you want larger fonts for mobile, but even on a KindleFire this size is waaaay too large. It’s obnoxious. Also, columns are great; they aid w/related daily content and archives. It is so easy to grab and enlarge a particular piece of content/column on a device that I don’t know why you would just ditch them.

  43. Jerrold Maddox said on

    Consider this site as both applause and a critique.

  44. Brendan Dawes said on

    Can’t believe nobody’s mentioned the font size yet…

  45. Trace Meek said on

    Looks great—congrats! My aging eyes approve. The single column thing takes some getting used to, but it’s the wave of the, um, now. I’m toying with the idea of some “skip to navigation” links that would appear between articles and their comments when layout is linearized.

    Mr. Murtaugh rocks. I just used his excellent HTML 5 Reset WP theme as a starting point for my last rework. It was a pleasure to skin. Inverted Ls begone!

  46. Stephan said on

    Holy shit the font is huge on my desktop pc. I zoomed out 3 times, and now I can’t read who wrote what comment anymore. A little balance in font sizes couldn’t hurt…

  47. Rob said on

    Is there a reason I should need to push my chair back six feet to comfortably read this site? I’m not using a phone or a tablet. The desktops have not magically disappeared yet.

  48. Mikael Norling said on

    Are you truly serious? The desktop/tablet-in-landscape experience is terrible.

  49. Kedron said on

    Looks great in Google Reader! ;-)

  50. Mary said on

    On MacBook Air: Immediately became dizzy and I couldn’t find anything other than the recent posts. But other than that, totally moving in the right direction! I’m curious why you don’t want people to be able to navigate the site — there’s a wealth of information in there that’s just not accessible any more. It seems like you’ve chosen “looks cool” over “works well.”

    On iPhone: Nice to read. Still disappointed about not being able to find anything. (And please take that as a compliment, there is so much amazing content that’s just not accessible anymore.) Can’t you at least throw us some navigation in a dropdown? (Please?)

  51. Neale said on

    I’m getting about 3 words per line in my android browser because it’s shoving everything into a thin column on the left to fit the viewport. Definitely give it some more squeeziness!

  52. Eden Jaeger said on

    I love the font size! But I’m guessing there’s a cutoff point of either age or failed eyesight to determine people’s thoughts on that one. Funny how people are so offended by large text. If I yelled at every web publisher who used *small* text, I’d never get anything else done during the day.

  53. Pablo said on

    Stop yelling at me!

  54. Anna Funk said on

    On my phone, it looks great, but on my 27″ screen it’s too huge to comprehend anything. I zoomed out to 50% and the font size is starting to feel more comfortable.

    It was also impossible to post a comment on my Samsung Galaxy S Android 2.2 phone. The browser zoomed into the comment box so far that I could only see 3-4 words at a time. I wish I knew why.

  55. Tim said on

    Glad to see you took your design cue from http://timecube.com/

  56. Bluedreamer said on

    Brave dude for redesigning on the fly – love it – and it get’s your adrenelin going – I wish more poeple would do that ;)

    But the font size is waaaaay to large, forcing one to continuously scroll as you read (offputting), and makes the page scroll on forever (frustrating).

    Keep on tweaking Jeffrey, your plan to do something controversial and get oodles of feedback has worked!

  57. Tim Davison said on

    I like the public re-design – it’s interesting to see the work in progress and I’m sure any tweaks and changes will be instructive.

    I find the large body text very easy on the eye on my blackberry – sadly the small text and links are barely visible and a pain to click.

    On the desktop the smaller text is fine but the larger is tiring after a while.

    I’m guessing you’re looking to avoid media queries, but they certainly would help.

  58. Bart said on

    You did mobile first, but forgot the second part. +1 on fonts being way too big. :)

  59. Brade said on

    Font size reminds me of Windows 95 “high contrast” mode back in the day.

  60. Ron said on

    I like big, as in I come here to read. Easy to scroll, I love to scroll. I agree with some responsive squeezebox just cause its fun. I think you could make some of the text even bigger, a super big drop-cap here and there, especially at the top would be magnificent.

  61. Martin Pagh Ludvigsen said on

    I actually thought your design was a joke at first, but I guess it isn’t, judging from the comments. I feel like I accidentally entered a mobile site and keep looking for the “view desktop version” button.

    It’s almost unbearable to read your website on a desktop, and I’m finding it really difficult writing a comment because everything is so damn big. I scroll up to read your text and scroll back down and get lost trying to find the comment field.

    But that being said I really appreciate your approach to the design proces, and there is something nice about really going back to basics. Can’t wait to see where it goes from here.

  62. Kris C said on

    Redesigning in public. Next week’s lesson is media queries, right?

  63. Jacob said on

    Looks great. Bold move removing the side nav.
    But the font size is WAY to large. The largeness seems arbitrary on desktop, care to explain your thinking?

  64. Anne-Marie said on

    Thanks for designing in public and enduring all our commentary. Just want to add that columns have been used in publishing for hundreds of years for good reasons, mainly because they organize words and make them easier to understand. Also, white space is a good thing. It’s nice to your eyes. Maybe these aren’t your goals. That’s cool. I’m not ready to let go of columns. Tinker on, brave new world guy!

  65. Carlin Scuderi said on

    Took me an hour an a half to scroll down here and leave this comment.

    I like that you’re trying new things, though.

  66. samsaysyo said on

    Wow! Bold move, dude. You’re on to something again. No rules. Just form and side order of function.

    I’ve always viewed your work as “the redefinition of edge”. You design the way Andy Warhol would if he had internet access.

    However, Siri threatened to divorce me if I make her to go to your website one more time. ¡Fuentes demasiado grandes!

  67. Marco said on

    Huge redesign!

    …it’s not your font, it’s my 24 inch screen that is a tight fit…

  68. Justin said on

    The one-column idea, I like. But (and maybe it’s just me) the header and footer, feel out of place. Like, they don’t belong; like they’ve come from out of nowhere. And the font size… it’s a real headache on my MacBook at least. Otherwise, I like it.

  69. Alli said on

    I like the design, but the font-size could come down a bit :/ It’s hurting my eyes…

  70. Kean said on

    I like the style and the simplicity of the site. The one column works really well. On the big issue of the huge text I’m not a big fan. Though I love it on my iPhone, on a desktop it’s just too big and has a negative effect on my reading ability, though this might simply be down to my personal requirements.

  71. Catalin Rosu said on

    It’s quite nice but I really had to zoom out in order to properly read it. :)

  72. Jon Betts said on

    I like it. Basically, you’ve removed the need to send to Readability or Instapaper or even the need to wear glasses. I believe it is historically significant as the first blog visible from space. However, it really could use a simple TOC at the top of any page with more than one article. Perhaps a direct link to the comments as well.

  73. Mizko said on

    Content > Design = Win.


  74. Sandrino said on

    Love the mobile first thing. Nice font size on both ipad and iphone….even better on my Nokia E72. Now if you can detect the non-mobile folks and less the font and design for those desktops browsers then you are on to something.

    “Mobile 1st and desktop browser 2nd”


  75. Eschewbacca said on

    This is just plain ridiculous. First, as it’s been said by other commenters, not everyone is visiting this site on a mobile device. In fact I’d wager that they are in the minority. Second, since you have repeatedly praised responsive design, why aren’t you putting your money where your mouth is? I’m embarrassed to pull up this site at work now.

    My 85 year old grandfather who’s reading this site from across the room now asked what’s up with the huge font. This your new target demographic? Mr. Zeldman I fear you have been hit on the head and don’t realize it.

  76. Brad Bice said on

    A lot of people like the new design, because they are commenting “Way to large, Jeffrey!” ;)

  77. Natalia Ventre said on

    I love this redesigning in public methodology, like a beta app. I think that web designers can learn a lot from both the publishing and software industries.

    Everybody already commented on the font size. I kind of like the huge letters in fullscreen mode, because it can be used as a presentation, but in the desktop it feels awkward, like a children’s book.

  78. Richard Fink said on

    We have met the enemy and they is us.
    Stop looking through the lens of FIXED MEDIA, and this is where you end up.
    Everything can be boiled down to a single column. So you might as well begin there. And it has the unbeatable advantage of fitting best on the majority of screen sizes right “out of the box” without further user adjustment.

    And all the cool kids are using big fonts these days, so don’t worry about it.

  79. Christof said on

    The comment form could do with some finishing touches. Base style of form elements (inputs), even text is comparatively tiny (not sure about the big size elsewhere but guess enough comments on that), but no :hover, :focus or other states. I have the feeling this stuff (even if hover mostly does not work on touch) with some minor animation is the way to go somehow. Feels a bit “dead” without, not using the media I think? Also on >1280 screens the design looks a bit boring. Guess good to read on phone but desktop users are left out in the cold desert?

    just my 2 cents…

  80. Christof said on

    one more thing I just noticed, text as images is not really good these days (even if I don’t have or want an iPad 3). And you already mentioned the webfonts…

    To be honest I expect a bit more ;)

  81. Joe Snell said on

    Love it! Although, I feel I need to be holding a giant crayon.

  82. Andres Jaimes said on

    I kinda like the font size. And I’m pretty glad you are testing new things. Without people like you, this world would not be what it is Today.

    However, you will always find people like me… hehe… so I have to tell you: this is a good idea for mobile devices, not for desktops. If I’m working on my desktop it is awkward and slow to have to move to the bottom of the page to get to the extra information; information that should be easily located at a different column. Columns are not bad. Also if fonts were smaller, specially at desktops you get the chance to see more information at the same time. Big fonts on large monitors remind me the 90’s. A large monitor helps you get more information / windows / etc. at the same time and this goes against this idea.

    Thanks for experimenting. Keep doing it.

  83. Iain MacDonald said on

    Looking good! I’m viewing this on my iPhone, and I do feel it could be shorter (possibly paginate the comments?) as to not take a long time to get down the page, and the font size could bump up a bit, but other than that, I love it. It’s clean, sophisticated and has an intelligent standpoint behind it. Loving it.

  84. Josh Nolan said on

    Well – its either go BIG or go home. It is a huge shift from the “standard” small text (our eyes have been trained for too long). Yes its in your face, yes the first reaction is damn that text is huge. But as with the web, its always changing.
    Don’t hate it – don’t love it but change, pushing the boundaries = good.

  85. Michael Slater said on

    With this design, I feel like you’ve entered “worst of both worlds” territory. It’s uncomfortable to read on big screens, which still do dominate even if they are not the future. And the text is too small on mobile, to my eye, not working well there either.

    In my experience, the desktop and phone views should be quite different, and a responsive approach is often not as effective as having one site optimized for tablets and desktops, and another truly optimized for phones.

  86. Craig Patik said on

    Love the font size — finally a web site where I don’t have to zoom in on my MacBook Air.

    But why is the column width a fixed size at ~600px and lower? It forces horizontal scrollbars.

  87. Don Ulrich said on

    Love the input elements ;-) Well, it is very readable, large, huge, But ya gotta start somewhere I like the exercise. I design in front of them all the time, the resulting mix I have found is indispensable for collaboration, you go boy….

  88. GP said on


  89. Stomme poes said on

    YES! Finally, *a website I am not zooming into*! For all you designery designers unhappy you have to zoom (out) to read this page: WELCOME TO OUR WORLD. I zoom/text-enlarge 4-5 times on almost *all* sites (except my own which has, you guessed it, 100%-sized fonts) and the won’t-die myth that 1em=16px just causes more pain. My eyesite is mostly normal, but I’m not 20 anymore. 12px is tiny.
    Desktop, fullscreen (see below), 1400×900.

    Can’t make the screen small though; I am disappoint. I see no reason to create scrollbars here when I shrink my browser. Which I do, like many others, when running many other applications simultaneously.

    I’m surprised the charset declaration is so far down in the head (for reasons listed here http://www.joelonsoftware.com/articles/Unicode.html it’s the first line in my head element). Maybe a WordPress thing?

  90. Rakesh said on

    Why are the font-size’s in pixel & not in %?? I’m just into learning about the these things and so far what I have seen is that people are advising everyone to go for % or em instead of px? But you seem to have gone with pixels for this website. Is there any specific reason for this? just wondering …

  91. Rob Golbeck said on

    Overall, I like it. I’d nudge the font size down just a bit, and I don’t totally agree that “Multiple columns are so 1990s”, but for a site like this I think it works.

    Looking forward to seeing how it progresses!

  92. Ben Buchanan said on

    So nice to be able to read a site without having to zoom in :)

    I realised the other day my first-ever blog design back in 2000 was single-column; and despite the ubiquity of sidebars since then I’m probably going to go back to single-column in its next iteration. The more things change…

  93. Harryzimm said on

    What we have here is failure to communicate!

    I’m sorry boss, I got my mind right. I will never publish giant text again.

  94. Joram Oudenaarde said on

    I think moving away from the static multi-column site is a huge step (for the win), but the type on both my iMacs (21″ and 27″) seem like it’s way too big. On the iPad it’s definitely very pleasant to read, but the desktop-OS’es make me feel like I’m blind. Like some of the people here already commented, I also zoom out to 75-50% to make it more pleasant to read :)

  95. Jordan Clark said on

    “Then I ditched the sidebar. Multiple columns are so 1990s.”

    Put an ID on that P — it’s gonna get quoted!

  96. Francis Shephard said on

    Jeffrey, its a great brave move, in an ego driven world in design, you’ve accomplished bold simplicity. Stay true my friend and down with the naysayers.

    The only thing that matters for ones personal site, is that it satisfies ones self.

    Hail the Godzilla Column

  97. Mike said on

    This blog is mobile only now…

  98. George Katsanos said on

    My eyes! My eyes!!!

  99. barry said on

    Thrilled to finally see a redesign. A few years ago it seemed like your site was constantly changing. Now it seems like all the ‘big names’ are too busy working to focus on their personal sites.

    If media queries are in the pipeline as you mentioned in your .net interview, then I’d vote for:

    slightly smaller font size on large screens (where I can always change things myself),
    as is on iPad,
    slightly bigger on iPhone.

    Fair play for doing it all in public.

  100. Paul Ingraham said on

    Gosh, I actually really like the font size! Mobile and desktop both. Maybe it’s already been dialed down already? What I’m looking at right now is pretty big, but it’s nice. If this is what all the hollerin’ is about, I really don’t get it.

  101. Thomas said on

    I wonder if there is a ratio of ideal type size vs screen size vs distance to screen.
    A good reference would be a well designed book, a poster…
    In my opinion we can’t go further than what you did.

    Thank you for sharing the process and for pushing the boundaries

  102. Niels Matthijs said on

    Love the fact you’re “designing in public”. I’ve been through two similar iterations myself and it’s a fun and useful experience.

    As for the font-size, this is clearly not “mobile-first” but “mobile-only” design. Not only is it too big on desktop, the font itself is butt-ugly (at least on Windows, I guess it’s fatter on Mac). It looks as if the typewriter is on the brink of running out of ink.

  103. Phillip said on

    I think this is the first site where I had to bump the font-size down in a browser. ;)

    The new design is coming together awesome.Keep up the great work!

  104. on a side note said on

    on a side note im curious if by changing your format to 1 column like you did thus moving everything other then your content to the bottom including “ads” if you are breaking/violating your ads contract by moving it to the bottom considering that company “x” paid for position “y” (sidebar :) and now will get minimal views as most people wont scroll to the bottom every time they visit this site
    then again perhaps your contract doesnt mention position
    also is this s/t that people with paid ads need to consider on a design change?

    that being said i like coming back to your site time and again :)
    (even with this to large font…
    oh well you win some and lose some)

  105. Jeremy Fuksa said on

    I like it. The simplicity is actually quite refreshing!

  106. Bridget Stewart said on

    I’m in the group that likes it. I’m viewing it on a Macbook Air and it doesn’t bother me at all. However, I’m one of those people of a certain age where reading small text is unpleasant. :)

  107. Robert MacEwan said on

    Count me in with the group throwing both thumbs up. Looks great on iMac, iPad & iPhone. How refreshing to visit a website & actually be able to read it.

  108. Eric TF Bat said on

    Erm. I don’t like it. I don’t like it so much, in fact, that I’ll just unsub from your RSS feed and come back in a few months when maybe the novelty will have worn off. Nothing personal; I still love you. But being reminded that people without iPads are second-class citizens is not my idea of fun. I prefer computers over appliances, and websites over philosophical experiments into design extremism. Sorry!

  109. Jeffrey Zeldman said on

    im curious if by changing your format to 1 column like you did thus moving everything other then your content to the bottom including “ads” if you are breaking/violating your ads contract

    Thanks for asking! No, I’m not. The Deck ad network does not require that its ad live in a sidebar – or in any other prescribed location. Experimentation is encouraged.

  110. Samuel Lavoie said on

    I like it too, BUT a tiny bit too big I must say… all around I’m for bigger font on website.

  111. AWM said on

    Nice blog and loving the maxi easy to read text!

  112. Christopher Richard said on

    This is great! I stopped by to look for assets to a chapter in one of your books. The type woke me up! I love it, like reading a newspaper. I must try this tomorrow on the very big screen.

    Thank you, once again, for even more inspiration!

  113. Sush said on

    I always liked to visit zeldman.com and have a browse over the last few articles/posts. Seems this design works best for very frequent visitors who just want to see the newest article rather than those who might visit once a week.

    Whilst I have no problems with a single column layout maybe a mini nav at the top with anchors to the last 5 posts would be helpful?

    Oh and I would expect a hand icon when I hover over “Share with the class” ;)

  114. Chris said on

    This redesign is anti-everything you talk about: web standards, content being available on all devices, responsive design, etc. Well, it might be available but it looks like it needs a big badge that says “Best viewed on Ipad/Apple products.”

    On another note, what I came here for, please filter out the background noise in The Big Web Show. It’s highly annoying to hear you ask questions and then the squeaking and shifting of markers(?) and papers while the person answers.

    If it’s not you, have the other person take a coffee break while you record.

  115. Perryb said on

    I really like the one column design and I should imagine much of your traffic will be direct from social media, so who needs a side bar.

    My only criticism is that I tend to read in portrait on my mobile and the massive text that everyone is moaning about is actually too small to read at this orientation (Android btw).

    It becomes readable again at landscape though.

  116. Jeffrey Zeldman said on

    Thanks for this feedback, Perryb. I’m still tinkering. Appreciate your taking the time to share.

  117. Jimmy said on

    Don’t listen to the haters, I’ve found myself visiting your website several times the last few weeks just because it’s so damn beautiful and inspiring now.

  118. Jeffrey Zeldman said on

    Thank you, Jimmy.

  119. Scott said on

    I stumbled on in here from the latest .net article; I don’t think I’ve been back since March. On a 17″ MBP connected to a 24″ ViewSonic monitor, both at 1920 x 1200. Unless I’m missing something or if the font-size has been tweaked since going live and since some of these comments went up, I think the font size and single-column look fantastic. I’m a huge fan of this look. Now, off to read the articles I’ve missed since my last visit, if only because I’m enjoying reading with this design!

  120. John Lampard said on

    Great work, love the new look. So much so that I ditched the sidebar from my website as well.

  121. The Scented Candle Man said on

    I’m a huge fan of Content First. Love the new look. What about your navigation though?

  122. Jöhnny Dîablø said on

    This reminds me of the redesign last year on CSS-Tricks.com, mobile first and desktop second, and the numbers seem to support that. Even on my site, there is a ton of traffic from mobile, especially iPhone. I’m currently using media queries with a lot of break points, but the thought of simplicity is very appealing. I can see a lot of sites going this direction, but my biggest concern would be how do people find the other content on the site that they want to find. Something for all of us to ponder together.

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