Tag Archives: Webdesign

Tutorial: Multi-page, multi-column web pages

At some point in the redesign process of Arpia.be, I started to consider the idea of a “book-like” feel, where the content would be presented in two columns, and users could flip to the next page of content seamlessly.

The way I see it, this is something that has so far only been done using Flash, so it may be of interest to web designers & developers to see how they can achieve this without Flash, in a cross-browser compatible manner.

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Arpia.be design refresh

As 2010 kicks off, it is time for me to unveil a new website design on which I have been working for a few months. It was a long process, involving several radically different ideas and long hours getting it all to work (especially on Internet Explorer), but here we are, finally.

I recommend trying things out, to find the hidden easter eggs and so on, to get used to the new functionality.
[Tested in Firefox 2-3, Safari 4, Google Chrome 4, Opera 9-10, Internet Explorer 7-8]

But to truly understand the design, I think a more extensive portrayal of the design process is in order.

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A new webboard design: critique?

Now that I have defended my Master Thesis, I “only” have three exams to prepare (one of which is basically a 15-page paper). As such, the Master Thesis was by far the largest work to be done for university, and I therefore took a small break from working.

That break turned out to be spent on another kind of work, web design. In July, I will normally become the administrator for our Law Faculty student webboard & website, and I grew somewhat tired of the Cobalt theme for phpBB2, which is currently used.
I therefore got to work on another design, something fresh.

The result is a working board on www.arpia.be/droides/, only a test so far. The board is in French, but I’m looking for feedback on the general design, which shouldn’t require a great deal of linguistic skills. There’s a test user, “Test”, with the password set as “testpass”.
Anything that desperately needs changing? Suggestions? …?
There are two working themes, and you can switch between them in the footer (“Droïdes – Droïdes2”). Just click, and a whole new layout appears.

Edit: updated.

Having fun with maps

The subject of my “Mémoire”, the 60-page “Master Thesis” I have to write for university, is linked to European law, and I therefore use the europa.eu portal a lot (read: the EU institution websites and EUR-Lex were by far the websites I visited the most these past weeks).

The problem is, they all use text to get users to select their language. If it were a bilingual website, it would be easy. But there are 23 official languages in the EU, and so it takes time to figure out which string of text is “yours”.
The worst front page, in my opinion, is the Council’s homepage, which I find impossible to use under five seconds.

I therefore decided to try (during a small break) my hand at another system: maps.

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Speeding things up

I decided to take a look at possible optimisations for this website, in order to make it load faster, and so on. I’d already done a bunch of this some time ago, but I rediscovered the Firebug plug-in for Firefox, and in particular its YSlow extension.

YSlow is a set of guidelines that Yahoo! published a while ago to help web-designers in their quest for the optimal code, and WordPress hasn’t ever been very YSlow-friendly.

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