I redesigned the article headers:

Old and new

This was motivated by two things. First, as I mentioned recently, I was suddenly struck by the gargantuan size of the heading. Second, sharing my articles more frequently with people who are not me revealed that the headers were insufficient to help visitors orient themselves and navigate.

The original version was intentionally laconic. That rendered it somewhat incomprehensible to the casual visitor. It was obvious to me that ‘Technology’ was the broad category of the page while the words following it were tags… because I designed the system. Someone else might have no idea why it was highlighted separately or where any of the links led.

Now, I did like how it looked before. I remember being pleased as punch to hear a friend praise it as being very clean, […] like a newspaper. I think, however, that the new design better indicates what each part is while maintaining clarity and further reducing distractions. Granted, it doesn’t explicitly describe ‘Technology’ as being a broad category, but I believe it provides enough context.

I previously avoided putting the title of the site or my own name anywhere except the footer of the page. Given that experienced users have a (completely understandable) habit of ignoring footers, this meant new visitors would have no idea where they were or how to get around. What’s more, in doing this, I was prescribing a limited mode of interacting with the page. While that wasn’t an accident, it was inconsiderate.

I therefore added a link in the header, redundant as it might seem. I agonized for some time over the where and how, of course. (My thanks to uncenter for the discussion.) I’m satisfied with the version you see for now. I did experiment with including the logo, since the link on its own doesn’t exactly catch one’s eye, but having it there looked strange.

Apart from all that, I also moved the text indicating an article is part of a series to the header. Again, I think this is a more considerate approach.

On the whole, I think it would be fair to say the earlier design was more for me, whereas the new version is more for my (mildly less fictional) readers. This reflects the evolution of my approach: when I started, my sole goal was to write for myself. Now that I find myself sharing A Place For My Head with friends who engage (however reluctantly) with my thoughts, it seems churlish to continue to be entirely solipsistic. I must confine myself to being only moderately so.