Until this year it has been an unrealised ambition of mine to start writing. I have owned the domain www.danielchatfield.com for quite a while and it had always been my intention to make it home to a collection of articles but I always had more pressing things to do. This year (literally 1st January) I finally got round to doing the necessary coding to get the website online and how I wanted it. The writing page looks like this:
My tastes, when it comes to web design, change a lot. A couple of years ago (more like 4 but it only feels like a couple) I couldn’t get enough of skeuomorphism (styling things like real world items). But now skeuomorphism seems outdated - an unnecessary obstruction in the way of good usability, a view shared by the CEO of Apple who fired the now ex-head of iOS (who was a keen advocate of skeuomorphism) and promoted Sir Jonathan Ive, the British designer responsible for the minimalist exterior of Apple products. Currently I am going through a phase of minimalist design, exposing only what is absolutely necessary.
Most blogs have a sidebar filled with ‘recent comments’, ‘categories’, ‘popular articles’ and the like, all in the attempt to entice users to visit other pages on the website. It is perhaps ironic that this website, void of such distractions, has a much greater proportion of visitors go on to view other articles. When a user arrives at an article on my website they are presented with only what is essential; the article and a link to go to a list of articles.
One area often neglected when designing a website is typography, and yet this is arguably the most important aspect of this website’s design. The header buttons are typeset in Courier with some rather radical kerning. The article title and publish date are typeset in a font called ‘Essays 1743’, which I absolutely love. The headings are typeset in ‘Freight Text Pro’. The main article text is typeset in ‘Freight Sans Pro’. These fonts are licensed through Adobe Typekit. I use a larger font size and line height than most websites and restrict the article to less horizontal space than is usual as I believe this makes the article easier to read.
This site is responsive so it looks just as good on your iPhone, iPad or computer (other makes are available).
I am no writer, I find writing about anything but a small set of topics that interest me to be torturous. Sometimes I can complete a lengthy article in what seems like no time and sometimes I take months carefully collating my ideas. Most of what I write will never see the light of day, and at any one time I can have dozens of articles in progress, some just as titles and others as almost completed works - that’s just how I like to do things.
Article written by Daniel Chatfield