Technotheory’s new design! And an odd surprise…

June 23, 2008 by Jared Goralnick

TT_logoFor the last week I’ve been testing a new theme design on this website.  I hope it will make information easier for you to find, and promote a consistent look with my company’s other websites.  You’ll be surprised to learn how we did it.

(RSS/email readers, click here to see the design!)

Note: The ‘we’ I’m referring to is my team at SET Consulting.  A big thank you to Keith for the design and David for the development.  While we were inspired by many other blog designs, this theme was created from scratch (i.e., all modifications to the well-structured default WordPress theme).

New Purpose

TT_about_technotheory The first change has nothing to do with the design.  I’ve simplified the purpose of the site to “You want to be happy and productive. With a slant toward technology, I try to help with that here.”  I’ll still occasionally cover DC technology and often discuss social media…but the core focus has been refined.

Organization Of Information

TT_organized The main purpose of the redesign was to organize our information in a more relevant manner.  We hope you’ll check out the “best of TECHNOTHEORY” and other sidebar elements.  I want to keep you aware of what I’m up to without overwhelming you with too much stuff—we hope this improves your experience.

Consistency Between Websites

TT_header_tabs Now all three of our websites use a similar color palette, and are tied together with the tabbed bar at the very top of this page.  While there are improvements ahead for all sites, we think this will help you to find a consistent (and maybe someday recognizable) brand.

Quick Thank You’s

TT_jared_face While there were many sites we looked to for examples there are a few I want to mention:

  • I love WordPress.  It’s amazing what open-source software can do
  • Keith suggested making the first paragraph slightly more prominent based on a site he frequents, farfromfearless.  Here’s an example there
  • A big fan of Chris Brogan, that’s where I got the idea for the shaded face picture

Surprise: We Designed This In PowerPoint And Word

TT_sidebar_PPT What you most likely wouldn’t guess is that this entire site was designed in PowerPoint and Word.  We used PowerPoint for all the layout and graphics, especially in the sidebar.  We used Word for the typography in each blog post.  No, we didn’t export any code from Office—that was all done by hand in HTML, CSS, PHP, or SQL.

So you probably think we’re crazy?  Well, we consider ourselves to be some of the best PowerPoint, Word, and Excel designers and developers.  So we wanted to practice what we preach.  After all, our Microsoft Office design business has been on fire lately, with projects for Fannie Mae, NTT America, NIST, and other recognizable brands.

Do you want to know more about this?  Let me know in the comments and maybe I’ll dedicate a post to the topic of Office design…

Any Thoughts, Compatibility Issues, or Suggestions?

We’re very proud of this site but have some changes in store.  If we weren’t so busy with other work we’d fix up the display of posts within categories and I’d add much more to the Lijit search functionality.  But that’s not all that’s on the wish list.

Is there anything you’d like to see?  Are you having any display issues?

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8 Responses to “Technotheory’s new design! And an odd surprise…”


  1. Russell Heimlich

    Here is what it looks like on my work computer. The font is a bit chunky because I don’t have ‘Lucida Sans’.

  2. Tara Anderson

    Jared, congrats on the redesign. Your site looks great and we’re honored that you chose to incorporate the Lijit search application on your blog. If you (or any of your readers) have feedback on Lijit’s search service, feel free to send it my way. I’m tara [at] lijit [dot] com.

  3. Aaron Brazell

    Nice work. If you’d like to integrate Lijit, I can help you. Make sure you have an account, pass that on to me and let me know how much integration you want: cobranding, default search integration, etc. Happy to help. :)

  4. Aaron Brazell

    Lijiters double teaming. Nice one. :)

  5. Jared Goralnick

    Russell, thanks for the screen shot! We’re working on some Firefox 3 issues (which of course means fixing what that breaks once we’ve fixed it) and some default font values and hope to have everything clean and crisp for you shortly.

    Aaron & Tara, thank you both for stopping by–and I really am excited to work more with Lijit! I’ll be bugging Aaron and Micah if I run into snags–I’m really appreciative of all your support!

  6. Don Grauel

    Bummed to be missing the social media event at ect/Balto today lot’s to see and learn.

    Love the new site even for low-level-techies info is easy to get to and the layout is interesting.

  7. Victoria Pickering

    Jared -
    I really like your new look, as well as the incredibly useful advice you continue to generously supply in this blog. The one thing I’d like to see changed is the typeface – it gets hard to read and unattractively fuzzy depending on which typefaces are installed/active on a computer.

  8. Jared Goralnick

    Don, thanks so much for the warm thought from my Luddite friend ;-). Sorry to miss you at the Social Media 101 event.

    Victoria, sorry to hear about the font issue. I’ll get in touch with you to see if we’ve fixed it shortly…

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