Infomotions has a shiny new website, and the process to create it was not too difficult.
A relatively long time ago (in a galaxy far far away), I implemented an Infomotions website look & feel. Tabbed interface across the top. Local navigation down the left-hand side. Content in the middle. Footer along the bottom. Typical. Everything was rather square. And even though I used pretty standard HTML and CSS, its implementation was not really conducive to Internet Explorer. My bad.
Moreover, people’s expectations have increased dramatically since I first implemented my site’s look & feel. Curved lines. Pop-up windows. Interactive AJAX-like user experiences. My site was definitely not Web 2.0 in nature. Static. Not like a desktop application.
Finally, as time went on my site’s look & feel was not as consistently applied as I had hoped. Things were askew and the whole thing needed refreshing.
My ultimate solution is rooted in jQuery and its canned themes.
None of Infomotions subsites are driven by hand-coded HTML. Everything comes from some sort of script. The Alex Catalogue is a database-driven website with mod-Perl modules. The water collection is supported by a database plus XSLT transformations of XML on the fly. The blog is WordPress. My “musings” are sets of TEI files converted in bulk into HTML. While it took a bit of tweaking in each of these subsites, the process was relatively painless. Insert the necessary divs denoting the menu bar, left-hand navigation, and content into my frameworks. Push the button. Enjoy. If I want to implement a different color scheme or typography, then I simply change a single CSS file for the entire site. In retrospect, the most difficult thing for me to convert was my blog. I had to design my own theme. Not too hard, but definitely a learning curve.
A feature I feel pretty strongly about is printing. The Web is one medium. Content on paper is another medium. They are not the same. In general, websites have more of a landscape orientation. Printed mediums more or less have portrait orientations. In the printed medium there is no need for global navigation, local navigation, nor hyperlinks. Silly. Margins need to be accounted for. Pages need to be signed, dated, and branded. Consequently, I wrote a single print-based CSS file governing the entire site. Pages print quite nicely. So nicely I may very well print every single page from my website and bind the whole thing into a book. Call it preservation.
In many ways I consider myself to be an artist, and the processes of librarianship are my mediums. Graphic design is not my forte, but I feel pretty good about my current implementation. Now I need to get back to the collection, organization, preservation, and dissemination of data, information, and knowledge.