Design elements you should steal from our Technical.ly redesign

After four years with the same Technical.ly Philly WordPress theme and six months after our Baltimore launch, we united our brands with a complete redesign under Technical.ly in March.

The design was led by Tom Rose and we partnered on the WordPress development (WordPress multisite) with WebDev Studios. We’re still making our way through bugs and looking toward a second phase, but I’m proud enough of a few design elements that I want to share.

My colleague Brian Kirk and I put no less than a year of thought into the effort, so we offered considerable direction and then watched Tom and WebDev exceed in making those plans a reality. Read a more general assessment of the redesign on our company blog here, and find a recap of our old site here.

Below, find some small elements that I’m most proud of and think should inform your design work.

Continue reading Design elements you should steal from our Technical.ly redesign

Four years later, launching new WordPress theme

Four years after first independently hosting my personal site here, I’ve made the first design switch.

I’ll go from the still sleek OneRoom design, with a WordPress plugin to improve mobile reading, to an updated responsive design ‘Displace’ from Anton Kulakov. Thanks Anton!

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My favorite standard Microsoft fonts

These are fonts that graphic designers would appreciate, below are ones that they wouldn't.

Design and development types take fonts very seriously. They even make documentaries about them.

By almost no one’s standards am I either. Still, I love a good fight over typeface. Why I’d really never fit the mold as a serious graphic designer, though, is because I’m not one to giggle at the standard set of Microsoft fonts. Indeed, there are a handful I actually quite like.

At the risk of facing the wrath of design quarters, below I share some of my favorite fonts that you probably have on every standard PC word processor, design application and font kit around.

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WordPress themes I’ve seen used well

There are oodles of WordPress themes, and I’ve gotten the chance to play with the backend of more than a few.

While I wouldn’t want anyone to go and brand on the same theme, I do like the idea of showing folks how top flight products can take hold on little more than a template. Below, I share a handful of WordPress themes I’ve seen used and used well.

Take it as motivation to find your own. Let me know some others you dig, by sharing in the comments. I won’t use yours, if you don’t use mine!

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Introducing a new revamped @NEastPhilly: neighborhood news looks good

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For more than eight months, NEast Philly, the online hub for Northeast Philadelphia news I introduced back in May, grew to a small, but targeted, 6,000 monthly page views, housed on a free template from WordPress.com.

Finally we have broken free. Yesterday we launched the brand new redesign of our neighborhood news site for the future.

No longer just a forwarding domain, NEastPhilly.com now aims to be the Web portal for content creation, aggregation and dissemination of news, views, information and events happening in Northeast Philadelphia, a middle-class, still print-reliant community. We hope to recapture our traffic numbers from the old site quickly and move far beyond them.

If you’re interested in the geography or another online news startup find a voice, audience and value, grab the RSS feed here.

What’s more, it’ll also be another experiment in establishing a small, self-supporting local news product. Unlike the Technically Philly product I co-founded that is a swing at a high-end, double niche, NEast is a decidedly more modest proposal.

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Introducing @MyPICCLine: a patient's account of the healthcare industry

mypiccline

Finding an audience, a focus and a voice involves place, time and circumstances.

So, I knew what I’d talk about when I arrived at Hackensack University Medical Center the first week of July to see Matthew C. Sheehan, my best friend from growing up in northwest New Jersey who had long been looking for something meaningful to write about and had just been diagnosed with a rare blood disease.

Let’s get you to write about enduring the often-maligned U.S. healthcare industry at a time of great national interest. Of course, Matt, who graduated in May 2008 from the University of Massachusetts-Amherst with dual biology and journalism degrees, already had it in mind.

With graciously offered hosting space from my Philadelphia partner in media obsession Sean Blanda, a WordPress template and a few hours of my tinkering and Matt’s first couple weeks writing, I present MyPICCLine.com, his personal journey through the healthcare industry.

Continue reading Introducing @MyPICCLine: a patient's account of the healthcare industry

Introducing @MyPICCLine: a patient’s account of the healthcare industry

mypiccline

Finding an audience, a focus and a voice involves place, time and circumstances.

So, I knew what I’d talk about when I arrived at Hackensack University Medical Center the first week of July to see Matthew C. Sheehan, my best friend from growing up in northwest New Jersey who had long been looking for something meaningful to write about and had just been diagnosed with a rare blood disease.

Let’s get you to write about enduring the often-maligned U.S. healthcare industry at a time of great national interest. Of course, Matt, who graduated in May 2008 from the University of Massachusetts-Amherst with dual biology and journalism degrees, already had it in mind.

With graciously offered hosting space from my Philadelphia partner in media obsession Sean Blanda, a WordPress template and a few hours of my tinkering and Matt’s first couple weeks writing, I present MyPICCLine.com, his personal journey through the healthcare industry.

Continue reading Introducing @MyPICCLine: a patient’s account of the healthcare industry

ChristopherWink.com: Independently hosted and spruced up

The older, WordPress.com version of this site.

Well this is overdue.

Exactly 575 days after my first post on this incarnation of ChristopherWink.com, I’ve done a massive redesign. If you’re in a feed reader, come on over and browse.

There is so much left for me to do, though. A lot of usability, design and organization elements remain janky. We’ll get to that. For now, I wanted to get over the big introduction hurdle of the redesign.

Of course, when I say redesign, I mean I switched from a free WordPress.com theme to using a free, self-hosted WordPress theme, but, hey, I’m tweaking this baby up.

It’s a slightly bold step forward.

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Four ways to improve the Philadelphia magazine Web site

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A host of people smarter than I am call Philadelphia magazine home.

Better writers, reporters, editors, designers, photographers and more. I suspect they know worlds more about the business model, their print product and Web presence, but I can’t help but think Phillymag.com has a lot of work to be done.

Their lessons are worth learning for all publications on the Web, particularly magazines. Philadelphia is too large a market, and Philadelphia magazine is too historic a product for both not to be served by innovation in every field and industry.

Below see four broad areas Philadelphia magazine can improve its less-than-remarkable online product.

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