Re-design, again-ish

The ePortfolio site I designed and was implemented approaching 3 years ago is rapidly in need of freshing up. Even in the intervening years the site stats (via Google analytics) haven’t shown much of a change in browser usage – and by that I mean a significant number of users are still accessing the site with IE 6 (I kid you not). The reason for this being that the majority of users are NHS employees, and doing NHS work. Screen res has improved a little.

So the current incarnation of the site has a fixed width content window (with some surrounding “holding graphics”), and crime of crimes, the logo “misused” – by me!! The background colours were used to help users understand which version of the site they are in (many have multiple site roles), but these I think are too strong. So I started (and nearly completed) the new design. Biggest change is that the content is left aligned with variable width, the logo moved into a bottom-fixed footer (with added quick nav bar). I didn’t want to move menus around as it would frighten the horses. The question is whether version differences will be clear enough – a thin coloured line under the main menu and a version-specific logo at the top left (best place). Well, I need to go ask the customers and users I guess….

The other change has been to upgrade (dispite crumby old browsers and PCs across the NHS) to use CSS 3 and the option to start using HTML 5 (only going as far the doc type definition just now). Also, looking to take into account the general site re-architecture towards MVC 3 which will allow for more flexibility that was available in ASP.Net web forms might normally permit (all that viewstate stuff and misuse of element Id’s was a real pain). No one has seen the new look yet, so plenty of time to be shot down in flames, but you have to try….

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