I've just republished my main work web site, the web site of the Delaware Office of State Planning Coordination.
I've been working on transferring the content of the site over to the new page design all this week. This week, the slow time between Christmas and the New Year, is always a great week for me to do the sort of job that is best done when the phone is not ringing quite so much. I can multi-task, but some jobs are best done with a single-minded sort of craziness. This is one of them. It's dull, head down, locked to your PC, slog-through-it work, but satisfying when you come out the other end with a newly updated and fresh-looking site.
For this update, I have adopted the "common look and feel" web templates created by the folks in the state's Government Information Center. They manage the state's web portal and have tried to come up with a standard web page design that gives visitors a sense that they are on a web site that represents the whole of state government, while maintaining a sense of individual agency identity.
I have long designed my own sites, and I take pride in creating sites that look professional and work for the visitor. There comes a time, however, when pride should be set aside. In truth, I'm only setting aside my pride as a graphic designer, which is not my greatest skill-set anyway. I still take pride in providing a site that is rich in content and constantly updated.
Using Blogger, and its perfectly workable templates, have helped remind me over the last few months that it really is all about the content, more than the design. It's a lesson I learned early in my career, but often forget. Bells and whistles really only serve to deafen us and block out the important things. Heaven knows there are enough web sites already that prove this true,
So. I have tried to maintain the most useful pages, and to improve several pages. A site redesign is a rich opportunity to prune and reshape and I'm working on that part now that the main pages are up and functioning.
Hopefully, when everyone else comes back to work, they'll have a pleasant surprise.