The Technosailor Design Process

Last week, I launched the new and improved layout of this blog. I mentioned Lisa Sabin created the look. She deserves a lot of credit for taking very vague conceptual ideas and turning them into the layout and design that is being showed off here. Lisa describes the process of doing the Technosailor design work here.

As much as there some fantastic designers out there that everyone knows about, there are really great designers who alot fewer people know about. Lisa is one of those. I love finding diamonds in the rough and Lisa is one of those. Thanks, again, Lisa!

Technosailor Version 7 Hits the Street

I’m really, really happy right now because we’re begininning the three year anniversary celebration a little early here. Back in March, I started to discuss the possibility of a professional theme with the fantabulous Lisa Sabin. I gave her some of my ideas and in essence let her go to town creating something suitably professional and refreshing for this blog. I had only a few specific ground rules:

  • Whitespace
  • Home Page NOT being the blog – more room for pulling together content in a better and more useful way than a linear blog
  • Done before May 20, in time for my three year blogging anniversary

So I’m very, very happy to launch version 7 hitting all of those points and delivering a month early! We have taken a departure from the historically consistent nautical theme, grouped content better more effectively, implemented a powered link blog. And Chad, our director of sales, loves the ad placements, so there’s an added bonus! Commenting and posts look nicer too!

Your thoughts? Lisa is scared, but I think she did a smash-up job! :-)

Finding a Designer is Hard

I announced yesterday that I am planning on selling Technosailor. That in itself is hard, but figuring out the next step in my non-b5media life has proved slightly treachorous. I have Emmense going on over there that I plan to build as I can, and turn it into a WordPress resource/consulting site. It also has a design that, while okay for now, is not what I want long term. (Incidentally, people keep asking me if I’m leaving b5media. No! I’m not! Stop asking!) :)

So, I’ve spent a lot of time looking around for designers knowing full well what I’ll have to pay (thousands!). I’m okay with that, providing Technosailor sells for what I want.

My first and most obvious choices are Chris Pearson or Ben Bleikamp, based on my opinion of their work as well as my personal experiences with them both. Unfortunately, both of them are tied up. Ben, notably, is all garbled up by b5media (damn them!).

I’ve also taken a look through this list and saw some promising prospects (should they respond to my emails), but largely, I realize I’m pretty picky about what I am looking for and none of these folks have it. Can I hire someone I don’t trust to understand my needs?

So what are my needs?

The site is to be a professional resource and consulting blog, right? So I’m looking for Information Architecture first and foremost. Pearson and Ben are fabulous which is why I’d trust them with the design work. I could care less about flashy pictures or substantive headers. It’s content. Organized content. Make sense content. It’s smooth and elegant, yet crisp and clean. It makes WordPress dance (it’s a WordPress consulting site, right?) yet eases the reader into its depths. It has code archives and plugin archives and baits the reader around the site.

I need a designer, but I need an Information Architect. Anyone out there?