Spring Redesign: Reviewing Six Years of Sixfoot6.

posted 24 Feb 2005, 5PM | 27 Comments

Well, here we go. It's been six years to the day since I first registered sixfoot6.com while in college, and six months to the night since I spec'd out a big list of elements I fantasized about including in an eventual redesign of this, my dear personal site. It's fallen fallow over the course of the last couple of years, victim to my busy day job and other creative projects, squandering my PageRank and sharing very little of my art, thoughts or feelings—the whole reason I bother to have a site in the first place. So I spent a hundred hours cleaning things up... and it was hard for a number of reasons, technical and personal.

I'm proud to say that most of my fantasies have come to pass (er, my geek-oriented fantasies involving this web page, ahem) in this new design, which I'll tentatively call SixBirdy6 until somebody who's actually slept recently suggests a better name (and please do, because SixBirdy6 is awful). In contrast to all my previous relaunches, I actually did some dirty work this time, complimenting the visual overhaul with a file reorganization and indexing of old content. Work on the design mockup began during an already hectic holiday season (I apparently enjoy back pain) and during the last three months I've quite a bit of time in to flesh it out. In my opinion the resulting site is ambitious, colorful, lightweight, information-dense, fun, soothing, easy to navigate, scannable, busy, practical, satisfying, usable, standards-compliant, top-heavy, font-rich, hyphen-ated, pretty, and not without problems to fix and details to clean up. I owe much to Leonard Lin, Robert Doiel, Jason Kottke, Douglas Bowman, and my girlfriend Jenny for their help and/or inspiration. I'll discuss some of the technical elements and design challenges in future posts, but in the meantime I'm way excited to read some of your comments and scathing criticisms.

The process of pouring through all of my old content and weblog entries—the six year narrative of this site—has truly made for a strange emotional experience. I'm discovering the extent to which both the focus and format of that narrative have changed over the course of six years, and I sort of miss the old days. That's the stuff I really want to talk about, but right now I need to take a nap. My apologies. I encourage you to click through the top nav and explore what there is to explore. Good morning and welcome.

There are 27 Comments


24 Feb 05 at 09:17AM alison said:

it's purdy. ooh! i just saw the grass at the bottom. that's nice, too.


24 Feb 05 at 09:31AM Sgt. Cheeseburger said:





24 Feb 05 at 09:49AM J. Dunn said:

Wow, you are back, and how! Unique, inspiring, and functional, as always. Word.


24 Feb 05 at 10:02AM M. Couvillion said:

You make me proud and bring a tear to my eye. It was worth the wait.


24 Feb 05 at 10:02AM sixfoot6 said:

Thank you, friends across the globe. But, um, what is Cheeseburger on about?


24 Feb 05 at 10:56AM Sgt. Cheeseburger said:

"... and five^H^H^H^Htwo fish."


I dunno. I just don't think ^H is as funny as <strike>


24 Feb 05 at 11:17AM Jenny said:

Here's the deal with our fish (re: the front 'about' blurb).
We have had a total of 7 fish over the past few months. Now only two remain. First Professor Buttpluggins, Fedungus, Dickhead, Stanley Spadowski I (the bottom feeder), Mary Kate & Ashley (the small twins) and Clive (the frog) all lived together happily. Within a few months, Mary Kate (one of the tiny twins) was brutally and mysteriously chewed down to the bone.

The only viable suspect was Stanley since he seemed a bit aggressive and had the capacity to suck bones dry, etc. At first we didn't suspect him, but only a week later Ashley disappeared without a trace. We knew something had to be done for the good of Fedungus, who had recently been showing signs of bodily bites. We took Stanley I to the fish shop and swapped him out for a smaller suckerfish, dubbed Stanley II. Stanley II brought with him a fish shop infection, and spread disease throughout the whole tank.

I admittedly overdosed Dickhead on medication when he came down with body fungus. Dickhead died suddenly via medicinal poisoning, which was definitely my fault. For months afterward, Clive, the Professor, Fedungus and Stanley II lived in peace and harmony, until just this week Stanley died for some unknown reason. That is the story of our fish.
p.s. I love Ryan.


24 Feb 05 at 11:29AM brian said:

Very nice job, Ryan. The colors are fantastic, as is the attention to detail.


24 Feb 05 at 12:46PM Pierce said:

Wow. This almost makes it worth the visiting of the site I've been doing every three hours since the relaunch was announced back in december, or whenever.

Kudos for fitting so much content into an 800 width layout. Busy in a good way.


24 Feb 05 at 01:25PM Tom said:



24 Feb 05 at 01:58PM Gordon said:

My smack is officially gobbed.

That clunking noise you heard was my jaw hitting the floor, repeatedly. This is just too gorgeous. NICE WORK!


24 Feb 05 at 04:58PM leonard said:

hoo-ray it's finally up


24 Feb 05 at 07:27PM Jaime said:

I bow down, I love it.


24 Feb 05 at 08:50PM Andy Collier said:

As I said aldmost 7 hours ago when I first linked to your redesign : "Ryan's designs seem to almost perfectly blend content with an aesthetically pleasing layout." YAY for Sixfoot6!


25 Feb 05 at 08:23AM Martha said:

Yay, sf6 rides again -- and so pretty!

Also fish named Mary-Kate and Ashley is the best thing I've heard all day.


25 Feb 05 at 08:46AM getluky said:

phil and I are talking about how you put us to shame with this redesign. nice meeting you the other day. and also, this looks really, really nice.


25 Feb 05 at 09:04AM Phil said:

"Put us to shame?" more like "Completely and utterly dominated everyone." The site looks fantastic. Even if I became an absolute css ninja, I could never do anything remotely like this. So I hate you. Good job.


25 Feb 05 at 09:16AM Jonathan M. Hollin said:

I'm speechless. Wow, what a beautiful design. Gorgeous, stunning, entrancing... damn, I've run out of verbs!

Awesome work.


25 Feb 05 at 09:37AM Lisaann said:

dude. nice. xo


25 Feb 05 at 09:53AM sixfoot6 said:

Phil, you can dominate me anytime. Good eating those tasty and healthy curry-filled donuts with you guys on Wednesday.

Thanks, everybody, for the positive feedback and support. I'll be tweaking some things this weekend and during the coming days: visual stuff, archive expansion, text spacing / CSS adjustments, and some scripting - I'm planning for the "Stuff I did in the past" feature area to load random sets of favorites from my portfolio, etc. I'm also aware of cache problems with the Audioscrobbler feed.

Do speak up, everybody, if you have any hangups with aspects of the visual design, functionality or usability of the site. Too many fonts or pastels? I did much of the design in a vacuum, so now that it's out I welcome comments. (Though I should note that Jenny gave great feedback along the way, and that she suggested the hummingbird).

I'm leaning toward "Springfoot6".


25 Feb 05 at 01:14PM Andrew said:

Wow, this is beautiful!


25 Feb 05 at 03:17PM Leia said:

Fantastic. Well played.


25 Feb 05 at 03:31PM christine said:

This is definitely worth the wait.

You wanna redesign my site now? xo


27 Feb 05 at 03:38PM Awol said:

How about "SixYear6?" I can't quite believe that you have been doing this for 6 full years, but looking at this design only confirms my personal reasons for quitting the blog thing: I'd always be hella jealous.

This is a beautiful layout, and is possibly the most professional looking personal site I've ever seen. I'm waiting for the subscription fees page to pop-up whenever I want to access a full post. ;-)


3 Mar 05 at 04:39PM rose said:

i love this. i am very impressed. welcome back :]


8 Mar 05 at 03:41PM ultranon said:

HOLY CRAP! You have been posting great designs for years now, but this is amazing. I love the little details. Very well crafted!


19 Apr 05 at 05:18PM Samantha said:

wow, freakin' awesome layout! The little birds on the bottom came to me as a surprise...I would suggest a different name, but SixBirdy6 probably has some meaning to you, right? Like I guess you like birds. I agree mostly with what your opinion is of your redisigned site..being this is my first time here in six years (hehe). I like how you write. It's informative, yet personal. I'm glad to have stumbled upon your site by way of maganda.org

Comments are now closed for this entry. May spammers burn in firey brimstone.

↑ Top of comments ↑ Top of page ↑ Top of site

About this page.

Sixfoot6.com presents expermients in writing, design, photography, and hypertext. This weblog entry was posted by Ryan, the site's author.

You are viewing entries within the Current Weblog archive. Explore the full archive, which includes plenty of older & non-webloggy stuff.