A Responsive AisleOne

New year, new design. I’ve been wanting to redesign the site for a few months now with five goals in mind:

  • Strip it down and make it more minimal
  • Improve typography
  • Make it responsive
  • Allow for bigger images
  • Allow for non-image posts

This new design addresses all five.

Because I don’t have very much free time these days, I started with a purchased theme and modified it to my liking. Visually, I simplified it a great deal. Some might think it’s too minimal, maybe even boring, but I think it serves its purpose well. The typography is greatly improved. The entire site is set in Proxima Nova, which at larger sizes is a pleasure read. No more tiny type. The main text is now set at a large size with spacious leading to make reading easier.

Now that mobile devices are a large part of everyday life, I wanted the site to be responsive. Unlike the previous design, this new design presents an optimal viewing experience on a phone, tablet, and desktop browser.

It also allows for more flexibility in terms of post formats. The previous design I was constrained within a 450px column for the images, so it didn’t allow for larger images. With the new design I can post images up to 690px wide. Bigger images means more details. I also want to make more posts that are just text, for example quotes or this post. This single column design presents text only posts in a better way. Videos also work well, so expect to see more video posts in the future.

Overall, I’m pretty happy with this new design, and I think you will be as well. I’ve tested it as much as I could, but I’d love to hear from you folks on what you think and if you see any issues.


37 thoughts on “A Responsive AisleOne

  1. It’s not bad, but when reading, the little Squarespace logo behind the text is going to become a nuisance FAST.

  2. Liked the old one better, had more personality.
    And the Squarespace banner is showing over the main content.

    Just go back with the old (super sweet) design and update it a bit. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  3. I had to agree with the previous comments. This is not what I was expecting from AisleOne… ๐Ÿ™

  4. One major issue (might be that I’m on an older computer and therefore browser version) is that the squarespace sticky div at the bottom goes over the content. The colours are also pretty distracting.

    Aside from that, as a regular viewer, I think the design is great. But in terms of the site and what it has been about and represents, I think the old design expressed this identity better. The new design feels more suited to something else and then applied to this. So, hate to say it, but prefer the old design. BUT, anybody will need a bit time to realise the transition. You can’t snap-judge these things.

  5. I’m craving the text to be on the right or left again – it was nice to choose between reading and viewing at the same time when it ran alongside it, rather than before or after

  6. Like others have noted, I think this is a departure from the core of what this site is about.

  7. Maybe it’s me… but the is the content supposed to be 700px wide on a 27″ iMac? – that’s like, not so responsive! I also have the Squarespace ad behind the content too… Love the typography though and change is good.

  8. Thanks for the feedback. I understand the criticism, and I wanted to do something different than the last design. But at its core, the new design is based on the same principles. The biggest change from the old design is that the image and text are now in the same column. Change can be hard, and I think over time this design will grow on people.

  9. I’ve never been to the site before, so all I can say is it’s a wonderful redesign. It’s a pleasure on the eyes to read and nothing is too small or too big. Wonderful job!

  10. The above comments seem like an overreaction to me, particularly the comments saying that this is too big a departure from what this site is about. It’s your site, and it’s about what you make of it. I like the simple, clear layout and big readable text. As long as there’s great content to view, it’s all good with me.

  11. I’ve been visiting AisleOne for several years and this redesign was a bit of a shock. In my opinion, it’s not complete. The last design felt a lot more focused and developed than this one… At the time it had a great impact on me and my views on how a design blog should look. I’ve always seen AisleOne as a great source for grid-based design and I don’t think this new solution fits the content. It feels quite similar to many other blogs and templates that are fit to mobile devices but are not very inspired. However, you can be sure I’ll stay around and faithfully follow AisleOne. Content is still the main reason why we all follow a blog.

  12. Ha, I’m sure if you collect all the minimal single column sites on the web, that they’ll all look pretty similar. I can assure you that I didn’t copy their site. I guess you can say that all good designers think alike. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  13. In retrospect, I’ll admit I was a bit harsh in saying this new design is a departure from what this site is about. Perhaps I am just so partial to the prior design coded by Emil Olsson that my emotions got the best of me ๐Ÿ™‚ To be honest, it doesn’t effect me too much since I use the Reader RSS application. In fact, I don’t typically ever visit actual blog sites much anymore!

    PS. Thanks for all the great content over the years!

  14. Was a bit of a shock at first, but I actually like what you have done with it,
    the responsive side is a huge plus as I do tend to view a number of design blogs on my phone.

    Maybe you have sorted the issue above, but I don’t see the the squarespace thing on any of the browsers I use, even on IE for win 7.5 mobile.

  15. Hey Patrick, totally understand how you feel. It was hard for me to move away from Emil’s amazing work, but I’m also a big fan of change. In the end, it’s about the content. The site around the great content is just there to present it in an efficient and clear way.

  16. It’s Antonio’s marvelous discoveries that make this blog what it is, not the design. It hasn’t changed in the sense that it’s easy to read & makes content king. Change is good, especially now it’s been adapted for mobile and other devices. Saying that though, it’s not working properly on my android device (Sam S2). Cuts off some content on the right hand side, when I swipe over the image & text have been cut off. See here >> http://tinypic.com/r/2lbj9jd/6

  17. Hi Antonio

    Congrats on the redesign!
    I like your intiative and I’m happy you went for it.
    Aisleone will still remain a top-notch resource of information and inspiration for many designers, myself included, no matter if the old design was some kind of etiquette for it.
    Best of luck,

  18. …and the worst comment came from Oleg: ยป…feels like a bad copy of Information Architects blogยซ. Congrats Oleg for such a kind of bullshit.

  19. Wow, people are really passionate about your site ๐Ÿ™‚

    I think the new design is great. It’s modern, to-the-point and overall beautiful. It does well at being anonymous enough to let the content shine, while still delivering the message of this site being all about tight designshit.

    The old design however – was insanely romantic if you ask me. A homage to grid-systems and typography tradition – something that went hand in hand with the content. And that’s my best guess as to why some people here think it’s fit to call it ‘wrong’.

    I stumbled upon rijksmuseum.nl yesterday – even though you tend to get lost in the site, they seem to have put a lot of effort into retaining the feel of dutch graphic design tradition while making it super-hip, modern and responsive, and I think it works pretty well.

    Congrats on the redesign, and thank you so much for sharing all this great stuff.

  20. Gorgeous redesign. Minimal, clean, responsive and a perfect choice of typography. Lost some personality? No…Aisleone is synonymous of Content. Good Content.
    I made a big Ahhhh (good felling) when i saw the new Collate site, i made a big Ahhhh (good felling) when i saw Aisleone….Thank you. I need good fellings.
    Keep the amazing inspiration. Respect.

  21. I preferred the old design, this one is less in line with the spirit of the blog, the type is flashy and not at all understated. “by Antonio Carusone” below the titles of projects suggests that they have been made by the blogger, and that is just plain old bad design.

  22. Overall the re-design is great and it was a nice surprise to encounter when I opened the site today. I like the use of grey and the increased size of the type and Proxima Nova is one of my favorite typefaces, so that’s all awesome.

    However, I do have 2 little problems with it. The first is more of a personal preference than anything else, but I was actually really digging the left-alignment of your previous design and the smaller images. It was easier for viewing and one post fitted perfectly on the screen of my laptop. Now, not so much. The centered images getting cut in the middle because the small height of my display are kind of annoying.

    The second one is more of an advice. I suggest moving the link to the comments of a post below the post, instead of above it. It’s way more natural. It just doesn’t seem right to have to scroll up to the top of the post in order to make a comment.

  23. I liked the previous design. However I immediately went to your mobile site after reading your comments and it’s one of simplistic beauty. It serves it’s purpose and is accessible. Very forward thinking.

    Well done.

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