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 Comments on "A Responsive AisleOne"

  • Oleg says

    Sorry, but your pre­vi­ous design was WAY BETTER, you just had to upgrade it.

  • I love it! It is exactly how I wish my site looked… Fancy sell­ing it?! 😉

  • Tom says

    I would go back to the old design.

  • Nikolaj says

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

  • William says

    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. 😉

  • Piotr Buczkowski says

    I had to agree with the pre­vi­ous com­ments. This is not what I was expect­ing from AisleOne… :(

  • Lewis M says

    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.

  • Manne says
  • Firuze says

    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

  • Patrick says

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

  • Jeremy says

    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.

  • 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.

  • Ok, the ban­ner issue has been fixed. Let me know if you see any other issues. Thanks!

  • 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!

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • Oleg says

    Just fig­ured out, that this design feels like a bad copy of Infor­ma­tion Archi­tects blog. Noth­ing per­sonal, but c’mon.

  • 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. 😉

  • Patrick says

    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 :) 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!

  • John says

    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.

  • 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.

  • Rob says

    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​/​2​l​b​j​9​j​d/6

  • Andrei says

    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,

  • Tobias says

    …and the worst com­ment came from Oleg: »…feels like a bad copy of Infor­ma­tion Archi­tects blog«. Con­grats Oleg for such a kind of bullshit.

  • adam says

    Nice, I like the new look.

  • Thanks for the feed­back folks. Rob, thank you for the image. I will look into that issue.

  • Wow, peo­ple are really pas­sion­ate about your site :)

    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 rijksmu​seum​.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.

  • Love it. We’ll played mate. Miss the old Swiss inspired design, but under­stand the new restric­tions and think you’ve done well :) Looks great on my phone.

  • The new design looks great on my iPhone. :)

  • 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.

  • Benjamin M says

    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.

  • 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.

  • I’m pip­ing in a lit­tle late, but it looks ter­rific. Nicely done.

  • Thanks man.

  • 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.

  • I wish it was the pre­vi­ous ver­sion! It was just amazing!

  • Nice.