Unveiling a New Aesthetic and Functional Design for this Blog

No, you haven’t clicked on the wrong link! stephvanlinden.com has a fresh new look, featuring an updated logo and palette. New design elements have also been added to improve user experience.

I’ve spent part of this past month further refining the look and feel of this website. For the benefit of my repeat visitors, this post will briefly outline the rationale behind the changes I made. It may also give all you prospective bloggers out there some ideas for your own designs. 🙂

New Logo

The prints that inspired my old logo.

My old website logo was inspired by a series of prints I designed for my music room. It was fairly basic, intended to put one in mind of volume knobs on musical equipment. I liked it, but it didn’t really have a unique feel to it, and it didn’t relate directly to me or the site.

This new logo incorporates my initials. The S is quite obvious, but if you look carefully at the image (imagine it rotated at a few different angles), you’ll also see a funky-looking V and an L. Furthermore, the S resembles a square wave. Fellow synthesizer nerds out there will know all about square waves. I often play around with square waves and pulse width modulation when I’m building synth patches (and even some guitar patches), so … sticking a square wave in my website’s logo just felt right!

New Colour Scheme

The website’s old palette was, as with the old logo, inspired by those abovementioned prints of mine. There wasn’t anything wrong with it, per se, but it did feel a little monochromatic. I didn’t change it much — simply added a teal accent to help break up the monotony a bit and draw the eye better to certain links and buttons. I chose that particular accent as it works well with both my dark theme and my light theme. It also matches my favourite syntax highlighting palette, Nord, which I use whenever I post code blocks in my blogging-related tutorials. 😎

New UX-Oriented Elements

User experience is a top priority for me. It’s the reason why I don’t run ads, why I don’t ask visitors to sign up for email lists, why I don’t install cookies, and why I don’t litter your screen with pop-ups. I want my visitors to have the same kind of experience I want to have whenever I visit a website.

So, with that in mind, I’ve incorporated new UX elements into the site’s design that should make it easier for you to find the information you seek.

Each blog post now features two sidebars (desktop only). On the left side, you’ll see instructions for conducting in-page searches, a link to my glossary (which is also a fairly recent addition), and a link to the site’s RSS feed. On the right side, you’ll see a floating table of contents that you can minimize if you find it too distracting. Sidebars are disabled on mobile to account for mobile phones’ limited screen real estate. That said, you can still easily access the glossary and RSS feed on mobile at any time via the links in the site’s footer. A non-floating table of contents is also accessible on mobile after the first paragraph of each post.

SEE ALSO: Add A Floating Table of Contents (TOC) to Your Blog’s Sidebar

In addition to the new sidebars, each blog post now includes an excerpt beneath the featured image. This should give you a better idea of what to expect from the post at a quick glance — especially if you’re visiting the post via a search engine link.

Conclusion

I hope you like the blog’s new look and UX features. I’ve tested the changes out extensively and everything looks and functions as it should on my end. If something seems to be amiss, though, please let me know.


Questions?

Do you have a question about the subject matter of this blog post that I didn’t answer above? Feel free to leave a public comment on my YouTube channel by clicking on the button below, and I’ll get back to you there as soon as I can.

See Also: