Templates, web design, and work

When I started my job at Hodges, I knew 95% of the designs I came up would have to fit in the UT template which is ugly, brown/beige, and table based, with minimal CSS. When the templates appeared in 2003, Matt Grayson and I were working on a new site design for SIS, so we were forced into the design, but we still used CSS.

Fast forward to 2006 and I was once again making a CSS version of the templates. The SIS site had evolved to the point where I couldn’t use that as a base anymore, it was too integrated with Drupal now. Neither Matt or I had any of the pre Drupal code saved anywhere, so I was starting from scratch and dealing with new bugs and browser issues. I was almost done when I heard about a new design/templates coming soon.

New templates were supposed to arrive in October sometime, and the new design for utk.edu was supposed to debut January 1. Units could roll out designs based on the new templates on or after that date. But the templates never came and January has come and gone.

Well this week the new design for utk.edu appeared and it looks good. Much better than the old design. I’m really glad that even with the delays, they took the time to get it right this time and got some feedback from other UT web folks along the way.

The lead designer for the new look, Darren Hughes, has a nice blog entry about the design process. My hat is off to you Darren, I can only hope you’re well paid for all your headaches.

While the templates based on the new look aren’t quite ready yet, hopefully they will be soon. Then I can let loose with some work I’ve been waiting on for quite a while.

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