Header

I’ve removed it. It was redundant. It took up valuable pixels. I couldn’t quite get complete control over it. So it’s gone.

Redundant. My thinking was the browser title bar shows that you’re at DisplayBlog. The URL bar also shows http://www.displayblog.com. So the header, which was just the DisplayBlog text, as an indicator of where you are was redundant.

Then there’s the space issue. The header was taking up space. Space that could be used for more content. I have a 1920×1200 display, but some of you out there have less vertical pixels. So I hope getting rid of the header and pushing up the content helps to get right to the content.

Control. Another issue was the header text being displayed differently in browsers. Yesterday I was at my friend SooSang’s house. He has Windows XP and was running the Chrome browser. The DisplayBlog logo was italicized. That was weird. The size and alignment in Mobile Safari is wacky, too. It’s probably me. I’m no expert in HTML or CSS and was likely not using the best conventions to size and align the header text, but this was another reason to think about getting rid of the header altogether.

Now I had a different problem.

Most of DisplayBlog is just one level deep, meaning when you click on the post title you get to the full post. Press the Back button on your browser and you’re back where you are. But what if you searched for, say TouchPad, clicked through to a few articles and then wanted to go back Home. Before, with the header, you just clicked on DisplayBlog. Now what do you do?

I added the Home text link in the footer. It’s small, doesn’t take up more vertical pixels, and in the occasion you need to get back Home, it’s there. (Update: Usability wise putting the Home button in the footer wasn’t ideal. I couldn’t even get used to it. So I moved the Home and RSS links to the top left by adding a very thin column. The content still starts from the very top and navigation is improved. Hope you like it.)

I know change can be difficult especially when we’ve gotten used to do things a certain way. Almost all well-designed websites have a nice logo, text, or both you click to get back home. So not having that convenient link will be at first weird. But my hope is that the absence of the header will help you get to more of the content and faster.

I’ve quoted Antoine De Saint-Exupéry before and I think it’s applicable here:

Perfection is not when there is no more to add, but no more to take away.

There have been significant milestones at DisplayBlog in terms of the overall design. I’ve flip-flopped on fonts, number of columns, ads or no ads, etc. but the overarching concern is to get rid of distractions between you and the content. I have on several occasions prematurely declared that there was nothing more to take away on DisplayBlog. So I won’t make that mistake again today, but I think we’re getting close.

Update: As you can see, with the new Min theme that I developed from the ground up, the DISPLAYBLOG text and home link with space on top and bottom has reappeared. I’ve had some complaints. And their complaints were valid. The main concern was: all of us are accustomed to having a large easy-to-click logo somewhere around the top of the page to get back home. When I deleted that link, I had lost sight of why I am moving toward minimalism on DISPLAYBLOG. The why is to make the overall experience on DISPLAYBLOG pleasurable by getting rid of all necessary distractions. And in hindsight getting rid of the home link on top made it unpleasurable and a distraction because now you had to figure out how to get back home. It’s an important lesson learned. And I thank you readers for being patient as I go through this long, continual process.