Xaben.com Mini-Makeover

Xaben.com has recently undergone a bit of a makeover. It used to be my only personal website, so I used it as a blog + portfolio. After I acquired mariewest.com, though, I moved all the portfolio-related stuff over to that site… leaving xaben.com feeling a little awkward and empty. The aim of the makeover was to transform the site into just a blog.

Xaben.com "Before"
Xaben.com "Before"
Xaben.com "After"
Xaben.com "After"
Style-wise, I didn’t change much (though I was tempted to try a new look). The biggest change was increasing the width from 900px (not sure why it wasn’t 960px) to 1000px. 1000px might be a little overkill for my simple blog, but I wanted to try it out. There has been a bit of a push to start using 1000px widths for responsive web design. Xaben.com doesn’t take advantage of responsive web design yet, but I want its next design to be flexible and adjust to the user’s resolution.

The archive links didn’t seem useful in the old design, so I replaced them with tag links instead. I don’t know why the search bar was in the categories section, so I moved it out on its own where it made more sense. I also added a link to the RSS feed, which didn’t exist in the old design.

I also tried to improve on readability. A couple people told me that the font on the old site was too small, so I increased the font size on the new design. Ideally, websites should have 55 to 75 characters per line, which the old design was well over. The new design also exceeds the optimal number of characters per line, but it is close to the 75 to 85 range that is common practice. I personally prefer smaller font and longer lines, but I’ll go with the design experts. 😉

New Domain: MarieWest.me

Since February, I have been working as the Web Content Administrator for Wayne State University. The position is only temporary, however; I am filling in for someone who will be returning from maternity leave in June. Consequently, I am on the lookout for a new, more permanent job! 🙂

And to help with the whole finding a job thing, I acquired a new domain for a more “professional-esque” website: mariewest.me. The site has a custom design (by me) and uses WordPress.


Computer Science Websites

Today, I decided to take a look at some of the Computer Science websites from universities across the country. I could not believe how awful the majority of them were. Out of the 100 (yes, 100) Computer Science websites I looked at:

  • 68% looked extremely outdated
  • 26% looked moderately outdated
  • 6% looked fairly modern

Being Computer Science departments, I was expecting much more modern websites. Prospective CS students are going to be going to these websites and to advertise your department as outdated and out-of-touch is not going to impress prospective students.