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Synecdoche is a powerful, expressive linguistic device

The Inquisition by Ronan McDonnell - Contents Page
The Inquisition by Ronan McDonnell - Semper Quarens - Always Looking

Beheaded (Responsive Design)

The Inquisition has been extensively redesigned to take in the latest and greatest theories about responsive, modern web design. The aim is to serve up a more receptive reading experience. To this end the changes have resolved the content presentation away from the standard website or blog.

Outdated, fixed-width layouts from previous incarnations of the Inquisition

Outdated, fixed-width layouts from previous incarnations of the Inquisition

You, dear reader, are here for the content, let’s not show off with distracting design finery which distracts you from your aims.

Essentially, a reader-centred flow has now been created. The page starts straight off with an article. All other page elements are subservient to the text content. The article has things and stuff to the right and bottom of it. You, dear reader, are here for the content, let’s not show off with distracting design finery which distracts you from your aims.

But Why No Header?

It is no longer necessary.

Responsive Design

The page you are reading now is created in such a way that it will resize to fit your window. Try it out, if you are bothered, by dragging it to a different width (if you are using an old version of Internet Explorer you can just weep about how out of date you are instead). You ought to see the page dynamically expanding and contracting, with sizes and proportions altering as you go. Originally all websites were meant to be like this, then design got in the way of content. Nowadays design should support content once again.

The great benefit to this responsive design is that the Inquisition can be sure that the right aligned logo is always visible on the page. Equally, the the content’s width is never excessively wide or narrow.

In much smaller dimensions and environments, such as those generally present on smartphones, the Inquisition’s logo has been thrown under the bus. Unfortunately, nobody comes here to marvel at this stunningly beautiful artwork, so at those sizes it has been shelved under the content. No matter, a smaller one will still appear as a cap to the page.

Entrance Sources

The logo, is also less necessary now from a conceptual point of view. While it does lend the site an important level of visual-trustworthiness, it is secondary in this regard. Consequently it is moved to a secondary position. This intangible and subjective trustworthiness is crucial for a site based on rambling non-fictions.

Users do not come to the Inquisition wondering where to go. Although the website is conceived as a magazine of sorts the truth, as revealed in Google’s analytics, is that the vast majority have already arrived at their aim. When these users root about through the Inquisition’s archives, the activity is secondary to their arrival here.

This follow-on reading material is a bonus to them. To this end is it now indicated with pagination links which sit across the entire screen at the base.

Semper Quarens - The Inquisition logo and motto

Semper Quarens - The Inquisition logo and motto

Font Technology

Part of the redesign process was extensive trials of web font technologies. The Inquisition tried, in particular, Typekit and Monotype Webfonts.

Typekit loaded slowly. Too slowly for effective use. The intial page view was rendered with blank areas waiting to be filled by Typekit. Added to this, Adobe’s purchase made the Inquisition nervous.

The Inquisition got on well with Monotype. The backend and setup of the service was smart and intuitive, if a little bit ugly. In the end there were two deal breakers – loading time, although marginally faster than Typekit, was unusable for lengthy body text. Monotype’s free account also inserted a badge which adversely affected the new full width pagination footer.

Eventually a solution was arrived at; Google fonts. This allowed for replacing body text with a more comfortably readable font, which is desirable for the lengthy and verbose tracts of pedantry the Inquisition delights in peddling. It also appears to be fast and effective. Lastly, its free. While that doesn’t say much for Google respect for type design, it’s still nice.

Designed by A Worthy Cause

The Inquisition’s redesign began with the fantastic Starkers framework by Elliott Jay Stocks. This was, in turn, based on the 1440px Grid by Andy Taylor.

The final design is by A Worthy Cause, freelance graphic and webdesign in Dublin. Truth be told, A Worthy Cause is the other hat worn by The Inquisition.

Like It?

Seriously, it has all been thought of from the point of view of you, the reader. Do you like it? Let The Inquisition know.

This article was posted by on Friday, December 23rd, 2011 at 20:49.
It is archived in Design and tagged , , .

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