“xheight's value lies in the words written and this design has one goal: make the articles as accessible and as readable as possible”

Welcome to the new xheight.

If you’re a first time visitor or just not very observant, the “old” site was much the same as this except it sported the excellent Information Architects iA³ WordPress theme (what a design to match!)

Spurred on by exceptional community feedback since launch — and as a thank you to all authors and commenters — I decided to redesign xheight to give it a much deserved unique aesthetic and layout. A platform for future growth, if you will.

The process

The most fascinating part of this process was asking for feedback from all the xheight authors. They are an exceptionally talented bunch working across the design industry (you can join them). It’s no lie to say I was a tad nervous, but perhaps unjustly so. It really warmed me to read their feedback, not because it was complementary — though most was — but because it was real, it was thoughtful feedback. The kind you wish clients were able to articulate.  I would have quickly scrapped what I was doing had the sentiment been negative. I’m glad that it wasn’t but I’m also happy with the knowledge that it could have been.

It’s a rare skill to be able to critique. To understand the brief and requirements. To remove thoughts that are too personal and to ignore the notion of “am I hurting the designer’s feelings?”. I’m very thankful to the xheight authors for their perfect insight.

Even though one does secretly hope for an online high-five, there’s really not much value in that. Design is subjective no matter how much we try to ignore the fact. That’s the whole point. Demographics are different; people are unique. It’s impossible to produce something that receives universal applause. The more people a design makes comfortable, the more generic and bland it becomes. It’s often said that “good design is invisible” but I think it’s more accurate to say that bad design is noticeable. So while this design may not be to everyone’s taste, it should sit nicely infront of those designers who like to read.

And that’s who we like.

xheight’s value lies in the words written and this new design has one goal: make the articles as accessible and as readable as possible.

This is an evolving website. It will change in whatever way is best suited to discuss design. For now I am very excited with where we are heading.

What do you think?