Flavor saver

With the return of the full-color, fixed-width design to this site over the weekend, Stopdesign received numerous messages and even a few comments regarding the switch back. Some of the messages and comments are in favor, heralding the welcome return. Others cry foul as their Bleach is stolen away.

“More power to the people!”

… the crowds shout from all around. And just like that, their wish was granted.

Here’s your chance to play Backseat Design Director for Stopdesign, and enforce your decisions. Prefer the stark whiteness and simplicity of Bleached? Want to demand that Liquid Bleach remain on the shelves? I want color! The type is too small! The type is too big! And on and on…

You can now play with configurations until your heart is content. And this little preferences page is your interface for orchestrating any changes you desire… within reason, of course. (Note: The preferences page is also accessible from that little prefs link at the top of the page next to contact, and from any of the About pages.) Choose between three site-wide styles, and/or set text to a base size of small (the default), medium, large, or extra large. Your preferences will hold throughout the entire site, until you change them again.

The preferences page uses a server-side style switcher utilizing a cookie, written in PHP, with very few lines of code. They key (and most of the work done before the release of Liquid Bleach) was separating out the style sheets so that additional color or liquid style sheets could be laid over top of (read: added after) the basic stripped-down version, overriding the stark-white fixed-width design of Bleached.

The text size change is a simple matter of altering the base font-size keyword of the body element with an extra style sheet, since that’s the only place I set font size with an absolute value. All other size changes happen throughout the rest of the style sheet via percentages of that base keyword size. A few adjustments in the background position of certain icons, and the large and extra large text size style sheets were good to go.

As noted at the bottom of the page, Comment Preview and Error pages will not pick up any preferences you change. Those pages are rendered by static Movable Type template code, thus they’ll remain Bleached for simplicity’s sake.

Select the version that makes you happiest. Change your mind tomorrow? Set it back. I’m still partial to Technicolor at the small text size. But on larger screens, Liquid Bleach with the text size bumped up to medium or large doesn’t look too bad either. You make the final call — it’s your experience.

Choose wisely.

About the author

Designer, advisor, father. Previously led design teams at Twitter, Google, and Wired. Giants fan. Deutsche lernen. Wanna-be runner.

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