Welcome to a world of yellow

No, you are not seeing things. Yes, I have redesigned and it is bright yellow.

Okay, let’s discuss the yellow. After all, it’s the yellow that is blinding you right now. So why have I created a bright yellow website?

I wanted a minimalist look; something that promoted my content above all else. I could have made the site all white but that wouldn’t have looked any different to any other sites.

Black on yellow is easy to read whereas, if I’d have chosen another colour for the background e.g. blue, green or red it wouldn’t have been as readable.

Breaking my own rules

I hate it when blogs produce a redesign that:

  1. is completely different to the previous design
  2. hasn’t been properly tested in all browsers
  3. are pretentious
  4. aren’t right for the intended audience

I’ve broken all my own (above) rules. Luckily, I’m a renowned hypocrite amongst my friends anyway so it’s all good.

Broken rule 1: Realign, don’t redesign

I completely rebranded this blog because as I was upgrading (my horrifically) out-of date WordPress it seems a good idea to rid all of the code bloat I’d put in my own template.

I’ve been trying to redesign this site for a while – preferably using my new free WordPress theme ‘Dylan’ and after many failed attempts I struck upon this idea and fell in love with it. I put business sense aside and ran with it.

my readership is quite low, and my brand isn’t fully established so I felt I could get any with this massive change.

Simplebits is the best blog (in my opinion) that realigns instead of redesigns. Each design iteration merely enhances the design and maintains the feel of the previous design. Simplebits has a huge readership and so the redesign method they use never alienate their audience.

Broken rule 2: Test in all browsers before launch

I couldn’t be bothered to test properly. This probably looks crap in IE6 and 7 and I will fix it but, I have to redesign my site around my day job and freelance gigs so I am extremely time limited. This is such bad practice, that I can’t recommend enough that you don’t follow my lead here.

Broken rule 3: Don’t create a pretentious design

This design is black and yellow and nothing else. It couldn’t be more pretentious if it tried, but then the site is called ‘<img /> is everything’ as opposed to ‘Image is Everything’. It’s also massively pretentious to have a website called ‘image is everything’ that features no images on the homepage.

So why have I broken this rule?

I hope this website is yellow enough to stand out from the crowd of other blogs and may lead to more people subscribing. That’s the theory.

Broken rule 4: Create a site that works for your target audience

I haven’t tested this site with any of my target audience, I haven’t got their opinions rather I’ve just done it for myself because I will look at this site more than any other person and so, I’ve created something I would like to look at – it is purely self-indulgent. My audience, will probably be shocked to see an all yellow website – and potential customers will undoubtedly be put off.

Is this a bad thing? Well yes and no. Yes, it will scare off potential business but at the same time it may scare off the clients that I don’t necessarily want to work with.


Do you like the new design, do you hate it, or are you indifferent? Let me know.

12 responses to “Welcome to a world of yellow”

  1. After seeing http://plasticbag.org several months ago I decided that I wanted a “simplified” site too.

    I came up with the basic idea of what I wanted, but being a time strapped non-website designer, I only got as far as http://robgough.net (where I was also writing my own backend, and as I realised I’ve no time for that, I’m in the process of adapting/improving the theme and moving it to wordpress).

    So yeah, I really like it… though I’ll likely keeping reading your site in an rss reader – as I do 99.9% of my “surfing” nowadays. I really do think that the next “style” of websites are going to be cut down like this. At least, I hope they are.

  2. Thanks for the kind words Rob. I used to think that too, but really I like clicking through from my RSS reader to the actual site and seeing the design along with the words.

    If you need help with WordPress themes, my Dylan theme is a really easy to way to start a minimalist WordPress theme and build upon it.

  3. The yellow and black is a strong statement and is definitely a lot clearer to read. The drawback is the association with yellow pages.
    How about using a bit of grey or white or even both to break it up a bit? Liking the commentary to go with the yellow!

  4. Congratulations on destroying your website. Now I can’t read more than a paragraph before it starts to ‘flicker’ and annoy my eyes.

    The layout’s good, just get rid of the yellow!

  5. Simon, thanks for your comment – I’m sorry to hear that the design is problematic for you – perhaps if more people have similar concerns I’ll look into a ‘turn off the yellow’ link.

    Emma, thanks for your suggestions – I’ll keep them in mind

  6. I like it. The typography could do with some more work, though – maybe a nice serif like Helvetica, and a generous font-size (you’ve got long line-lengths, so bumping the text up a bit won’t hurt legibility).

  7. I reckon you should test it on different screens too. The yellow is horrendous, I can see dark patches in the yellow when I move my eyes, created by the contrast of this textarea.

  8. Thanks for the comments Matthew and Billy.

    Billy, I’ll (try to) check it out on other screens – although I’m not sure what you mean by seeing dark patches when you move your eyes.

    So far, people’s comments haven’t been too offensive so thanks for that everyone. Please keep letting me know what you think.

  9. I agree with Billy, it’s not good for my eyesight either. The layout is good but the colours are playing havoc with my eyes.

  10. Sorry to come back to an old post.

    I have still been reading your blog despite struggling with it after the redesign.
    Have you softened the yellow slightly?

    I have to admit, after an initial disapproval, it does work now, I can read your ramblings without it all blurring together.

  11. Simon, I haven’t modified the yellow, it’s still the same (#FF4). I was planning on putting style switcher on the site to allow people to switch to a white background, but I simply never got around to it.

    UPDATE: I did modify the yellow about 6 months later to #FD2.