Blogger relaunches! It’s currently covering the front pages of all great blogs out there, (excuse my while I drop some names) Whitespace, What Do I Know, phil ringnalda dot com

Well, it’s certainly a change from the old three columned blocky design. Bowman and Adaptive Path (the guys who designed the site, read about it at adaptive path or at StopDesign) have stuck with the ‘Big is Beautiful’ theme; the orange and blue colour scheme combined with the large friendly rollover icons will certainly alter the Blogger brand. The new curvy icons and buttons reflect the step back from the almost aggressive design Blogger held previously (the typeface change in the logo also reflects this: no more large capitals, but your standard curvy sans-serif font).

New features

While some are still overcome by the words ‘Blogger’ and ‘comments’ together in one sentance, there’s some more features that are worth a look at.

  • The choice of Atom feeds is a curious one — RSS still remains the dominant standard, and it’s possible this choice will influence some of the existing feed owners out there to switch. It’s pretty likely Blogger using Atom will do more for the standard than all of Mark Pilgrim’s posts on the standard so far.
  • Templates! And from ‘rock-star’ designers as Phil Ringnalda puts it (how many more times do you think I’ll link to that post before this one ends? :)) will be a great asset. Hey kids! Roll up and get your site designed by the likes of Cederholm, Shea (why do I have to constantly tell myself it’s Shay and not Shee-a?) and Zeldman! Nice.
  • Template tags. They’ve gone with MT style tags that look like XML rather than the WP plain-old PHP function calls.

More changes

The slogan’s changed and moved more into the background. You can just about make it out, blue text on blue background, in the header of most of the pages. It’s also been shortened, losing the final clause that gave the slogan a rather left wing feel (if you have no idea what I’m talking about, the old slogan was ‘Push-Button publishing for the people, by the way).

The design’s pretty usable. The large text goes with the theme of the design, but other measures have been taken such as using standard link colours (minus one for visited links), and unstyled form elements. For the unordered lists, a simple coloured bullet suffices, in contrast to the complicated background-image method which so many websites are using nowadays (this annoys me — I can no longer select a list item by clicking the bullet!)

This seems a major flaw in the code: although a XHTML strict doctype was specified (which is a fantastic decision by the way, and I don’t care who made it, Bowman or Google) the pages contain plenty of self-closing tags that, well, aren’t self-closing. Fragments such as ‘<br>’ shouldn’t be getting through the CMS that Blogger is using to create the pages. The code’s pretty damn semantic though, although slightly liberal uses of <em> and <strong> perhaps let this aspect down.

In summary

A really nice design, a great success for Bowman and Adaptive Path, which is pretty damn near perfect! Thumbs up!