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  • About two months ago, I started up a blog, strøtanker om bæredygtighed. The blog is in Danish language and the title translates something like ‘reflections on sustainability’.

    After two days of struggling with terrible design options, I gave up the blog options of my web hotel, and decided on a WordPress blog. Then I spent quite some time deciding on a theme. I ended up with ‘skimmed milk’. It is a very elegant and well designed theme, making beautiful pages just from the words.

    But for my use, I need to be able to include a lot of images, and I like including also rather abstract image comments. So I have distorted the ‘skimmed milk’ theme with a slight extension of the width of the main column to be able to accommodate images of 600 pixel width. Actually (shame on me), the width is right now slightly more than 600 pixel, making the right alignment slightly sloppy. But I hope to meet some day soon a person who can adjust the width to the exact pixel.

    So until now, my main focus in the design process has been trying to set up some rules for image formats and positioning that gives a certain freedom of use (& format) while keeping a certain unity of appearance. The 5:1 horizontal format has been quite a challenge, but I like to play with it, and works well with the blog format.

    Two months ago, I knew absolutely nothing about blogs, and still everything is so new to me, so I should be very grateful for a review of my blog and some suggestions on how to develop/improve its design. Regarding soft or harsh review, I should like the harsh review, softly communicated.

    I consider making some day a Danish translation of ‘skimmet milk’. But for now, the language mix works surprisingly well. Also, in case I had the CSS skills, I might like to omit the grey shading of the comments area, or to try to use it as indicator of author’s reply. This is the only area of the ‘skimmet milk’ design that I do not fully agree with.

    For now, strøtanker om bæredygtighed is mainly a personal blog, covering multiple aspects of sustainability with a global perspective and a local focus on sustainable development of Copenhagen. But the long time intention of the blog is to establish a communication and information platform for a local agenda 21 centre for the central part of Copenhagen to be established later this year. Therefore, in time there will be multiple authors, and there will be a set of pages outside the blog, including basic centre information and a comprehensive link section.

    Warm regards from Copenhagen,
    Jens Hvass

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  • Well, I can’t read Danish, so I can’t comment on the content. In terms of the other aspects of the blog, I’ll say what I say about a lot of sites (and what many people will disagree with me on) I am not a fan of “true” white backgrounds for the bulk of a blog. I think it is hard on the eyes and makes reading difficult. I think an “off-white” background is better if you are wanting a bright background. That, however, is just a personal perspective.

    My only other critical assessment would be that to me the header needs a little something more — maybe even just a line marking the separation from the body. I personally am a fan of graphical headers which pop or send a message about the blog, but a lot of folks prefer plain text. Still, it just sort of seems to need a hard edge.

    Otherwise, I think you are doing a fine job, and I really like the button you use to link to your other site — very chic.

    That’s a nice site you’ve got there, and I agree that the theme you’ve chosen is a nice one.

    One tip: go to the “Reading Options” page of your WordPress administration panel (I believe it is located here), and reduce the number of posts to show on blog pages; I’d recommend about 8. Currently, I think that too many posts are being displayed on your home page.

    Unfortunately, I don’t know much Danish so I can’t review the content…

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