I owe you a blog post, so I asked Yi what to write about. And the oracle suggests 39.3 changing to Hexagram 8: difficulty and turnaround through seeking union. This, I realised, was all about The Redesign.
I’m getting my site redesigned. This – I know from the last time I undertook it, too many years ago – is generally long, hard work. Hexagram 39’s picture of struggle, and maybe some desire to shut oneself up in a small hut until it all goes away (like in the Chinese character for ‘Difficulties’), is pretty much on the money.
And so too is what’s different this time. Previously, I’ve done almost everything for this site myself, apart from getting some help with programming. But what you see is what I built – over six months – with a whole lot of brightly-coloured language and burning desire to take an axe to the graphics program. This time, I’m getting myself some help.
The hexagram-39-ish parallel to this is found in the story of Gun and Yu. Basically, I’m going southwest this time, and seeking allies, rather than setting out alone into those cold northeastern mountains of graphics programs and cross-browser compatibility. And my first ally of choice is Dawud Miracle, a very skilled, very warm, very honest web designer.
Stephen Karcher says Hexagram 8 is about, amongst other themes, “how you use ideas to categorise things” – and my site needs a new navigation system. A lot of people who visit it wouldn’t think so… but then, of course, how are you to know what’s there that you can’t find?
So after the redesign, you’ll be able to find all the information here, easily, and also all the different things for sale. And I’ll have room to add more products and services without hiding them away in ever-more–obscure corners of the site.
This blog will actually be properly integrated into the site, and so will the free members’ area (which is getting an upgrade).
“Going difficulty, coming turnaround.”
This line sits at the midpoint between two stories of Yu the Great. After the decades he spent battling the floods, he ordered the new world and laid the foundations for China’s first dynasty – that’s the story Hexagram 8 alludes to. So in this position, as befits the third line, I’m looking forward with a mix of anticipation and trepidation to implementing some new ideas. This is where I start from scratch and have a major rethink about how it all fits together.
A great deal will stay the same. None of the content will disappear, though it’ll all move around a bit, and there’ll be natural room for more. The site’s appearance won’t change a great deal, either: the colours will be much the same, if a little gentler, and the text’s moving into a narrower column to be easier to read. And it’ll be a lot easier to find stuff.
Yu’s flood control work took him decades; Dawud says we should be finished in 6 weeks’ time. So if you have any suggestions at all about what you’d like to see here, now is the perfect time to tell me. Everything’s still open: appearance, organisation, content, features… If there is anything you’d like changed, or anything you’d like to tell me not to change, post a comment. I can’t promise to follow every suggestion (you know what they say about pleasing all the people all the time), but I’ll most assuredly take notice. Clarity definitely has its roots in the southwest.