Designing this blog
My main focus when designing the look-and-feel of this site was to make it ultra-readable on any device, minimising the chrome to keep visitors free of distraction. This site is not intended to sell anything (although maybe it showcases some ability in my UX, IA design, as well as my professional skill-set), and I know return visitors to blogs are minimal. So it's imperative that the short stay users spend on these articles are informative and frustration free. A huge part of achieving that is through my writing ability and the content I choose, but is also through the look-and-feel of each article.
My main inspiration for that came from, not another website, but Evernote's Clearly Chrome browser extension. This tool transforms webpages as best it can to make them as readable as possible, removing page content that is deems irrelevant to the main content of the page. In so doing, the reader is typically left with a grey webpage with clean, uncluttered text, and only the images that sit within the article.
The core design for this blog comes from the beautiful Willsong theme by Marcos Navarro.
I used sites like Font Pair to choose complimentary font matches, deciding on Dancing Script for the headings, and Quicksand for the body. I made the font size large, not to make it seem like there's more content than there is, but to ensure the viewer's reading experience is as easy as possible. For example, if a reader is dual-screening, perusing an article on this site while watching television in the background, I want the text to be large and clear enough to allow them, you, glance away and back and hopefully maintain your train of thought.
For a feature image, I chose a picture of Wellington I took from the Mount Victoria look-out to highlight a beautiful area near where I live, and provide visitors to the site more of a connection to the content. I embellished links and some other elements a little, perhaps over-doing it.
I kept some icons in the footer to allow users find out more about me. How often those are ever clicked (I know I've almost never clicked those on other sites), I could care less. So I chose links to sites I use most often, there-by ensuring they remain up-to-date, and that might interest IT people that see the logos.
Apart from all that, the message remains the same. Less is more, and focus on an easy reading experience for my viewers.