Thursday, June 23, 2011

Introducing: Mobile CJ!

(migrated from my Tripod blog on 11/05/2011)

Remember this from last week?

Those of you with the ability to read QR codes may already know, but for those of you who don't, Conceited Jerk Dot Com now has a mobile version entitled Mobile CJ!

As part of my site's upcoming Tenth Anniversary (and because I was bored), I added a mobile portion to the mess that is my site.  It will feature completely new content that will be completely separate from the main site.  Chances are, it'll be designed, updated, and maintained on my Palm Treo 650 smartphone as an experiment in mobile web design (unlike the main site, which is updated and maintained by whichever computer is on my desk at the moment).

I'd been pissing around with Amaya on my Linux box, trying to design a mobile template that would be the essence of the mobile site... something sleek and modern looking, yet wholly functional.  I've been visiting other mobile sites on my Treo, looking for ideas I could steal adopt, and I even turned to my usual design/architecture/art magazines for some sort of inspiration.

I came up with a few interesting ideas, but the end products were largely uninspiring.   After wracking my brain for a couple of hours, I suddenly remembered something I'd said on Twitter at random this morning...

"I have a strong urge to design something using a seriously unsound design philosophy. More fun that way."

It hit me like the proverbial tonne of bricks...I did something back in '02 that was probably one of the most spontaneously dumb things I've ever done... I grabbed a sheet of looseleaf and drew a title/menu page for my site, scanned it, image-mapped it, and threw it onto the web as my Anti-Webpage, in defiance of the millions of sites online that put eye-candy ahead of content.  It still gets comments to this day!

Based on that success (such as it was), I opted to retool the concept for the mobile web.  Since my target audience would be mobile users, the page would have to be formatted for small screens.  It wouldn't do to use a sheet of looseleaf for the design... no, I'd go with something more appropriate:  I grabbed one of the multitude of little 2.5" X 4" coil notepads people keep giving me, tore a page out, grabbed a pen, and went to town.

What the Hell, it worked once!

I opted for pictorial menu selections instead of plain ol' words in the margin this time.  Hopefully it's a bit more user-friendly.