Redefining mentalized

It’s that redesign time of the year again, and I was getting tired of the old layout and wanted to try out some new ideas and things. So I pretty much tore mentalized apart and put it back together from the scratch.

I had a bunch of goals with the redesign, overall I wanted to make mentalized simpler, more consolidated, a website that I felt I could add things to without feeling restrained by what was already there.

I wanted to…

…Get rid of the features section

I myself am not even sure what goes there and what goes in the journal, so how could I expect users to be? All my “features” have been moved to the journal as regular entries, and redirects have been set up to send readers to the proper new URLs.

…Play with a grid-adhering layout

Being massively impressed with Khoi Vinh’s Substraction 7.0 I wanted to do something along the same lines he did. Grids and metadata on the left hand side were my main objectives.

…Create a design without a sidebar

I don’t think I’ve ever had a design on mentalized that didn’t feature some sort of sidebar. My challenge to myself was to make the site work without one. I am not sure I’ve succeeded, and it basically means the sidebar has been pushed down below the main content. Neither am I sure this is really a good idea after all, what do you think?

…Integrate with external sites

Tagging, taxonomies,, Technorati, Flickr are the hip buzzword du jour, so obviously I wanted to see if I could do something to improve mentalized’s integration with these sites.

So far, I am still thinking about how to go about it, but it is my hope that the new layout allows me to better do this.

…Stop relying on quicklinks

One thing I have done, though, is move my Quicklinks to They are now posted once a day from to my separate Quicklinks blog. They’ve also been moved from the main content area, which is now reserved for my actual writings.

I do worry, though, that they’ve become invisible down there at their new location, so they might be moved back to the main content area at some point.

If I could figure out how to make post to a specific category (it just seems to ignore the category id I tell it to post to), I could scrap the Quicklinks blog entirely, I guess. That would require me to take that category out of my feed though, since I really don’t want people to receive notification that my site has been updated whenever I post a link to the funny flash movie of the day.

…Find an excuse to play with linked lists

While I’ve somewhat aimed at playing with linked lists for category listings and whatnot, I am not quite there yet. Main hurdle is to look into how to get Movable Type to output them, I guess.

Final thoughts

I still have some ideas I want to try out, particularly navigationwise. Neither am I fully content with how the site looks at the moment, so I will be tweaking it in the days to come.

Basically, I am happy having mentalized return as my virtual playground, and I will try to play more with it in the future.