The new look of Nookkin.com

After many years, nookkin.com is finally getting its first major facelift! The original design was created when I was 15-16 years old (hey, if it ain't broke...) but was clearly showing its age. Here's a quick progress update.

"Material-inspired" redesign

Flat and minimalist is the latest design trend. While nookkin.com has slowly gotten flatter, it's time for something completely different. Enter a new theme largely inspired by Google's Material design.

Material is based on the concept of "cards", some of which are color-coded. While I could assign arbitrary colors to the accents, I instead opted to use the fact that I am a synesthete to generate "synesthesia color" accents based on content (title, version number, date, and so on).

Responsive mobile layout

Instead of a rather terrible mobile site designed for 2008-era Windows Mobile smartphones, Nookkin.com now features a responsive design with a neat flyout menu. Check it out on your mobile device (or resize your browser window).

Search engine

While Google Custom Search is easy to set up, it isn't particularly customizable and is very difficult to fully integrate into the theme of the site. It was clearly time to set up a custom search engine of my own. I wrote it from scratch and based it on a combination of pattern matching (for titles and tags) and MySQL's fulltext index (for body text). Since I am no longer bound by Google's restrictions, I am able to make the search fit the theme of the site perfectly. Try it now – use the Search bar at the top of the page (or at the top of the flyout menu if you're on mobile).

New servers

Nookkin.com is now being hosted on a beefier Windows 2012 R2 server (upgraded from Windows 2008) – as before, I am managing the server myself, so I have full control over the versions and configuration of PHP, MySQL, and the like. I am also in the process of creating a mirror site, which can be accessed via www2.nookkin.com in case the main site ever goes down.

Downloads microsite

dl.nookkin.com went live months ago without much of an announcement. (You may have noticed it if you tried to download something.) So far it seems to be working without any major issues.

While this looks like a minor visual improvement to users, it's very different on the backend. Instead of merely tracking files, my system tracks products, versions, and variants as well. I'm developing an internal API for this to make it even easier to access the data. This makes it trivial to, say, link to the latest beta version of NPS Image Editor with a link that will always be up to date. Internally, the API will be used for querying for update availability in products like NPS Image Editor which check for updates on startup. A lot more cool things are possible with this, such as a dynamic list of release notes between versions, linking specific products/versions in issue trackers, and more.

On a side note, it has been over 2 years since my last blog post. I really should do something about that...

Feedback is appreciated!

Please let me know if you notice anything broken, or if you have suggestions for further improving the site!

Posted on Sunday, June 19, 2016 at 1:23 PM | Permalink | Tags: nookkin.com, material, mobile, NookkinCMS

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