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Design Evolutions

A visual diary of the design iterations of urbanmainframe.com.

Unfortunately, I have no images of the design the website launched with (template name: Iceberg). This is probably for the best though, Iceberg was really, really bad!

Despite its many failings, Iceberg was the Urban Mainframe's longest lived template, staying with the website from it's launch on March 30th, 2003 until the introduction of Aqua on February 3rd, 2004.

Template: Aqua (670 x 503 @ 177 Kb)...

Template: Aqua

Taking design cues from Apple's Mac OS X operating system, the appropriately named "Aqua" was the Urban Mainframe's "skin" from February 3rd, 2004 - April 19th, 2004.

Template: Aston (670 x 503 @ 194 Kb)...

Template: Aston

Aston was the Urban Mainframe's "skin" from April 19th, 2004 - August 2nd, 2004.

The template took an awful long time to put together, mostly because I was refactoring the CMS and programming new features into it for the Aston design.

Aston featured a header graphic that was randomly selected from a collection of 12 images on each page request.

However, for most of the development period I used just one image, that of the Aston Martin Vanquish that you can see in screen capture - hence the template name: Aston.

Sadly I was never completely happy with Aston, despite the enormous effort that had gone into it.

Template: Kernel (670 x 503 @ 244 Kb)...

Template: Kernel

Urban Mainframe's "skin" from August 2nd, 2004 - present.

With Kernel, I attempted to address the perceived failings of Aston, namely the cluttered sidebar and a principle content area that did not stand out from the rest of the page.

I have used colour to separate the content area from the template. I also refactored the sidebar completely to make it less cluttered and more user-friendly.

The Kernel design was completed in less than 48-hours, including the programming of a couple of new features in the underlying CMS.