Cass-E Design

Design, Experiments, Games, Resources

This Site

The design of gets its own page because I'm passionate and long winded about it. My approach to assignments is usually "How can I break it," and this site has been no exception.

Virtually every theme I've used on this site past its first has been built from the ground up, starting with (A bare-bones wordpress theme that aims to give you a consistent starting ground) and most of them have been iterations on what I have now.

I've built this site trying to adhere to these ideas:

  • give it a bit of motion
  • give it a bit of magic
  • break expectations for a blog / especially a wordpress blog
  • don't sacrifice accessibility

As an aside, if my website fails to be accessible in some way, please Contact Me and let me know so I can find a way to fix it!

This has been an adventure. When I first opened the site, I was using a modified version of Libre, then a modified version of Oxygen, and then my first custom theme, which animated when you scrolled. And then 3 more custom themes. And then the current theme - workshop3.

Many of these past themes have significant issues, but I think they're worth documenting.

I've had a lot of ideas that I wanted to explore in web devleopment over time. Some have been more possible than others, and some have been downright ill advised. Some of them simply haven't really been possible via html and css, and some have just been the normal kind of ridiculously impractical.

Accessibility & Expectations

I've always been interested in ways to subvert expectations when it comes to web design, which is relatively difficult for a number of reasons. Put briefly, websites are usually function before form. The function has to match or change the user's expectation, and as a result the form derived from this is limited in its variation. The function is also further controlled by the structure and expectations of HTML and web browsers.

Even more difficult than subverting expectations in an appealing way is subverting them in an accessible way. Perhaps the easiest or most common way to break the mold of traditional web design is to rely on alternative mediums like flash animation, webgl/rendering, and others. Many of these skirt or ignore issues of accessibility, and many suffer from lag and incompatibility between different devices and browsers. There might be 20 ways to do something, but frequently there are only a handful of ways to do it accessibly.

I could write a script so that you could speak the name of the heading or page you wanted to visit. However, if your computer had no microphone, no javascript, or you couldn't talk, you couldn't navigate. So instead you need at least the normal way of navigating, and any new ideas on top of it. These systems may have to work together, so when you use your voice to navigate, it correctly moves your keyboard focus. And so these cool little ideas can build up.

My goal has been to try and find little ways to do things a bit differently while avoiding these issues as much as possible. So we keep trying stuff.

I hope you enjoy your visit, and that it's memorable!