How would you design this website?

As some of you can no doubt tell, I’m running Atahualpa 3.4 or whatever the latest version of it is. Which means that I have played around with the customisation a lot. I got rid of a lot of bits and pieces, uploaded my own graphics and went with *shock, shock, horror, horror* two serif fonts: Garamond and Zapfino. It’s also all shades of grey, white and black.

Not quite what graphic designers would recommend but hey, I was going for something elegant, readable, that matched my business cards.

Have you seen my business cards? When I want to hand out my business cards, I want them to be something simple and elegant. My name, what I do and my contact info, in black on white, centered in a nice font. Does it need to be anymore complicated than that? Some people seem to think so – there is a lot of noise about making your card as eye-catching as possible. Marisa's business card

So then the website had to match. Or at least be a reasonable facsimile of the card.

But I now am a freelance journalist so the card has to change. I might also be accredited as an editor (I’ll find out in November) which will mean more changes. So since I am itching to change the design of the website why not change the card as well?

So here is my wishlist for the website:

  • black background;
  • Zapfino/Garamond/English as fonts;
  • a picture of me in the header area, possibly part of the main banner;
  • no interference with the usability of the site as it is now – ie: don’t want any heavy duty functional changes;
  • want a unique design that screams “writer” and I also want it to scream “me”/”marisa” but don’t want to go down the route of the paper textures for the main content area; and,
  • would love to have something hand drawn since I doodle swirls a lot – this would mean the design would not just be something anyone else could use with a different header image.

What I would love to have on the business card would be:

  • elegance and simplicity;
  • my name as the biggest text and centered;
  • “journalist | geek goddess |writer | editor” though to be honest the “geek goddess” bit can go because I am not sure I have the time to run around managing sites for people anymore;
  • fonts to be Zapfino or English but a readable serif or otherwise a sans serif font for the small contact info; and,
  • the following things that are negotiable: white/black background; double sided; picture of me on one side, text on the other; a tag cloud of what I do or what I write or who I write for.

But I also want to ask you – the readers who pop back and check this site from time to time. You use the site, what is it that you would want to see changed that would make it more user friendly or readable?

What would you change design wise?

How would you design my website?

Marisa is a globetrotting freelance writer, journalist and editor with cat for hire (her, not the cat). She is currently based in Melbourne.


  • Chamara

    I think firstly you should have a minimum site width as at least 1024×768.

    And give some more visibility to the navigation & other body links.

    Other than that as site is in WordPress you can do what ever design change you need 🙂


  • Bailaman

    Honestly, I wouldn’t change a thing. I like this design. If I was to really pick at something then the white background on your sidebar title should disappear. If you must keep them, they should have rounded corners IMHO. The sidebar titles I’m referring to are on the right of the screen. Where it says ‘Tags’ and ‘published work’?

    • Marisa


      I see what you mean about the titles – hmmm, will try to fix that. Glad you like the design though. Might try on a few other themes for size and see if I like it in black. Definitely have to redo the header image though.

  • Chamara

    Hi, sorry for my late reply.

    Regarding the colors, you can go for variations from black to white. Or else the orange in that RSS icon.

    When you resize the site for 1024×768 resolution header image is missing some parts 🙂

    Just saw “>” at the top of the page. Seems like some HTML tag is missing there?

    And also if you can install a subscribe to comments plugin would be great. Then when some one comment on any post & he will be inform when others comment on the same.


  • Kyle

    The only sensible ends of literature are, first, the pleasurable toil of writing; second, the gratification of one’s family and friends; and lastly, the solid cash.

  • Malcolm Pian

    Could you please translate your site into Italian since I’m not that comfortable reading it in English? I’m getting tired of using Google Translate all the time, there is a cool WP plugin called like global translator which will render all your posts by default- this would make reading posts on your great blog even more pleasant. Cheers mate, Malcolm Pian!

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