Tag Archives: Nicolò Volpato

New Spring Design

Time to come out of your RSS readers and visit the site. In celebration of Spring, Summer, the new domain, and WordPress 2.5 I’m launching a new version of Photo Matt / Ma.tt. Here’s a before and after picture:

Old and new ma.tt

A couple of functionality changes you’ll notice:

  • Thumbnails and photos are now much larger. (Especially photos, now 840px wide.) Imagine it like going HD, you’ll definitely enjoy it more on broadband.
  • I’ve brought back the photo tech details like aperture and focal length.
  • In addition to posts and asides, I’m now doing new post types: galleries, quotes, videos, and highlight photos.
  • You can now click on a photo to go to the next one, making  browsing galleries easier.
  • The header is a lot shorter, so you get to the content faster. You can’t say I have a big head anymore. :)
  • I’m starting to use the new taxonomy bits in 2.5 to tag people, places (geotagging), things, and concepts in the various photos. (More on this later, still a bit broken.)
  • This is the first iteration of this site that is powered entirely by WordPress. (I know, 5 years late. The cobbler’s children go shoeless!) Before it was a cobbled together set of PHP includes and software like Gallery. Now 100% WP.
  • Gravatars are much more prominent. I wonder if there’s a way to only allow comments from people with Gravatars? It looks so much better.
  • Name has changed from Photo Matt to Ma.tt, tagline is the same.

The fine design was executed by Nicolò Volpato, the same talented fellow who did the last design. My concept was to evoke Spanish talavera, inspired by my trips to Spain and Argentina and pottery at my parents’ house like this, this, and this. It was a lot of fun to work with Nicolò on and I already have a few ideas for Fall. :)

I’ve been noodling on the implementation for months now. Last night I had just arrived from New York and it turned out the Jay-Z/Mary J Blige concert in Oakland got postponed so I found myself with a bit of time on my hands and decided to tie up all the loose ends. There are still a ton of things broken like the photo border on portrait images, I still have 15k old photos to import, and you may see the old design on some older pages, but I wanted to get it out there. There are also some weird things, like Firefox seems to back the background image blurry while it’s razor-sharp in IE and Safari. I feel like I’ve seen that somewhere before.

Finally I’m hoping to release a lot of the work I did here, including a version of the old theme, the plugin + script I’m using to resize all my old images on the fly, the taxonomy stuff, and some core improvements to WP to make some of the things I’m doing here easier. (I got lazy and did some direct SQL queries, etc.)