It's not exactly a secret that the next version of Rawkes is on the way. Over the last few months I've been thinking about the redesign non-stop and coming up with lots of awesome ideas to make this version really stand out. I suppose before I get onto the new features and design I should talk briefly about what's going to change.
The story so far
At the moment Rawkes is primarily a platform for my freelance business with a blog tacked onto the side. Freelancing was my sole income back in last April when Rawkes version 2 (this one) was created, so it was important for me to centre the site around it to keep me fed and watered. Since then things have changed quite dramatically for me; I worked full-time for a few months and most noticeably started a university course last September.
It has been university which ultimately shifted my focus away from freelancing, in turn making my only work on Rawkes via the blog. I've found no need or desire for freelance work recently and because of this I will be dropping it completely from version 3 of Rawkes. The new focus of the site will be on the blog and my participation within the web community. I enjoy blogging and sharing my knowledge with people so what better way to accomplish that than shift Rawkes to suit my updated needs.
Out with the old, in with the new
The blog won't be staying exactly the same either. Rawkes weekly will be disappearing completely; It was fun to do but it sucks a lot of time compiling those resources each week. In it's place will be a more regular posting schedule consisting of immediate news in the industry (no more waiting a week for it all), thorough articles on hot and interesting topics, tutorials and screencasts, and much more. The blog is going to really become an active and, I'm hoping, useful resource.
Enough about the blogging. What else will Rawkes do? Well it's funny you ask that because I was just about to tell you all about the amazing new Rawkes Laboratory!
The Lab, as it's affectionately named, will be the hub for my experimentation and projects I'm working on. These will range from jQuery plugins to exploring brand new programming languages, products and skills. It will be my playground on the web and somewhere, I hope, that will be of use to others on the internet. I suppose you could think of it as the Rawkes goody bag; a whole bunch of free stuff!
And now for the bit you've all been waiting for, the unveiling of the new design… well after I talk about it a little!
In a design sense, the current version of Rawkes is quite simplistic in it's approach — pixel graphics, simple gradients, etc. This wasn't an accident, it's a style I enjoy and one which I hadn't tried out before. It was received really well and has been featured on countless design galleries and round-up posts. I was pretty chuffed to say the least. For the next version of Rawkes I didn't want to make a completely fresh start. It already has some firm foundations so why ruin that? It was decided that the space theme would be kept and that the little rocket would still be around. For some reason people like that little guy… Keeping key elements was the furthest I was prepared to go though as I wanted the new design to look and feel a lot tighter and professional.
Enough of my chatter. I proudly present to you the beginnings of the new Rawkes, complete with empty content holders.
That's all folks
I'm sure you're going, "But where is…? Why haven't you…?". Don't worry, this is by no means complete. Currently it's 2 days work on paper and in Photoshop and is evolving and being refined every single minute. I highly doubt the final version will look the same pixel for pixel but I felt it would be nice to show you where I'm at.
I'll keep you posted with the development progress as it goes on.