Tuesday, November 6, 2012

New Look

Asalamu Alaykom,

Obviously, if you're a long-time reader of this blog, you're looking at some changes to the layout of "After Hardship".  I hope that you still can identify it as a blog you want to read.

A blog is a communication tool.  Alhumdulillah, it's enabled me to reach out into the world to so many people.  The extrovert in me chortles in glee over the thought!

The old look was a garden theme.  When I created it, I had wanted a sense of a safe place; a secret garden.  A peaceful place!  A place where I could express myself but limit the scope to things that were pure, good, true and helpful.  I think the old theme of orange flowers, vines and greenery helped me envision that inner hope.

However, that old look didn't really communicate my new life.  I have been in Egypt for over three years now.  I don't live in a garden.  I live in the desert.  There was a disconnect in where I was and what you were seeing.

This new look is fully connected to the place I'm in now.  I've used the colors of my surroundings.  I've imbibed it with the spirit of my new life.  I've loaded it with pictures from my neighborhood.  I've avoided tourist shots.  I'm not a tourist.  I'm here because I made hijrah for the sake of Allah.  I wanted you to feel the vibrancy of regular life as you go through the streets.  I love each picture I've taken on my sidebar.  Do you like them?  Do you have a favorite?

What I've eliminated are the whimsical widgets.  They didn't seem to fit in with the new surroundings.  I might put some back if I can find the right look.  I would also be interested in hearing what you, the readers, think of that aspect.  Did you use the widgets?  Are there some you miss?

I also want to hear about the fonts and colors I'm using.  I want this blog to look good but most importantly to be readable.  Is it easy on the eyes?  Is there something you'd like changed?  Let me know.

Most importantly, I don't want to lose the spirit of this blog.  I want it to remain a peaceful place.  I want to the focus to remain on what's pure, good, true and helpful.  I want to feel that as I write and hopefully you will feel it when you read.

I'm going to continue to tweak it.

I want it to be a place I'm proud of.  I've built this blog and I need it to represent the best I can offer.

Thanks for your readership.

I'm looking forward to your suggestions!

Love and Light!


Marie Vie said...

I like this new look and as you explained it represents better where you stand on this journey, which is good.
It is nice with the photos - I would say all are great as they show us where you live. As you know a bit of my heart is in Egypt so to visit and read you feels like being there with you.

I don't think I ever used the widgets but I have to say I like your polls, so keep sharing.

All the best dear! Much love to you and your family.

Anonymous said...

Assalaamu alaikum,
I love this new look. I have been a silent reader for quite a long time now with your face revealed I feel like you are someone living next door. I like the pictures too.
-Umm yousuf

Thankful Slave said...

Assalam Aleikum,

This is a good improvement from the previous version, keep it up,



Gori and Khan said...

As a woman who does not typically adapt to change very well, I must say I think they new look is neat! Seeing visual reminders of where you are as you are blogging gives us readers a deeper insight. So I say keep it! You will tweak this layout a million times I'm sure! I really like the pictures on the sidebar! In many ways, it reminds me of Pakistan and the simplicity (and hardship) of life there. I miss it (and loathe it at the same time!).

Keep the polls! I like to see how others have voted. Curiosity killed the cat, but gives us women (and some men I'm sure) something to think about. :)

Blessings to you!

Yosra said...

Wa Alaykom Asalam Everyone!

I really appreciate the comments.

Thanks, Marie, for being such a big supporter. I'm glad you understand my reasoning for the change.

You can consider the heart on the sidebar "Marie's heart in Egypt".

Umm Yousef, I'm really happy you spoke up. Why not? It's nice to have neighbors!

Thanks, TS, for the positivity.

G&K, you make some really great points (as always). You all needed some visuals, didn't you? I'm a teacher and I forgot the importance of them on the blog!

The photos do show a different world...my world...maybe "yes" a bit like Pakistan and other countries where the streets aren't as clean as the homes and (hopefully) the hearts.

Since you aren't the only one wanting the polls to stay...they will stay. Does anyone need a blog post with the summing up of the polls later? Or can I just let them fade away without comment?

Yes, I'll keep tweaking.

One advise I've since read is that the color red is bad for a link; an action item since red is the color for inaction; stop. Anyone feel this? The hover color (when your cursor moves over the link) is a gray so maybe that makes it OK.

Keep the comments coming! I'm glad to get the feedback.

Love and Light!