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Welcome to the New Design

Dec 07, 2009 95 Comments

After 3 years of using my Phoenix theme for this site, I finally redesigned it. I actually rebuild the entire site (both frontend and database) using the latest WordPress 2.8. So you may notice that some of the old content and  comments are removed (I apologize if I have deleted your comments). I will write a detailed design process about this redesign soon. Meanwhile, let me know what do you think of the redesign. If you find any bugs, please report them to me. Finally, I would like to thank everyone who provided me with feedbacks and suggestions via twitter @nickla during my redesign process. Big thanks to everyone!

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95 Comments… +add yours?

  1. Dec 07, 2009 @ 02:23:03

    Nick La

    Welcome to the new design and I hope you have a great visit!

    • Dec 07, 2009 @ 14:34:57

      DKumar M.

      Nice design La!! Really impassive!! Keep up the good work.

    • Dec 07, 2009 @ 16:40:44

      Jack Lucky

      Congrats with the new design. I always love you design work.
      1. illustrated elements blends perfectly.
      2. i love the mouse over animation for top menu.
      3. beautiful colour.
      4. i love all animation effects.

      – why you having collapsing and expanding comment list, when there is no reply for any comments (p.s. i think we can minimize all third level comment by default like digg does).

    • Dec 07, 2009 @ 16:43:40

      Jack Lucky

      oh! we can’t have third level comment, but comment doesn’t minimize all reply’s.

    • Dec 07, 2009 @ 17:53:27


      Just have one word WOW!, I love your designs good job

    • Dec 07, 2009 @ 18:09:11


      I love header, footer, post-type icons, color

      The serif font in the content and comment seems a bit too packed for me though.
      Maybe more line-height and letter spacing?

    • Dec 07, 2009 @ 21:32:49


      Threaded comments FTW! :)
      I think I liked the darker design a little better, but this looks great, too.

    • Dec 13, 2009 @ 19:51:50

      Noura Yehia

      I just love how much details you have taken care of in the new design. Also the background is a piece of work.
      Congrats :)

  2. Dec 07, 2009 @ 11:13:34


    Awesome design, colors are easy on the eyes as well. :D

  3. Dec 07, 2009 @ 11:21:03


    Whoah – looks VERY good, well done.The hand-drawn elements look very sweet, great work!

  4. Dec 07, 2009 @ 11:26:08


    It’s a nice design I like it!

  5. Dec 07, 2009 @ 11:26:15

    James Rayers

    Great job Nick. Overall it has a very nice feel. I see it becoming just as popular as the previous design!

    One thought, perhaps a slightly different colour for the header texts, they seem a little bland, or maybe its just me.

  6. Dec 07, 2009 @ 11:30:14

    Chris M

    Nice going Nick, we’ve all been waiting! :)

  7. Dec 07, 2009 @ 11:34:56


    Congrats with the new design. Looks great!

  8. Dec 07, 2009 @ 11:44:49


    brilliant Nick! :) glad you made it before 2010. I love the Khoi fish even more.

  9. Dec 07, 2009 @ 11:45:48

    Jamie Yates

    Amazing work. So many redesigns of my favourite websites have disappointed recently but this definitely doesn’t :)

  10. Dec 07, 2009 @ 11:47:41


    looks brilliant Nick! :) love the khoi fish even more.

  11. Dec 07, 2009 @ 11:47:53


    nothing more to say…really great work :D no lets wait for further contents :D

  12. Dec 07, 2009 @ 11:48:53

    Elisabeth Irgens

    Your new design is really beautiful and a great inspiration on use of WordPress. Well done!

  13. Dec 07, 2009 @ 11:55:46

    Lukes Beard

    WOW , amazing work. Beautifully done. I’m keen to see the process :)

  14. Dec 07, 2009 @ 12:02:01


    It’s good then last design well done are you give me a design for my blog

  15. Dec 07, 2009 @ 12:05:11

    Nick La

    Thanks for all the feedbacks! Don’t forget to try out the animated collapsing and expanding comment list.

  16. Dec 07, 2009 @ 12:08:20

    Michael Wilson

    Awesome new design! I’m really loving the new colour scheme!

  17. Dec 07, 2009 @ 12:23:06


    love it! can’t wait to see your design process ^^,

  18. Dec 07, 2009 @ 12:25:28

    Rakesh Suryavardhan

    Really its so nice, so lovely and must say very cool for eyes. It feels spending lot of time with this site. Best wishes to you Nick. And keep inspiring we like small designers to do better job.Thank you

  19. Dec 07, 2009 @ 12:25:48

    Thomas Eilander

    Very well done Nick, it’s a great design!

  20. Dec 07, 2009 @ 12:36:25


    Finnaly!! Congratulations! A good work! Great design. Add to bookmart!

  21. Dec 07, 2009 @ 12:50:50

    Stevie K

    Loving the colour scheme and style and textures on the site, classic yet seemingly fresh. One gripe I do have though is that I believe the leading on the body text in the articles is a little too tight for maximum legibility.

  22. Dec 07, 2009 @ 12:58:25

    danc Chan

    If you ask me about the previous one and this one, definitely I would choose the latter. I think this one look more mature and professional. Be it the sense of the design or the way you illustrated. I like it especially of the tattoo concept. I really appreciate and like the way how you interpret the elements that inspired you. I am looking forward to your new blog about the process of this new website process. Thanks Nick

  23. Dec 07, 2009 @ 13:02:30

    Brad Colbow

    Looks fantastic, great job merging the illustrated elements so seamlessly into the deign.

  24. Dec 07, 2009 @ 13:30:06


    it’s nice, but looks like it has been designed with a tiny computer screen :
    in my old Apple 20inch screen (1680 X 1050) its looks very big (and great also :) ).
    Very beautiful.
    Have a good day

  25. Dec 07, 2009 @ 13:44:03


    It looks fantastic! The previous version was a classic and I’m sure this will be as well!

  26. Dec 07, 2009 @ 14:02:54


    Again, very beautiful design! Love the reply and Author tags on the comments.

  27. Dec 07, 2009 @ 14:14:25

    that guy

    Like the design, but have to say: the home page header looks like it has a giant tattooed penis in it and I’m not sure that I like the way it’s looking at me.

    I know, I know – don’t be…

    • Dec 08, 2009 @ 01:04:21

      Nick La

      LOL. Good imagery.

    • Dec 09, 2009 @ 15:50:27

      Another guy

      I have to agree with that guy. The fish is phallic.

      Other than that, outstanding work, as usual!

  28. Dec 07, 2009 @ 15:53:26


    This is simply gorgeous! You have done a wonderful job with the redesign of this site. I loved former design too. The colors you used here are both unique and very pleasing to the eye. Congratulations!

  29. Dec 07, 2009 @ 16:00:12


    Vaowww. very nice great re-design Nick. Wonderful!

  30. Dec 07, 2009 @ 16:40:18

    Kawsar Ali

    Looks really great. Your da man Nick. Keep up the creative work.

  31. Dec 07, 2009 @ 17:27:14


    Woww! Terrific design! I love colours, animations and awesome illustrations. Congrats Nick. :-D

  32. Dec 07, 2009 @ 17:50:41


    Fantastic new design, really like the colours, and these collapsible comments are a nice touch.

    I’d be interested to know how you added the little round buttons in your portfolio pages to select a different project image. Is this a modification of the standard WP Gallery functionality? Thanks :-)

  33. Dec 07, 2009 @ 18:17:56


    omg, this new version is awesome! especially the wallpapers *_* OMG! now I am using one of them! great job!

  34. Dec 07, 2009 @ 18:21:35


    A master-class in web design as expected :) Superb attention to detail and personality. Bravo Nick!

  35. Dec 07, 2009 @ 18:32:53

    Ovi Demetrian Jr

    It may interest you to know that the RSS for the blog is not being detected by the browser (the code to do this appears to be missing). Not sure if you meant to do this or not. If you did do it on purpose I’d be curious to know why.

  36. Dec 07, 2009 @ 18:34:34


    Hi Nick,
    very impressive design !
    Very clean, well balanced, good typographic work, great color scheme, amazing illustrations….
    Waho…I’m always surprised by the quality of your works !

  37. Dec 07, 2009 @ 18:46:04

    Chad Engle

    Nick this looks amazing! Another creative site design for you to put under your belt eh? Really good looking and congrats on the launch.

  38. Dec 07, 2009 @ 19:14:31

    Rob Barker

    Just been showing a client a few WP themes and came across this through Web Designer Wall. Her site is for a more formal setup but the layout of header items and images both nailed down exactly what we were looking for. I’d be really interested in finding out more about the css to see what I can learn. Can’t wait for the promised design rundown mate!

  39. Dec 07, 2009 @ 19:16:27


    great work.

  40. Dec 07, 2009 @ 19:27:36

    Ted Goas

    In addition to the overall visual, I that you’ve paid great attention to detail in this version. Smaller typography, mouse-overs, more. kudos!

  41. Dec 07, 2009 @ 20:19:56


    Very nice indeed! I really dig the “hover tips” on some of your main links. My only beefs would be: 1) the little “minus signs” next to comments don’t really look great, and the functionality seems kinda pointless; 2) the “main” links on the top row look like normal headers with the italicized items looking like the only links.

    But those are minor quibbles, methinks. The overall look is very cool: I especially like the form elements, the illustrations, and the lettering on the main headers.

  42. Dec 07, 2009 @ 20:27:55


    Love the new design, awesome job! Really, great job!

  43. Dec 07, 2009 @ 21:20:42

    Hindi Old Movies

    I have a question, is Design > SEO or Desigh < SEO ???

  44. Dec 07, 2009 @ 21:56:44


    As always Nick, incredible work. You’re making the web a more beautiful place, keep it up :)

  45. Dec 07, 2009 @ 21:58:11

    Laneth Sffarlenn

    This is an amazing reworking Nick, very nice indeed! Am loving the subtle additions you’ve made, they really make the experience enjoyable!

    Also, the art is beautiful, as is the colour scheme. Very, very nice!

  46. Dec 07, 2009 @ 22:38:48


    it’s f-ing awesome – sorry for swearing but it is. Outstanding work. Love everything about it. Hover icons and tool tips are brilliant. It’s the little things you’ve done so well. Congrats on a great great redesign.

  47. Dec 07, 2009 @ 23:05:06


    It really rocks. :)
    Congrats for all Nick!

  48. Dec 08, 2009 @ 00:32:01


    Cool design, very much web 2.0 and lot of space. Great look.

  49. Dec 08, 2009 @ 00:57:03


    It´s GREAT! You are a genius dude! It´s one of the best web design I´ve ever seen.

  50. Dec 08, 2009 @ 01:36:12


    Awesome!! It’s neat and clean. The colors are good, too. I prefer this new design than the previous Phoenix design. This one has more “traditional Chinese” feel. Brilliant work!

  51. Dec 08, 2009 @ 02:18:29


    Finally you launched it~
    This looks awesome!

  52. Dec 08, 2009 @ 02:32:26

    Fernando Callo

    This design is excellent man! I like so much. It has a nice touch in the design and the new implementations are cool! I’ll use WordPress in my renewed blog and I have to do the design from zero =)

  53. Dec 08, 2009 @ 03:08:18


    多谢你嘅设计俾佐我一直向前的激情,同埋灵感!!!你嘅设计总是可以带俾我无限的期待,Good Job!!!

  54. Dec 08, 2009 @ 04:14:12

    Lorena Lane

    Absolutely beautiful site. Looking forward to your detailed tut on your process from putting it together.

  55. Dec 08, 2009 @ 06:26:23


    The new design is very beautiful and full of Chinese elements. I like these. The Chinese characters “欢迎” are catching my eyes!

  56. Dec 08, 2009 @ 07:08:50


    I love looking at a design and seeing how it’s thought trough! :D
    I love looking at this – I just LOVE IT! :D
    So many fine details…. ;)

  57. Dec 08, 2009 @ 08:38:26


    Love it, love it, LO-O-O-O-VE IT!!!!
    Its very pink, very shocking and very eye-catching,
    but that’s the way I am too!
    This design speaks to me with all its details.

  58. Dec 08, 2009 @ 09:54:34


    Page I like. Loading Unfortunately, long time – too bad. 7.6 seconds (http://tools.pingdom.com/fpt/?url=http://www.ndesign-studio.com//&id=1538885). Try to save every kB! :)

    Button Back to home – set the opacity of 80% – will be nicer. Reduce the header – is too big – at least 20px.

    Otherwise, nice:).

  59. Dec 08, 2009 @ 12:07:02


    Very fresh! I love your page titles, well done.

  60. Dec 08, 2009 @ 12:48:38


    Saw this yesterday.. really cool. You continue to be an inspiration!

  61. Dec 08, 2009 @ 14:44:07


    It’s beautiful!! :D I wish I was this good when it came to making blog designs, but I do it simple and sweet. Guess I’m a minimalism whore. ;)

  62. Dec 08, 2009 @ 14:46:20

    Dejan Djuric

    Nick this is impressive work, great job… A just love your work ;)

  63. Dec 08, 2009 @ 15:02:40


    T-T~I love all your works. I was forced to concede that I had became your fans for a long time. I have learned not only the technical but also the meticulous and patient from you, best regards. Thx for all your tutorials and other posts.

  64. Dec 08, 2009 @ 17:03:03


    astounding work. srsly blown away!

  65. Dec 08, 2009 @ 19:27:22

    Lauhakari [mikko]

    WOW! a really really nice looking redesign!
    the pressure I had to redo my own site just got bigger…

  66. Dec 09, 2009 @ 02:44:54


    WOW! Amazing… I Love the color combination…

  67. Dec 09, 2009 @ 03:03:26


    Really amazing work as always!

    But whats with the typo in the header for tutorials? The header image reads “tuturials”.

    • Dec 09, 2009 @ 03:05:15


      Actually found another typo. On the search results page it says “seach”.

    • Dec 09, 2009 @ 04:45:24

      Nick La

      Opps. Thanks for pointing it out. Need to fix them soon.

    • Dec 10, 2009 @ 16:10:38


      Hey no problem Nick! Great site!

  68. Dec 09, 2009 @ 04:41:10



  69. Dec 09, 2009 @ 07:20:07


    The new design is fantastic! Great colors, textures, design elements, attention to details… very clean and organized.. great job!

  70. Dec 09, 2009 @ 09:21:15

    Bruno Belotti

    Simply awesome! Congrats mate!

  71. Dec 09, 2009 @ 11:20:04

    Umut Muhaddisoglu

    That’s an awesome design Nick.

    It is very clean and includes little nice details in every part.

    So inspiring.

  72. Dec 09, 2009 @ 15:17:56

    Lourens Thalen

    I actually think the old design was better. It was cleaner.
    I’m watching the new design for the first time using IE6 (university doesn’t want to upgrade?) so there are some png’s not working.

    I do like it, I just.. don’t love it (yet).

  73. Dec 10, 2009 @ 03:11:15


    classic, unique, vintage mmmmmm just great man
    i think there’s something missing in the sidebar ^^

  74. Dec 10, 2009 @ 17:56:58


    Very similar, especially top of the site, nav and colour scheme, to one of the templates for Joomla from RocketTheme ….

  75. Dec 11, 2009 @ 10:34:20


    Absolutely beautiful (as the phoenix theme was before), I love the colours!

  76. Dec 11, 2009 @ 15:34:12


    i always a fan of your site and design, you phoenix wallpaper is my default desktop screen. and the new design is really good. keep going.
    your blog too a inspiration for me to start a own blog. :D kudos

  77. Dec 11, 2009 @ 16:50:44

    Lakshmi Mareddy

    Always a big fan of your site. Was amused to see humongous copies of your earlier website all over the web. Am wondering how long it will take for the dragon fish / miami ink style artwork to replicate itself?
    Congrats on the wonderful design.. Keep inspiring..
    A very ARDENT FAN!

  78. Dec 13, 2009 @ 16:04:14


    Wow! This redesign is just awesome!
    There’re lots of improvements in this new one. You’d work on it for not a short time, I think. More usable and friendlier than previous one :)

  79. Dec 14, 2009 @ 15:40:16


    This is great! WOW! What a lovely redesign, you the man!

  80. Dec 14, 2009 @ 16:00:06

    Elizabeth K. Barone

    1. I love the pastel colors and imagery. It’s pleasing to look at, and stands alone as a portfolio item.
    2. I like the different images on the different site sections.
    3. I think there should be more focus on the home page on recent projects. Perhaps the blog entries should be less of a focus.
    4. I just love the ocean theme. It’s soothing and very beautiful.
    5. Threaded comments only go 2 deep. I think they should go deeper, maybe to 5 if you don’t want them to go too deep.

    It’s hard to find anything bad to say! Altogether, this is a beautiful site. Nick, you did a wonderful job and should be proud!

  81. Feb 17, 2010 @ 09:06:04

    Weddings Fashion

    I’m watching the new design for the first time using IE6 (university doesn’t want to upgrade?) so there are some png’s not working.

  82. Jul 23, 2010 @ 19:03:47


    That’s an awesome design…
    inspiring me…

  83. Jun 06, 2011 @ 19:28:37

    Vince Majkut

    Excellent blog! Do you have any tips for aspiring writers? I’m planning to start my own website soon but I’m a little lost on everything. Would you propose starting with a free platform like WordPress or go for a paid option? There are so many options out there that I’m totally confused .. Any recommendations? Appreciate it!

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