Redesigning in the open


In case you missed it, my site now distinguishes between regular notes and links. Again.

I already had this separation in place many years ago, but at some point I did merge everything under the Notes roof.

Last month I had a change of mind, and thus I wanted to undo the merge. Instead of browsing the git history to find a point in time where the separation was alive and well, I went through all my notes from October 2010 to April 2024 and classified them anew.

Now that the links have been extracted, the notes section has been halved in size. Literally. When the split went live last week, coincidently I ended up with 67 notes and 67 links.

One more index

When I last had them, notes and links used to be called opinions and bookmarks, but dedicated index pages didn’t exist. Instead, both types had been piled up under ‘Gossip’.

Along with this new separation, I’ve also added a Links page. This is its opening paragraph:

Let’s face it, browser bookmarks don’t work. Wouldn’t it be better if everyone shared links to things they discover publicly, so that others also have a chance to discover them?

With that possibility now in place, hopefully there will be many more links worth sharing.

This could have been it. A nice short blog post about a new feature. But what about the Redesigning in the open title?

Is there a redesign going on? No.

Does adding an index page count as a redesign? Also no.


Every new blog post on this site is filed under a category: Essays, Editorials, Events, Code Snippets, and Notes. Links have now been added as a new category.

Super categories

Essays, Editorials, Events, and Code Snippets can be found under the Articles super category. In contrast, Notes had always been a thing of its own.

But now that Links got thrown into the mix, it was time for a new super category: Notes and Links together can be found under Threads, which is the opposite of Articles. This is only of interest if you had subscribed to my Notes RSS feed in the past, because in this case you may want to change your subscription to the Threads RSS feed instead.

So now I’ve got the super categories Articles (spanning four categories) and Threads (spanning two categories).

Looks unbalanced. ⚖️

Alternate super categories

I’ve created two additional super categories:

  • Extras, composed of Essays, Editorials, and Events;
  • Shorts, composed of Code Snippets, Notes, and Links.

Looks like Articles & Threads, but code snippets have jumped ship.

I wanted to have this in place for a specific reason. Before the change, I’ve shown the three latest articles and the three latest notes on the home page. But given that my code snippets have been on the rise in recent times, they kept pushing other articles out of view. Now that I’m showing the latest three Extras & Shorts on the home page, things are a bit more chill.

New navigation

Adding the Links category caused quite the change on this site’s navigation. I could’ve just replaced Notes with Threads and be done with it. Or replace Articles & NotesThreads with Extras & Shorts. I did neither, instead I went from eight navigation entries to twelve. Super categories are no longer shown there, you can access the categories directly.

I’m not entirely satisfied with this, there’s a chance that I’ll backpedal. But more likely, what’s gonna happen is this: I’ll create a new entry on the Settings page, allowing you to choose between three navigation styles. Problem solved.[1]

Okay, new Links category, a flurry of super categories, and a new navigation, is this the redesign? Still no.

“New design coming soon”

No, not on in this site in the foreseeable future. I like my current way of doing incremental changes.

But this is something I see a lot out there. People put a Redesigning in the open banner on their site, and its stays there for a long time, because there is hardly ever time to actually do it.

My advice would be: Remove the banner message, no matter what the current design of your site is. As long as it (is accessible and) serves your content, you are fine. Whether you actually get to doing the redesign doesn’t really matter. If you are a designer and you worry your site looks a certain way (read: unprofessional) for years, I’d say do not fret. But if that banner message helps in that regard, then by all means keep it.


It did not last. There won’t be an additional entry under Settings, and the old navigation has been restored, except for a minor detail, or <details> to be exact. The last entry in the restored compact navigation is a toggle, which allows you to expand the from super categories to categories, among other things. But the focus is back to Articles and Threads. With the exception of this article, Extras and Shorts are no longer linked to, so they may be gone in an upcoming revision. ↩︎