I’m Chanpory, and this is my site on how to live and work better as a designer.

You should follow me on Twitter here.

For more, check out the archives.

Voila! A brand new design for LifeClever is now up. I’ve been toiling on this for the past few months, so I’m very excited to share it with you.

Why just a face lift? I had hoped to do more by migrating to Drupal and adding some cool new features. For example, forums. Unfortunately, Drupal’s way complicated, and I’ve had no luck finding an available Drupal developer who will answer my emails.

If you know an expert developer who can help me move this design to Drupal, please let me know. Otherwise I’ll try tackle it myself, but who knows how long that’ll take. ;-)

Since design doesn’t happen in a vacuum, I’d like to give shout-outs to the folks who’ve helped inspire this design. In no particular order, they are:

As usual, everything on this site is a work in progress, but I hope you enjoy.


  • David Airey

    gravatarApr 14, 2008
    6:32 am

    Clean, and I like the four columns.

    As far as I can remember, the colour on the older design was more to my liking. Perhaps it’s the blue you have in your header.

    Regardless, congrats on a more spacious design.

  • diogo

    gravatarApr 14, 2008
    6:46 am

    It looks fine to me, but I’m having a hard time trying to remember the old design (damn RSS!). I do know I liked it.

  • Christine

    gravatarApr 14, 2008
    7:05 am

    Hate to say it, but I way prefer the old one. This one is a bit generic 2.0. And your adorable winking heart is now relegated to the sidelines?

  • Cesar Torres

    gravatarApr 14, 2008
    7:17 am

    Chanpory, great job! I love that stuff changes when you interact with it (buttons, bubbles, etc.)–”it’s a nice little surprise. I can’t help long for the old design with its super simplicity, though. But I guess it’s like @diogo said, RSS really changes a lot of that.

    How do you like Drupal so far? I’m about to get into using it as a CMS myself. Check out the LinkedIn Q&A here: http://moourl.com/npnxw I love LinkedIn Q&A!

  • Taylor Wright

    gravatarApr 14, 2008
    7:32 am


    Good job on getting the new design up. I wanted to chime in and say that I don’t know any Drupal developers–¦Â mainly because all the ones I knew have migrated to Expression Engine. It seems like the general conceit is that Drupal is really powerful but very rigid, where as it seems like EE is a pleasant field of sunflowers and daffodils–¦Â and that it’s a bit easier and more flexible. It seems like they have an active community as well.

    I’m curious what made you interested in Drupal and if you’ve considered other options. I’ve only heard of Drupal from other people who have done research and opted to use EE.

    Some EE sites that I know of http://jackjohnsonmusic.com http://nikesoccer.com and pretty much all the recent work fro odopod (http://odopod.com) use EE.

    Hope that’s useful, I’d like to hear more about CMS, because I’m still new to it.

  • David Airey

    gravatarApr 14, 2008
    8:38 am

    Like Christine, I also preferred the winking heart placed up top. I thought it was your logo, but I guess not.

  • Craig

    gravatarApr 14, 2008
    8:40 am

    In the sentence, “I’d like to give shout-outs to the olks who’ve helped inspire this design,” the word “olks” should probably be “folks.”

    Thought you would want to know this. I work as a technical writer and automatically proofread everything.

  • Nathan

    gravatarApr 14, 2008
    10:03 am

    I like it. Clean, simple.

  • pmc27

    gravatarApr 14, 2008
    10:06 am

    I like the layout, but not the colors. I liked the pink and sky blue… Now it´s a little dark, and the RSS logo gets too much protagonism.

    Great job anyway!

  • Chanpory Rith

    gravatarApr 14, 2008
    10:25 am

    Hey everyone, thanks for the great feedback!

    @David and Christine: For simplicity, I was actually considering phasing out the winking heart. However, it looks readers have fallen in love with the heart, so I’ll be tweaking the design to make it prominent again.

    @Craig: Thanks for catching the typo. It’s fixed now.

    @Taylor: I wanted to go with Drupal because of its community features. I liked how the forums can be integrated with blog posts. I also liked how every reader can also publish their own blog in Drupal. I actually haven’t looked at ExpressionEngine, but I’m now intrigued. If it has similar features to Drupal and it’s easier to implement, then I’ll have to really consider ExpressionEngine.

    @Cesar: It’s currently not in Drupal. But so far, based on Taylor’s comments I’m wondering if Drupal really is the best solution.

  • Sebastian

    gravatarApr 14, 2008
    11:53 am

    Sorry to say, but the old design was MUCH better :) especially the colors!

  • Noel Hurtley

    gravatarApr 14, 2008
    12:32 pm

    I love the new site. It’s really an improvement in every aspect, most importantly it’s much easier to navigate and locate great content.

    Was this your first site utilizing a grid system or have you done designed sites before with grids?

  • PaweÅ‚ Komarnicki

    gravatarApr 14, 2008
    12:38 pm

    Yeah and even more ads! :D How wonderful! :D

  • Chanpory Rith

    gravatarApr 14, 2008
    12:51 pm

    Hey Noel, I’ve designed other sites using a grid syste, but this is probably the most rigorous I’ve been. I’ve even tried to make the text elements conform to a baseline grid based on units of 5 pixels. I’m still working on tightening it up a bit, but I’m quite pleased so far with it.

  • Chanpory Rith

    gravatarApr 14, 2008
    12:55 pm

    Hey Pawel, believe it or not, there are actually fewer ads now. Also, I’ve tried to integrate the ads better within the grid system, so that they’re less intrusive. I’d love to get rid of them altogether, but I’ve got to pay the bills. ;-)

  • Zee

    gravatarApr 14, 2008
    2:11 pm

    Definitely the better of the recent blog redesigns I’ve seen on the web – good job.

  • Paul Armstrong

    gravatarApr 14, 2008
    3:11 pm

    A most excellent update. I absolutely love the use of your column/grid layout. Subtleties in the design of the tabs and edges of gradients at the top are definitely a welcome addition!

  • Darren

    gravatarApr 14, 2008
    9:34 pm

    nice work – it’s really comign together well.

  • trinity9

    gravatarApr 14, 2008
    9:51 pm

    Hmm… I’m a regular reader of life clever but never commented. :P Nice effort I guess but I’m liking the older one way better. It had a nice, fresh feel to it. This one feels a bit heavier. The header especially looks generic.

    Just my two cents anyway.

  • RUDE

    gravatarApr 15, 2008
    1:01 am

    Congratulations! The new theme is great ;-)

  • ephi

    gravatarApr 15, 2008
    3:26 am

    Horizontal scroll in my 1024×768 screen :( And I support trinity9 comment.

  • Matt

    gravatarApr 15, 2008
    5:15 am

    I must say that I like the design. Unfortunately, I’m a fairly new subscriber and don’t remember the old one.

    You mentioned needing someone to help you make the move to Drupal. One of my friends does some work in Drupal; he might be available to help or at least point you to someone who can. You can contact him through his website at http://www.godsporch.net/contact/.

    Hope this helps and again, nice design!

  • Jimmy G

    gravatarApr 15, 2008
    6:46 am

    Liking the new design, especially the comment box at the top left of the page – very smooth.

    If I were going to improve anything, I would say maybe space the font a little closer for the main “Life Clever” top left image.

  • Chanpory Rith

    gravatarApr 15, 2008
    10:07 am

    @ephi, thanks for the catching the horizontal scrollbar issue. I’ve fixed the stylesheet so that it doesn’t scroll anymore when viewing the page at full-screen on a 1024×768. Let me know if you’re still getting a scrollbar, and I’ll tweak it further.

  • kuswanto

    gravatarApr 16, 2008
    2:36 am

    Wow.. nice new make-up. Love the comment bubble.

  • mayur

    gravatarApr 16, 2008
    9:24 am

    the new look is gr8

  • Izabela

    gravatarApr 17, 2008
    8:52 am

    I liked the old one better, it was more creative. This one seems too generic/too dry for my taste.

  • SBee

    gravatarApr 17, 2008
    9:56 am

    Let me first say, I think you are a REALLY good designer. There are several things about this new version I really like. The simplicity of the grid, and the “guts” of this version are really well done.

    I do miss the “lightness” of your previous 2 versions masthead area, the gradient blue feels corporate. Something about the heaviness of the gray bar that separates entries feels heavy handed too. I loved the way you could bookmark or share the entries by mousing over the heart before.

    Just an opinion, and, if i had never seen the prior versions and came to this page, it would make an impression on me that it was well designed.

  • britne

    gravatarApr 17, 2008
    11:16 am

    grid layouts = good.

    please go back to the old colors, and get that heart back into prominent view. i agree with others that this is very dark, dull, corporate, and looks like nothing really spectacular, from a color perspective.

  • ephi

    gravatarApr 17, 2008
    7:44 pm

    @Chanpory: It’s okay now. ;)

  • King Duncan

    gravatarApr 18, 2008
    5:10 pm

    er… wow?

    I pop by this site occasionally and then ALL OF A SUDDEN its all different. It feels like I’ve returned home to find out that my parent’s have secretly moved house and the new owners drive a porsche and call each other “dahling!”

    All very confusing. Give me time and I’ll start to like it

  • Chanpory Rith

    gravatarApr 18, 2008
    11:57 pm

    Hey everyone, after looking at the site on different monitors, it does indeed look dark. I’ll work on brightening it up. Thanks for your suggestions!

  • wally

    gravatarApr 19, 2008
    6:38 pm

    I enjoy the new design. Clean, and easy to read. I just switched over to MT on Friday and love their hosting service.

  • Jennie

    gravatarApr 24, 2008
    1:53 pm

    I must say that I too preferred the old design. It had personality and warmth. This design is generic and completely devoid of personality. It reminds me almost of WordPress out of the box. Sorry… :(

  • amarilys

    gravatarApr 25, 2008
    9:40 am

    The new look adds more fun to reading!

  • Collis

    gravatarApr 26, 2008
    3:12 am

    Wow, this is a really great design!! I’m super flattered that I’m listed as a design inspiration for this site!

    Am going to have a hard time getting through doors with my head getting so big :-)

    Great job!

  • christy

    gravatarJun 11, 2008
    9:22 pm

    sorry! i like the old one better too, it was more pleasing to the eye