Over the coming weeks I will be writing about Pixie's interface design. While I am happy with the current interface I want to explore how we ended up with the current design and also where we may take the design of Pixie (and the whole project) in future. For me this has been the most interesting part of of Pixie's development and while the programming the app has been a great opportunity to develop my PHP knowledge I have found working on the interface a far more interesting challenge.
I am going to kick off this series of posts by going back to the first incarnation of Pixie, before Pixie was even called Pixie. When I first started this project, Pixie was given the pithy name of "SMX". The name as well as the interface at the time had been a very small consideration for me. My primary concern was figuring out how the hell to build a piece of software that would be flexible enough to manage as many websites as possible. Here is what it looked like (click on an image to enlarge).
As you can see the interface was a bit of a mess but there are elements of code (and language) still left in the system from when Pixie began. You will also notice some features are now missing, the most notable from the screenshots being the ability to backup to a remote FTP server. I deemed options like this to be too complex by the time Pixie hit version 1.0. While I am not fond of this design I may actually prefer the colour scheme at the moment, it might be time to visit the blue hues again soon.