New Blog Design with Help from oDesk

For a while I have been wanting to change the design of my blog but without knowing what I really wanted it to look like. Over the past few months I have been browsing hundreds (if not thousands) of ready-made WordPress designs but without finding any really cool design. That was until I stumbled upon Swell Theme by David Morgan. I immediately loved it because of its simplicity, focus on content and flexibility in terms of menus and widgets.

It has a nice placeholder for a large header in the top, which I really liked — mostly because I was inspired by the design of Scott Hanselman’s website and I wanted to do something of the same nature. Scott uses a picture taken of him at the GOTO Conference in Aarhus (my hometown, yay!) and I, too, have tons of pictures of myself giving talks at conferences and user groups. However, I find most of my pictures a little boring so I thought of doing something a little more “fresh” instead.

I am a big fan of cartoons and I thought it would be cool to create cartoon-like banner for my new design. Unfortunately, I am a horrible designer. I know a little about PhotoShop but nothing about Illustrator so I knew I had to get some help. I turned to oDesk, which I have used before to get some stuff done with the help of freelancers specialized in all kinds of areas. I created a job post, attached this picture (see below) from Microsoft’s latest Christmas party and asked if anybody could create a cartoon character from my picture. Within a few hours I had more than 40 willing applicants who would like to do the task and I ended up choose a designer named Anna whom I paid $50 to do the job. And that same night she sent me back the result.

From the left: Myself, Anette Nørgaard and Anders Lybecker.

After a little bit of reviewing and editing we finally agreed upon a final design. The result can be seen in the header above. I am really pleased with it and also really excited to once again be surprised by the high quality of oDesk freelancers. It’s awesome to see how the use of relatively simple web technology can bring together people to create great stuff (in this case, my designer and myself). It will definitely not be last job I post to oDesk! 🙂